Hey all! Just got back from a trip to Duluth, MN regarding graduate school. We managed to leave well before an ice storm/snow storm hit home, and get home before a second blizzard came through, so roads were pretty good. We took my dad’s massive truck up so it handled the lake effect snow in Duluth itself. Not sure how my car is going to like that if I go there, I may have to XC ski to school!
On the way home, my dad announced to me that I would be driving through the twin cities. The last time I actually remember being in Minneapolis was when I was about ten, so this is not a familiar city… and I’m a small town Iowa girl, so 8-lane freeways are completely new territory for my driving despite having ridden on them with dad driving many times.
So I got to drive through St. Paul, at night, in my dad’s huge truck that I’ve driven twice, on roads that are a little slick from previous snowfall, at 45 to 70mph.
My dad’s number one rule is apparently, don’t brake for anything. Now, yes, I have a habit of tapping the breaks whenever something happens that I was not expecting, but two times I feel the brakes were my best option:
- I was traveling at 60mph when a car cut in front of me, about 3’ max from my bumper (even dad admits it was this close, so I’m not exaggerating), while slowing down to try to take the exit that we were passing. There was no car overly close behind me, so I wasn’t going to get hit from behind, either.
- The car in front of me hit their brakes because traffic in front of them was slowing down.
Another of my favorite “shut up, dad” moments: I signalled that I would be switching lanes to the left because the sign above the lane I was in said “Exit only” and I did NOT want to exit. We were just passing a different exit, also, and dad immediately yelled “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?” uh, dad, I don’t want to exit, so I’m getting over. Somehow my signalling left meant that I was exiting right, and he was freaking out that I was going the wrong way. :gah:
Lastly, both of my parents will yell “WATCH OUT!” if there is anything happening within basically seeing distance. I have told them repeatedly that when WATCH OUT is yelled, my instinctive assumption is that there is something immediately in front of me that I am going to hit, so I am going to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting it. This never sank in, apparently:hair:. So dad yelled “WATCH OUT” and when I hit the brakes, he yelled at me for doing so. I don’t even remember what he wanted me to see, but it was something that A) I had already seen; and B) even if I hadn’t seen it there was nothing that I needed to do to react to it, because it was occuring in another lane and was not in danger of entering mine. :wall:
I did survive the experience, obviously, but I’m driving home through Wisconsin if I go live in Duluth. And I’m NEVER driving anywhere near Chicago. (Although it probably would have been less scary if I did it for the first time in the daytime in my own car).