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Dear Dangerous Drivers…

SNOW_CAR_1134106_car_trapped_in_the_snow_on_a_winter_road

Yesterday was the first “significant snowfall” (as defined in my book as the first time there is enough snow to cause numerous people to suddenly and inexplicably forget how to drive). What does this post have to do with healing? Nothing… except that I was en route to a doctor’s office when this post all but wrote itself in my head. I have written it in letter format (addressed to the individuals who put the lives and limbs of all around them at risk yesterday).

I could probably post this same exact letter every year… This is my letter to those who engage in dangerous winter driving habits. I realize the likelihood of this post being read by the dangerous drivers I witnessed yesterday is slim. However, I will post it anyway as a public service.

DEAR_DANGEROUS_by_hbrinkman_924994_scratching_frost

Dear Dangerous Drivers,

Welcome back to winter driving! I know it has been awhile since we had this much snow on the roads and that everyone’s winter driving skills probably degrades a bit during the snow-free months. However, I do not understand some of the scenarios I witnessed yesterday. Perhaps a crash course (oops… poor choice of words there!) refresher course is in order for some drivers in regard to winter driving conditions as well as general common sense while driving.

Here are some tips you may find helpful:

DEAR_DANGEROUS_61639_rear_mirror
(See how the snow has been cleared from this side view mirror?)

(1) DO clear off all your windows! I highly recommend doing this at home or before you begin driving from wherever it is that you’re parked. This does not mean clearing off just enough snow and/or ice for your eyes to steal a tiny glimpse through a small hole in the surrounding windshield or rear window full of snow. Not only are these small clearance patches not sufficient to safely drive in the best of circumstances but, as anyone familiar with winter driving knows, the remaining snow on the window will blow around and obscure your view. (Hint: This is true even on wind-free days because the motion of the car will cause the window snow remaining to shift around).

DANGER_DRIVE__by_Mattox_1132290_car_in_the_snow

(2) DON’T clear off your car in expressway lanes, in on-ramps, or on off-ramps. If your pre-trip window clearing was insufficient, please pull over completely into the shoulder to brush/scrape your windows. If you should choose to clear your windows in the road (like so many people I saw yesterday!), you may soon discover that passing vehicles may assist you in dislodging that snow from your windows. The thing is that they won’t be using snow brushes. When their vehicles hit yours because you parked IN the expressway, the snow may well be dislodged from the windshield. However, this is is not the safest (nor recommended) method for getting those windows cleared off.

(3) DO use the defrost feature of your car. It really helps. (For some reason, there were drivers yesterday who clearly had not defrosted their windows).

DANGERDRIVEWINDOW_by_Columbine_1121964__3

(4) DON’T tailgate! Drivers following me, please be made aware that the inside of my tailpipe is the same color it was last spring. So, tailgating me to inspect the color won’t yield a new result. (Thanks, Hubby, for this yearly joke aimed at the tailgating contingent). Extra credit factoid: Hubby tells me that 68 miles per hour is 100 feet per second. Think about trying to stop your car within 100 feet if you elect to keep this speed on days when chain reaction, domino effect accidents are likely).

DANGERDRIVE_TAILPIPE_by_VinnyPrime_632990__exhausted_

DANGER_REINDEER_by_mzacha_782411_reindeer

(5) DO: Remember, it is December. So, speeding along in snowy conditions is not wise. There could be reindeer out and about. Let’s be careful out there.

DANGERDEER_by_sundstrom_778087_traffic_sign_23

The good news yesterday was that we did arrive safe and sound at the doctor’s office after one hour and 53 minutes of driving (for what could be driven in 44 minutes on a sunny, low-traffic, snow-free day). We are thankful that our car didn’t go airborne and land in the median, as did so many of the cars we saw en route to the doctor’s office.

DANGERDRIVE_by_hisks_1102894_traffic_warning_sign__9

Please drive carefully. Allowing extra time for driving in inclement weather is advisable.


This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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Reading: Dear Dangerous Drivers…

38 comments

1 YayaNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 12:18 pm }

Love your letter!

