Just got back from dropping son#2 off at work. It’s Saturday morning. We had 15 cm of light snow yesterday.
The temperature is -12. It’s actually a beautiful morning except for the snow that is still clinging stubbornly to the road.
At this temperature salt is useless to we just have to wait until the winter sun does its thing. In the meantime we just drive defensively: slow down, keep a decent distance from the next vehicle and, most of all, keep an ‘extra eye out.’
The snow had to be brushed off the van and the windshield was particularly difficult to clear off. The half-melted snow from the night before had frozen on and the resultant ice-layer on the windshield was almost a part of the glass. It took a vigorous scrape to get it off! The snow was light, though and easy to shovel. We got underway–a short pleasant drive ahead.
Then along came ‘buddy.’
It was no trouble to see him approach in the rear view. The speed limit along that stretch of road is 50 and, given the conditions, the van was doing slightly less—around 45 or so. He was doing a fair bit more—around 70-80 would be a fair estimate. He was a porthole driver. You know the kind–too lazy to properly clear the windows–just cleared enough to see out of on the front, and left the rear defrost to do the back. I was in the inside lane and he was in the curb lane. When he drew abreast of me he had to slow down because of the traffic ahead.
He nailed the brakes and his vehicle fishtailed a bit. Luckily I was able to move to the centre (turning) lane as there was no oncoming traffic. He eventually got the thing back under control and I was able to get back in my lane, now driving side by side with him.
I looked over. Maybe to see if he was alright, but mostly to get a look at the dumb-ass who almost sideswiped me/rear ended the car in front of him.
He was looking down at the steering wheel; not at the road. And what was so interesting about that steering wheel that diverted his eyes away from the snow covered road and the traffic? A stupid mobile ‘phone, that’s what! Texting away. No situational awareness whatsoever. For all he knew he was at home on the couch. Too bad he wasn’t.
We came to a traffic light and stopped. The texting became more intense. Of course there was the odd furtive look up. You know how those idiots do it. 5-6 seconds looking at the phone and about .5 seconds (not an exaggeration) looking up, not around, just up. Just seeing if the thing is still more-or-less on the road and not much of a care of where the vehicle is in relation to everyone else.
The light turned green we all moved away. Except him, of course. He had no idea until his 5-6 seconds were up. Eventually he did too and soon caught up with me again. Great—boxed in by the ‘situationally unaware’ king of texting driving a 3 tonne SUV.
He started drifting toward me. I sounded the horn. No effect. I moved back to the centre lane—luckily at 9 AM on Saturday there is very little westbound traffic on Kenmount Road. Eventually he drifted back in.
I’d had enough. I looked for an opening and got myself away from him. Son #2 looked back and said, “He’s still texting.”