A Rainy Day on the Freeway

  • Published
It was an unusually rainy day in San Diego, Calif.; it's usually sunny and warm. However, I still needed to get up, get ready, and take my husband to work. I had a lot to do during the day, including getting some hours in at work. We headed to the freeway, which is pretty much the only way to get around. 

As we slowly pulled onto the freeway, the rain began to get heavier, and cars began to slow just slightly. That's unusual, because drivers in this area don't usually slow for anything or anyone, unless it's bumper-to-bumper traffic. The traffic that morning was average, enough to pick up speed and move around a little. 

After about five minutes, the heavy rain turned into a downpour. It was as if a sheet had been pulled over my windshield, and I could hardly see five feet in front of my car. I hoped it would let up at least a little, so I wouldn't have to deal with it for the next 15 or so miles. 

All of a sudden, the car in front of me slammed on its brakes. The driver didn't let off even once. It took everything I had in my little foot, pressing on the brake pedal as hard as I could without going into a spin, trying to keep the steering wheel from going out of control. I was scared to death, because I could hardly see anyway, but now this crazy person was coming to a standstill in the middle of the freeway! I actually managed to stop without hitting the car in front of me, but just when I thought I was in the clear, the car behind me slammed into me. 

The driver who'd hit me and I got out in the pouring rain, mulled over what had happened, gave each other information, with help from police who showed up outstandingly fast, and then went on our way. I was one of the lucky ones able to leave without receiving medical treatment. Many others who were involved in what I found out later was a 40-car pileup were transported to the hospital for further assistance. 
I was closer to the tail end of the mess, so to speak, than most other unfortunate souls.
Later that day, I saw coverage of the event on the evening news. It seems that a little old lady panicked when the rain became a downpour, and decided that the best solution for her was to stop immediately where she was, on the freeway, in the fast lane. That's what caused the massive collision. 

This incident changed my driving perspective, at least in the rain, for the rest of my life. When I'm a passenger in a vehicle driving in the rain, I still find myself trying to step on brakes that aren't there. 

Unfortunately in this incident, there wasn't a whole lot a person could do to prepare for such an occurrence, but for the little old lady and anyone else who may consider her solution to be a good one, it wasn't. You may want to consider pulling over to the shoulder instead of stopping on a busy road.