Susieboldt's Blog

Random Comments from a Dreamer

My First Major Highway Experience

I hate driving on major highways.

There are cars and big trucks all around me, and there’s always a good chance that a trucker might not notice my little Toyota Corolla driving beside him.

The other day I was trying to switch lanes, going from the outer lane into the middle. The trucker beside me, in the opposite outside lane, was thinking the same thing. We both started manoeuvring into the middle lane at the same moment, and by the time either one of us noticed, we were both past the point of no return. It’s a good thing my car is tiny, because I just cranked the wheel to the left, and sandwiched myself between two cars beside me. The car behind me honked his horn, and I flushed in embarrassment. It seems the trucker won. Truckers always win.

The first time I drove on a major highway, it happened by accident. I was visiting a friend an hour away, and my GPS was telling me where to go. It got me there just fine, but for some reason on the way back, it decided that I should take a different and less familiar route. I had no idea where it was taking me. Until, that is, I noticed that I was on an enter ramp for the 401 HWY (a major 4 lane highway).

To make matters worse…much worse, it was dark and snowing hard. There was a thin layer of snow already on the ground and the snowploughs hadn’t distributed any salt yet. My visibility was horribly limited, and those dang mesmerizing snowflakes kept distracting me.

These conditions made me drive like an old lady. I had both hands tightly clenched on the steering wheel, my back was hunched so far over that my face was just inches from the dashboard, and my mind was racing a hundred miles per hour of all the things I had not yet done in life.

So here I was, driving on the 401, in the blinding snow, in the dark, at eleven o’ clock, with nobody but me knowing where I was. I’m surprised I didn’t pass out from mental exhaustion. The road was slippery, so I let my car slow down to sixty kilometres an hour, (on a 100 km/h highway), and this then produced a whole new round of fear in me. What if the cars behind me didn’t realize I was going as slow as a turtle? Would they hit me from behind because they wouldn’t have enough time to stop? Is it just me who finds the road slippery, or are other people driving slow too? Is it a full moon? And are werewolves real?

Okay, so I didn’t actually think that last thought, but it’s a valid thought, right?  Regardless, everyone else had been smart enough to avoid such deadly conditions. I was watching the road carefully, doing my best to stay in my lane, when I noticed headlights in my rear-view mirror. Was he driving fast? I couldn’t tell. He came up behind me and then passed me in the next lane. He was driving a vehicle equipped with 4X4. I was sure of it, considering he was going over eighty. Great. Not only was I scared beyond belief, but I was also embarrassed. Who goes sixty on the 401? Only me, in my tiny Corolla.

I kept driving and looking at the GPS for when my exit would come up. It wasn’t helping me at all, and I made a silent vow to run it over with my car when I got home. Eventually, after thirty minutes of incredibly tense, white-knuckled driving, the GPS told me my exit. I located it and drove onto the exit ramp. What a wonderful feeling that was.

At that point I only had twenty or so minutes left until I reached my house. It was still snowing, the ploughmen were still sleeping, and my car was still very bad in the snow. Miraculously, I made it home without careening into a ditch, getting eaten by werewolves, or getting hit by faster cars behind me.

It was one of the worst driving experiences I’ve ever had.

I now avoid all major highways.

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October 28, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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