Around 6 years ago now, even though I have lived in Michigan my entire life, I finally learned the importance of driving carefully and slowly in the snow. It frustrates me to no end to be passed on the highway by insane psychos who aren’t even considering for a moment how awful the road conditions are. The scariest part for me is when I’m driving a little under 70 MPH (miles per hour) when a semi-truck passes me. On the left.
I’m a little scared of semi-trucks to being with and you’ll understand why in a minute. But I need someone to explain something to me. If you have lived this long in this state, you have lived through these winters for many years. You know how dangerous driving is. So why do you still act like an idiot? Because you think you’re not going to be one of the people in the ditch? Well, that’s what I thought, too.
I had just returned from Florida, where I had taken a vacation over winter break. Seriously, the DAY I flew back, a winter storm was just winding down and making its way out of the area.
Driving home that afternoon from the airport, I had pulled off the highway for some delicious Burger King to consumer when I got home. Getting back on the highway, I’ll admit it, I did get on that highway too fast. I was driving too fast for conditions, point blank.
Just getting onto the highway, I hit a patch of slushy-ness mixed with ice. I lost control of my car. My dog, Ike, was in my lap (I had picked him up from a friend’s house on the way home, by the way). The next thing I knew, I was headed toward a ditch and I tried to correct myself by steering to the left….and I shot into the highway instead of getting into my lane correctly.
I don’t remember a lot after that. What I DO remember is thinking that something was going to hit me. I KNEW something was going to hit me. But I never looked out my window to see (which turned out to be a good thing — if I had, I would have very likely had a some nasty facial scars)…I slightly remember getting hit. Blacking out. Waking up. Confusion. Realization. Shock. Screaming. Oh, yeah, I remember freaking out quite vividly. Not because I was hurt or that I had been in an accident. It was the realization that my dog was not in the car. My door had been jarred open in the hit. Where was my dog!?
Within no time, there were witnesses around my car, trying to calm me down, looking for my dog, who was found about 6 feet behind, wandering around confused. I know I was in and out of consciousness at this time. I went into shock for sure after I realized i had blood all over me, and no one could figure out right away where it was coming from. Later, I would find out it came from a 4 inch dash on my scalp (15 stitches AND staples in my scalp to fix that up). I also ended up suffering from a crushed pubic bone (part of the pelvis).
So…What did I hit? A semi. On my driver’s side door. Thank God that the weather was bad enough that the semi was only going 30 miles an hour.
There are so many factors that really could have made that accident worse, but it wasn’t. I’m just thankful to be alive. It took me a few years to even want to drive in the snow. And once I finally got over the anxiety, I started driving smart. Like the other jerks who don’t? Should.