Driving Through the Snow of Life

I live my life like I drive through hazardous winter weather conditions, which is to say I am excellent at it.  Ok, that is not exactly true.  I think my style of existing serves me better when driving through snow than it does when living my life, but I have noticed some startling similarities in how I handle the skids of life and the road.

The first rule of winter driving is to just go with it.  This is similar to the “Turn Into the Skid” rule, but a little broader.  If your car starts to go out of control on ice or snow, you need to let the car do what your car is going to do before you can start asking it to do what you want it to.  If your car starts sliding backwards down a hill, you need to acknowledge that it is happening, realize you cannot fully prevent it, and then decide where you want to go from there.  In fact, sometimes you can use the sliding backwards to get yourself into a better position to get up that hill.  Slamming on the brakes at that point would be disastrous. 

The second rule of winter driving, is to practice, learn, and pay attention.  Or is that three rules?  Basically, the more you drive in bad conditions, the better you will be at it.  You will eventually recognize black ice, or potential black ice, you will get a feel for how fast you can go, or how fast you shouldn’t go, in certain conditions.  And the more alert you are, the better it will go for you.  But this is true about pretty much anything.

Finally, and perhaps the most important rule, don’t panic.  Though I do find much of life confusing and annoying, I am generally pretty easy-going about it all.  In life, sometimes I can be too relaxed about things, and it does me a disservice.  I know that.  But in driving, the worst thing you can do is panic.  Driving, like life, is dangerous.  There is nothing you can do about that.  I have found that the harder you fight to stay safe, the worse you generally make it for yourself.  If you know what you are doing, and don’t lose control or yourself or your vehicle, you’re probably going to be ok.  And maybe you will drive into a snowbank, but it would be a lot worse for you if you suddenly started swerving and braking, sending your car wildly flailing into a spinning dance of doom.  The last thing you want is to go over a cliff, or through a guardrail, or wind up driving into oncoming traffic.  So relax.  Bad things are going to happen to you, but you’re going to be fine.  Just keep driving.  Or else stay off the roads.  Seriously, some of us have places to be.

Posted in Driving.

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