My bosses are always like ‘how did you get here on time?’ on snowy days and I’m like ‘I left early’. If only more people had that common sense. I do hate driving in the snow though.
.-= Yaya´s last blog ..Friday Fragments (Updates) =-.

2 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 12:22 pm }

Alicia,

I’m glad you liked it.

That’s funny that they ask you that. Apparently they don’t exercise that time cushion method themselves or they wouldn’t ask.

Jeanne

3 alohamorakatNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 12:58 pm }

In the winter time remember your snow pants! I always have a snow bag with warm clothes in it. It really helps. Katie Kat

4 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 12:59 pm }

Katie Kat,

That is great advice. I too always carry a “snow bag” in my car with a candle, matches, blankets, water, and snacks. If I were to break down, I would be prepared.

Jeanne

5 GyandeviNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 1:09 pm }

Katie Kat & Jeanne — You both give great advice for winter traveling. Living in Vermont (where it has snowed for the last 7 days) we need to be prepared in case of breakdown. Many people end up stranded on the roads and do not have their “Snow Bag” prepared. I also like to carry a radio (so I don’t have to keep the car running), a warm hat and mittens, fully-charged cell phone, and an extra pair of socks and boots. Flares can be helpful. Water is important, as you cannot drink snow — it will give you hypothermia. The most important thing to include are the snacks! Pick out your favorites and keep them in a bag. (They also come in handy when you’re stuck in traffic and haven’t eaten.)

6 GyandeviNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 1:11 pm }

PS You also should have something good to read. I recommend the Harry Potter series.

7 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 1:13 pm }

Gyan,

What awesome advice! It’s clear that your Vermont driving experience has yielded some great information that can help keep people safe. Thank you for the great tips for winter drivers to stay safe and be prepared in case of car trouble.

Jeanne

8 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 1:16 pm }

Gyan,

Good point. Having reading materials can help pass the time if car trouble occurs (while waiting for help to arrive). It can make what could be an anxious experience (waiting) a little easier to manage. Anyone who has ever broken down in the winter knows it’s not a fun experience. Let’s stay safe out there.

Jeanne

9 alohamorakatNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 1:38 pm }

Hello Gyan. I agree. The Harry Potter series is great! Reading is great too! Anyone who is not reading Harry Potter may not know what I am talking about. There is a spell in Harry Potter that melts snow. They don’t really name the spell so I like to think it’s “meltio”. KK (Katie Kat)

10 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 1:45 pm }

Katie Kat,

Wow! Thanks for all of the lovely comments! It’s so nice to see a fellow Harry Potter fan here. That does sound like a good name for that snow-melting spell. I could have used it yesterday!

Jeanne

P.S. I am not planning to go outside today. :)

11 Jannie FunsterNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 2:18 pm }

Right said, Fred!

We almost never get snow here, but freezing rain shuts down the town.

Get snow tires, everyone. Or stay home and bask in the glory of the hearth.
.-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..“Inner Productivity” by Christopher R. Edgar — A Gem Of An Excellent Book =-.

12 alohamorakatNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 2:41 pm }

This is a fantastic and hilarious post. I’ve seen some drivers very much like the ones you talked about here.
KK (Katie Kat)

13 alohamorakatNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 4:07 pm }

Hello Wise eye Jannie Funster. Friend of the adorable Blue Bunny, or is it Blue Bunnie? I get mixed up!
KK

14 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 4:18 pm }

Jannie,

I think you’re mixing me up with another blogger. I’m not Fred. I’m Jeanne. Should I give you an alter ego too? How about Frank? Hmm. What rhymes with Frank, though? “You can take that one to the bank, Frank”? That’ll have to do for now.

Oh. Were you mixing me up with Fred Weasley from the Harry Potter books? Oh no. That’s right. You haven’t read them yet. Did you catch the yet in that last sentence? I’m confident that you will succumb to Harry Potter fever in due time.

I know… Snow there is quite rare. Although I do remember you blogging about snowy palm trees here:

Austin Rain of Terror

Those lovely new snowflakes on your blog background must remind you of your pre-Texas days living in Canada, no?

Yes, freezing rain can make for interesting driving conditions.

