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View Diary: Huge Wreck in Texas Involves 100 Vehicles (105 comments)

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  •  I used to drive that stretch daily (24+ / 0-)

    almost fifty years ago now.  The minute I saw the headline that said only "in southeast Texas" I knew it had to be between Beaumont and Port Arthur. From pictures, doesn't look like much change in the highway in the last 50 years!


    •  Yep, I know that stretch too. (17+ / 0-)

      Fog, or even a very thin cover of ice, leads to really bad accidents there.

      •  I remember one time (15+ / 0-)

        aroundtime around Christmas, driving the short stretch between Beaumont and Houston. I-10 was a tiny bit icy, and I counted at least 15 cars that had slid off into the ditch. At the time, I was living in Canada, and knew to take it easy and slow. But apparently a lot of other drivers did not. I think there's is also a false sense of security that comes with driving a large vehicle like many Texans do. And these fog events are uncommon, but they can come out of nowhere. I have a friend whose father pulled off the road near Beaumont years ago during this kind of weather, with blinkers on etc. trying to be safe, but another vehicle plowed into him from behind at high speed - luckily he was OK, but it took many years of physical therapy for him to fully recover.

        •  Texas drivers (7+ / 0-)

          Texans are total idiots when driving in slippery conditions. People; Do Not Use your brakes to stop!!!Use them to slow your wheels, but expect to skate, drive slow and use yer LOW GEARS!  I used to drive reefer truck in Vermont and have driven in all sorts of insane weather. Use yer low gears, never  stop yer wheels, just slow them and think about how centrifical force and momentum will affect you.

          •  Wrong (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            snazzzybird, Ahianne
            Do Not Use your brakes to stop!!!Use them to slow your wheels, but expect to skate, drive slow and use yer LOW GEARS!
            Your experience in a semi or box truck has very little relationship to a modern car with front wheel drive and antilock brakes.  Drop this car into low gear suddenly, the front wheels slow way down, and the car may pinwheel...the rear breaks loose and spins around the front of the car.  And, neglecting to use the brakes does not illuminate the brake lights to signal the vehicle behind that you're slowing--or trying to do so.
            think about how centrifical force and momentum will affect you.
            Huh?  Think WHAT about centrifugal force and momentum?  

            People do need to practice braking and driving on slippery surfaces, and that practice can be done on a muddy surface, heavy frost, wet leaves, etc.  Do push hard on your antilock brakes while moving on a safe section of road and hold the pedal down.  Feel the pedal pulsate while you hold it down.  Do not take your foot off the pedal in surprise when it pulses back at you.  I remember a few winters ago when the local TV crew interviewed a driver who crashed on snow, she said, because, "my brakes didn't work."  Fool, your brakes worked find.  They stopped the wheels from rotating.  Your tires didn't grip the snowy surface and you slid into your wreck.

            NO ABRUPT ACTIONS.  Brake smoothly and gradually.  Accelerate smoothly and gradually.  A front wheel drive car will likely understeer--keep going straight when you turn the wheels if you're going too fast for the front tires to grip the slippery road.  All you can do is to slow gradually, straighten the wheels until they regain traction, try turning again, and hope you have enough room on the road.  A rear wheel drive car will likely have the rear wheels slide out.  Take your feet off all the pedals and steer in the direction you wish your were going until traction is regained.  (You know the old instruction, "steer into the skid?"  50-50 chance people think that means to turn the steering wheel the wrong way.)

            Back to fog...good advice above.  Slow down, put on your warning lights and headlights, and get off the road.

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