advice / scary / weather

Defensive driving

Um, so judging by the clouds, I was surprised by the incidence of rain? *face palm*

Um, so judging by the clouds, I was surprised by the incidence of rain? *face palm*

Driving through a thunderstorm – you’re doing it wrong

So, a lot of things freak me out. Planes, bugs, elbow skin, Lee Kernaghan, people that turn up in my stairwell. And driving in the rain.

I spent a lovely Easter at the coast with some friends, only to insist on going for an hour-long walk (also known as overstaying your welcome) and missing the window of opportunity to drive home without being caught in a massive thunderstorm (also known as a standard Brisbane sunday afternoon thanks to the effects of global warming.  See also my non-existent blog post called “Global Warming: Is it Real? If you’ve ever lived in Brisbane, then um, yeah, you know it bloody is”).

So the usual 50 minute coast run turned into a 1 hour 45 minute white knuckle drive from hell.

Here is my interior monologue* from that drive. I’m still putting together the pieces of my damaged psyche.

*By inner monologue I mean actual conversation between myself, my car and… myself.

  • (singing) I bless the rains down in Afffffffricaaaaa. Hear that Brisbane weather? Keep the rain in Africa, thanks.
  • Gatsby (pats dashboard), you’re doing just great.
  • Hmmmm, raindrops. That’s ok. They’re just raindrops.
  • Hmmmm, clouds. And more rain. It’s ok. They’re just big, fast moving raindrops.
  • Hmmmm, thunder. And pitch black clouds. And lightening. It’s ok. It’s just torrential downpour. As long as it doesn’t get worse than this.
  • Ok, it just go worse. Now, just don’t get worse.
  • Ok, it just got worse.
  • Why can’t I fucking see?
  • Why is every fucking car still driving at 110?
  • Why are Gatsby’s tyres sounding weird? Dammit, Gatsby!
  • Why are there so many goddamn trucks? Jerk-trucks!
  • WHY DO I LIVE IN QUEENSLAND?!!! Ok, Jessica, don’t pull at that thread…
  • Oh, it seems to be improving. Now, as long as it doesn’t get worse.

So if I can offer you any advice on staying calm and carrying on, it’s the following:

  1. Don’t slow down to 40 km/hour. Even if you literally can’t see and you’ve entered a grey-out worthy of a blizzard. Apparently, according to the number of aggressive honks I received, it’s poor road etiquette.
  2. Don’t change lanes submissively.
  3. When you do change lanes submissively, try not to immediately swerve back because you thought you saw a puddle. (I feel puddle doesn’t accurately sum up the hallucination of a fast moving body of water across the lane that I thought I saw, but then I guess that’s a matter of perspective)
  4. Don’t exit at Yatala south. You’ll just get to a massive roundabout with less visibility and more… um, puddles. Big puddles.
  5. Don’t drive a silver car. You’re just asking for trouble. And yes, my car is silver.
  6. Don’t feel smug that the car that swerved around you at such a breakneck speed that you feared for your life, later rear-ended another car. I mean, you can, but that seems to invite karmic retribution. (Note: all parties were safe. I don’t find car accidents hilarious.)
  7. Slowing your windscreen wipers will not magically slow the rain down, however misguidedly optimistic you might be feeling.
  8. Don’t visit your friends at the coast. Frankly, they had this nightmare planned for you all along.

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