Jannie, such an obvious but important point you made… those driving in “winter weather” areas really need snow tires. They make such a huge difference!

Or, as you pointed out… staying home is a pleasant alternative when possible. For example, today I am home with my lovely wood-burning stove cranking. For those of you readers who missed it, Jannie shipped me some wood to burn last year. (See Special Surprise). She’s so thoughtful!

Jeanne

15 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 4:28 pm }

KK,

You’re pretty fantastic and hilarious yourself. Yes, such dangerous drivers are all-too-ubiquitous.

Jeanne

16 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 4:37 pm }

KK,

I’m glad to see you have introduced yourself to Jannie Funster, of my infamous Healing Posse.

You have posed a very valid question. The spelling for the name of the lovable blue rodent is in the air, as far as I know. I have been questioning it for days.

Who knows? Maybe you can help me get to the bottom of it? At one point, I had Jannie Funster, Jannie Funstet, Blue Bunny, and Blue Bunnie in my Top Commentators. That’s right… 4 of the 10 spots were taken up by someone in Funster Management.

So, I have been trying to get answers on these spelling issues as well. (Gasp)… Do you suppose Funster Management is intentionally taking over the Top Commentator widget? I blamed the “Jannie Funstet” on a typo when Jannie commented via her lovely new cell phone. However, one can’t help but wonder what’s going on when 4 of 10 Top Commentator spots are Funster Management reps.

I know Jannie is “on the up and up”. I just worry about the bunny. I thought he was getting carried away with butter beers but apparently he prefers beets. It is confusing when the bunny uses multiple spellings of his name. Perhaps with you asking questions as well, we’ll get the answers to these heart-pounding questions.

Jeanne

17 alohamorakatNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 5:40 pm }

Jannie,
Tell Blue Bunny I said hi. I hope Blue Bunny (Bunnie) is going to comment on this post even if Blue Bunnie (Bunny) can’t drive. If Blue Bunnie(y) could drive he would use the advice.
KK

18 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 6:23 pm }

KK,

You are a riot. I can’t wait to see what Blue Bunny, Blue Bunnie, Jannie Funster, and Jannie Funstet have to say about all this. I would have to agree, just based on the bunny comments made here, that BB would benefit from sound advice on safe driving, if he were a driver. No offense to BB but I’m thinking it might be better that he is not a driver.

Jeanne

19 Teresa @ ? Too Many Heartbeats ?No Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 10:57 pm }

Oh, snow! I wish we could see some of that most beautiful stuff around here….especially here at Christmas!

I hope you are having a ‘good’ day and that you enjoy a wonderful Christmas Season.

Teresa <
.-= Teresa @ ? Too Many Heartbeats ?´s last blog ..CAN THOSE WITH AN INVISIBLE ILLNESS PARK IN A BLUE SPOTWITHOUT OTHERS SEEING RED?? =-.

20 Dorothy StahlneckerNo Gravatar { 12.12.09 at 6:23 am }

This is so good, sometimes I see people on the road with windows which haven’t been cleaned and I know they can’t see where they’re going and it makes me crazy. Great post if only they will listen.

Dorothy from grammology
.-= Dorothy Stahlnecker´s last blog ..This grandma is team Jacob =-.

21 Jannie FunsterNo Gravatar { 12.12.09 at 1:45 pm }

Frank stank at the bank.

We all said “THANK” when his dank rank tank left the bank in Upper Crank-Hank, Minnesota. No prank!
.-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..teknikel difikulltees by blue bunny =-.

22 BBBNo Gravatar { 12.12.09 at 10:20 pm }

Jeanne,

I am testing out my new gravatar. I used organic carrots for my avatar because I love carrots. What brought me to your blog was Blue Bunny. You see, I am Blue Bunny’s brother. You can call me BBB for short. Anyhow, I haven’t had contact with Blue Bunny in years. I discovered some blog comments from Blue Bunny, who apparently works for Jannie Funster now as a blogging virtual assistant? Anyhow, I am trying to get reconnected with Blue Bunny.

BBB

23 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.12.09 at 10:28 pm }

Dorothy,

Thanks. Those dangerous drivers make me crazy too. I don’t understand the theory behind not clearing off a car properly when it’s covered with snow and/or ice.

