Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Oops I Did It Again

It's been a harsh winter this year, and I've been waging war against the snow and ice as best as I can. Unfortunately, last Wednesday my new Jeep was wounded in action. Yes, that marks two winters in a row now, and the only two accidents in my driving history.

Luckily, there were no death defying auto-batics involved this time. This accident was a Pee Wee football collision to my last winter's NFL collision of the year. I was driving so slowly this time, I made Sunday drivers look like they were trying to qualify for the Grand Prix. You would think that might stave off any accidents possible in such icy conditions, but no such luck. The highway was fully enveloped within winter's icy embrace and no amount of rubber treads and glorious American tonnage can grip it's way to safety in that situation. It could have been an episode of Ice Road Truckers, without the truck or Canadian accents, and with guard rails.

I hit upon a sheet of ice that ran across the road at an angle, straight towards the guard rail. There was no changing direction once upon this tiny glacier. It was destiny, as if preordained by some ancient prophesy, that my Jeep would follow this icy path into that metal bar erected to keep a body from plunging over the side. And dutifully my Jeep did so, while slowly spinning so gracefully I could have sworn I heard the Blue Danube Waltz playing softly in the background.

Had it not been for the shortness of my trek to the side and had I a bit more space to work with, in following with Newton's laws of motion, I am sure I could have completed a triple lutz and followed with a Sopwith camel. Or a Hamil camel. One is an ice skating thing, the other is an airplane and I get the two confused. Either way, it would have won gold at Sochi, what with the technical bonus of having actual winter conditions and all, but I digress.

As it was, the aforementioned guard rail provided a rather rude barrier to my continued motion and as the unknown prophesy I had mentioned before dictated, my front bumper had the destiny of hitting first, and then my rear bumper as well shortly thereafter. Had these bumpers been of the variety popular in America some decades past, where they could have been substituted as an I-beam in a pinch (in case one needed to build a bomb shelter or a factory...whatever it was that people did back then), I doubt there would have been more than a few small scratches, easily removed with some application of an As Seen on TV product.

But alas, modern bumpers are constructed from plastic and fiberglass, and as wonderfully as they function to absorb the energy of impact and prevent damage to the actual structure of the vehicle, they crack. Always. I'd had hopes that maybe I escaped that damage, as slow as my collision was, but upon inspection I knew the score: the total of my insurance deductible for some new bumpers. I'd also mention that the closest I came to actually being injured was when I left the Jeep to take a look and stood not so firmly upon the ice that I had just moments before been gliding upon.

Since the vehicle was still in fine working condition, I drove it home and we got it to the dealership pronto. A good thing too, since as of this writing their car lot is more full of wounded automobiles than new ones, awaiting similar and worse repairs. But winter has not let up, and I must still battle it. In war, it is good to have the best equipment possible to win the day. A battle tank is good for this in a real war, but in a war against the elements, not so much. My rental vehicle is basically a two wheel drive battle tank with a half cylinder, 500 milliliter engine. I am still trying to figure out what exactly the designed purpose of this Chevy Suburban is. It must weigh a hundred tons, but hasn't the power or traction to get over this little ridge of ice at the tail end of my parking space, without "gunning it" in reverse.

So much power is diverted to, I guess, keeping the headlights on that there is little left to run the heater adequately. It does have a backing camera though, which isn't immune to fogging over it appears. And the screen for it is built into the rear view mirror, and is so small and blurry that I now know what it is like to be legally blind. And there has to be a fuel leak somewhere. Surely the thing isn't using that much gasoline for it's purpose.

Oh well, Friday I get my Jeep back, and just in time for the next winter campaign. When will this war be over?


  1. Surrender to Global Warming, Keln, and the war will be over for you!

  2. Try using these:

    If not these, make sure you have modern snow tires with the snow flake in a mountain top symbol on them. I used to drive a 4WD Blazer with M+S rated tires on it. It couldn't climb 8 inches in 4 feet to get up the part of my driveway between the curb and the sidewalk without being put into 4 wheel drive low if there was any snow present. My current 2WD car with modern snow tires on it has no problem at all. Blizzaks were not available in my car's tire size when I bought my snow tires; I wish they were as they are supposed to be the best snow/ice tires by far. Car and Driver entered a car in a timed race on a frozen lake in MI a few years ago, their entry was the only car with Blizzaks on it. Their lap time was over 15 seconds faster than anyone else's.

  3. Did you get your Jeep back ok? Wow. You worry me. :P

    Another episode like this and Unny is going to insist they impose a government program requiring all Jeeps be garaged during winter storms.

    Just hoof it.

    How are you, by the way? (Besides irritated, of course. That's a given. :)