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Winter Driving

I will admit, I consider myself to be a fairly competent driver when it comes to driving a vehicle.

I do have to admit, though that I got into a bit of a situation on Saturday night/Sunday morning when driving from Sioux City, IA to Iowa City, IA.  Just south of Cedar Rapids, I started to lose control of steering on my car and started to slide off to the right side of the road, first going into the shoulder area, and then later off the road surface itself.  When faced with a 1/20th of a mile marker (the posts they have alongside the road where the mile markers end up being) intersecting with the front of my car, I swerved to the right into a shallow ditch to avoid a collision.  I was then stuck on the side of the road in the grass.  As soon as I got in the ditch, I called roadside assistance, and got a tow truck lined up.  Had 3 cops stop by to check and see if I was okay, since there wasn't a tow ban, I was in the clear to wait for the tow truck.  I was fortunate to not have been only stuck in a ditch rather than having damage to my car AND being stuck in a ditch.

The tow truck driver was very knowledgeable on the situation and was able to bring me to safety.  While I sat in the ditch, 3 snow plows drove by, and between the time the last plow drove by and the time when I was freed from the ditch, nearly 2 inches of snow was then on the road.  Winter weather is not something to take lightly, and keeping your priority on the road rather than on some electronic or phone call is important.  Also, assessing the situations that you are about to encounter are very important.  Know how to deal with the situation and how to stay calm and relaxed in the heat of the moment.  I'm ever grateful for the people who drove by and stopped to make sure I was okay, and for those first-responders who were braving the conditions themselves to make sure that everyone who is in trouble is safe and still alive.  Additionally for the tow truck drivers who have gone through the proper training and deal with some of the situations year after year.  I finally made it to my destination at 2:30 AM after leaving Sioux City at 5:30 PM, a drive that normally takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes.  I ended up spending 90 minutes in a ditch.  I'm happy to be safe, and don't plan on driving until I head home.


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