Jeanne

24 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.12.09 at 10:31 pm }

Jannie,

I must say THANK you… Frank must really rank and that’s no prank.

Jeanne

25 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.12.09 at 10:37 pm }

BBB,

How exciting! You are hot on the trail of your brother. Blue Bunny does, in fact, work for Jannie Funster… just like you thought.

You can find Jannie and Blue Bunny here:

Jannie Funster

Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m sure Blue Bunny will be thrilled to hear from you! :)

Jeanne

26 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.13.09 at 4:03 am }

Teresa,

The snow can certainly be pretty. There’s no doubt about that. Unfortunately, when the flakes start to fly at the beginning of the season, this incredible phenomenon occurs where about 50% of drivers on the road seem to have forgotten how to drive! Literally, people engaging in behavior like parking their cars in a 65 mph lane on the expressway to brush snow off the windshield… it defies all logic and leaves one wondering how the person passed a test to get a Driver’s License (or wondering if they ever did do so)!

I hope you are having a ‘good’ day yourself and I hope you enjoy this wonderful season.

Jeanne

27 alohamorakatNo Gravatar { 12.13.09 at 11:37 am }

Jeanne,
Have you found out if BB’s name is spelled Blue Bunnie or Blue Bunny? In your comment to BBB you spelled it “Bunny”. I still don’t know. This is very confusing. KK

28 AmyNo Gravatar { 12.13.09 at 12:44 pm }

I love this post! We don’t get any snow out here in my part of Arizona… but I’ll be heading to Pennsylvania by myself at the end of January, so I’m terrified of driving in the snow. I will take these warnings to heart (I might print out the post to review before getting in my rental car in PA…) :) I hope you’re doing well!
.-= Amy´s last blog ..3 Miles =-.

29 YayaNo Gravatar { 12.13.09 at 7:18 pm }

Lol! KK said ‘wise eye’ Jannie! Love it!
I still have yet to read the Harry Potter books (don’t throw anything at me!). But lately I’ve been thinking I’ll wait to read them with the kids we adopt. I’ve heard it’s a great family activity to do together before bedtime. ;)
Yaya
.-= Yaya´s last blog ..Orange You Glad It’s Saturday?! =-.

30 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.13.09 at 7:55 pm }

KK,

I understand your confusion. I have seen both spellings but have been spelling it “bunny” ever since Jannie Funster told me that Blue Bunny is a male bunny.

Jeanne

P.S. Did you hear that a bunny named BBB has been looking for Blue Bunny? I saw BBB (Blue Bunny’s Brother) on this blog, on Alicia’s blog, on Jannie Funster’s blog, and even on the brand new blog of Jannie Funster’s sister.

31 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.13.09 at 8:06 pm }

Hi Amy!

It’s nice to see you back blogging and I enjoyed reading your update about getting married and such.

I’m glad you enjoyed this post. If you could have seen some of the drivers I saw the other day, you would seriously wonder how they ever obtained a driver’s license at all!

Good luck when you drive in/to Pennsylvania. Hmm. If you are terrified of driving in the snow, this list may not help you much because you would likely then automatically have the common sense to do such things as clear your windshield before setting the car in motion.

The drivers I witnessed needed to have some fear put into them. Anyone clearing the windshield of a car parked in an expressway lane with a 65 mile per hour speed limit needs a bit of fear instilled into them. These were people who seemed to have no fears at all while standing in the middle of an expressway of moving cars that were traveling on slippery snow.

Of course, you are always welcome to print out any posts of mine you think might provide useful. I would never discourage that. :)

Seriously, have a safe trip and I was happy to read all your positive news upon returning to blogging.

Jeanne

32 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.13.09 at 8:39 pm }

Alicia,

Yes, KK has joined me in dubbing it “Jannie’s wise eye”. I love it too. :)

No, I will not throw anything at you, silly. Now what in heaven’s name gave you the impression that I would ever throw objects at people? That doesn’t sound like a very “healing” thing to do at all. My goodness.

Seriously, I read the Harry Potter books the first time in January 2008. I read them by myself that time (when I was recovering from surgery).

It just so happens that today we (my family) finished the very last book. I agree with everyone who told you that it’s a great family activity to do together before bedtime… especially if the reader does the characters’ voices while reading. These are great books for that!! English accents are very helpful to sound authentic.

I am not normally ever one to read a book more than once. Frankly, there are too many books out there for me to read a book twice when I have so many other books yet to read.

However, Harry Potter is the exception to this rule. The Harry Potter series is one worth reading again and again. There are so many lessons in these books. It’s no wonder that so many adults have been attracted to these “children’s books”. They are so layered, complex, and full of meaning. Yet the basic principles in them make them wonderful books to attract children as well. I just love these books! J. K. Rowling is a sheer genius!

For me, it was helpful to have read the books myself first because it helped me to be prepared for some of the more serious, dark moments in the books. In other words, I was better able to support my daughter emotionally through events that might have been troubling to her if she was simply reading the books on her own.

Obviously, the age of the child matters as far as how well he/she can handle the material. We purposely waited until school let out last June to start the series. (She was 8 at the time). As I said, we finished up Book 7 (the last one) today. So, it ended up taking about 6 months for us to read the series as a family… which is not bad as these are not short books.

There were plenty of times (especially in the earlier books) that she read to herself (on her own) but the way we worked it was we always had to “sync up”. So, if my husband working late resulting in me reading ahead with her, the next time we all read we would back up to get my husband “caught up”. So, there were plenty of parts that were read and re-read during the process.

I wanted her to be old enough to “handle” the books before starting them and once we got further into the series we spent more time with the three of us reading together (less with her reading ahead on her own). When the darker parts started creeping in, I wanted us to be able to discuss things with her… to help her understand, perhaps to keep her from feeling scared, and to help her be able to process and even analyze the books.

I cannot recommend these books highly enough. I picked up on things this time that I hadn’t completely grasped the first time through. I just love these books.

Jeanne

33 StacyNo Gravatar { 12.13.09 at 11:05 pm }

Jeanne,
You made me laugh and thank my lucky stars that I have been enjoying 75 degree weather while you have been (enjoying, suffering through, enduring?) another big snowfall!

34 EndochickNo Gravatar { 12.14.09 at 12:16 am }

I was driving to physical therapy last week with these insane winds sweeping the highway! I had to drive a different car because mine is so light, it would’ve went all over the road!! Well, this stupid kid passes me and another line of cars and he had to be pushing 80-85. Where are the cops when stuff like that goes down?? And he was in this tiny car! One big gush and he’d be in the median or flipped into the edge of a semi.
.-= Endochick´s last blog ..16 with endometriosis: a reply =-.

35 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.14.09 at 2:56 am }

Stacy,

Ah! I am not surprised you found this post amusing. You don’t miss it, huh? :) Enjoy your 75 degree weather. I myself have been enjoying the entertainment value of watching people who shouldn’t be driving parking in the expressway to clear their windshields. Once you get past the danger of getting by these folks, you can’t help but be amused! Snow is pretty, Stacy. It’s not all bad. Granted, my fibromyalgia is not pleased. However, it does look pretty on the trees. It makes it feel like December. Besides, I would never be able to tolerate the heat elsewhere. So, I’m not complaining about snow… just bad drivers.

Jeanne

36 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.14.09 at 2:59 am }

Endochick,

It sounds like you got to see the kind of drivers I wrote about. Believe me, we saw MANY cars flipped into the median and shoulder on our journey to the doctor’s office. It’s hard to comprehend why people drive so dangerously.

Jeanne

P.S. I like your sunflower avatar. It’s pretty. :)

37 YayaNo Gravatar { 12.15.09 at 7:04 am }

Yes, I remember my 4th grade special education students (at a 1st grade reading level) were dying to read the books so we started and it just wasn’t working out with them.
.-= Yaya´s last blog ..SOLD! ‘We Did It’ D-Vlog! =-.

38 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.15.09 at 1:28 pm }

Alicia,

I can see where it would not work out very well with students working at a first grade reading level.

Jeanne

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