My cousin used to live in Germany, home of the Autobahn. Several years ago, on a visit to see her and her husband, I got a ride back from the airport at 106 miles per hour. (Yes, I did the kilometers to miles conversion). This was on a perfectly sunny, warm day... and I had to think about something else or simply be terrified. Because I never want to drive 106 miles an hour. They might be used to those speeds, but I wasn't and didn't want to get used to it.
Fast forward to the snow and ice we had this week. Imagine going 106 mph down one of our highways in these conditions. Someone didn't have to imagine. ALEA posted a ticket given Wednesday for that insane speed. While the road might have been clear, things change -- and can change quickly. Hit a patch of black ice and you're spinning out of control.
I should know, it happened to me on a beautiful clear day several years ago. I was driving on a dry mountain highway -- four lane, divided -- at about 70 mph, when suddenly... black ice. The car felt like it spun all the way around before unceremoniously slamming me into a snowbank. I was fine, but the car had a nice big dent in the front fender. I had to pull the dented part away from the tire just to continue driving. Luckily, I was alone on the road. Luckily, there was a snowbank and not a cliff next to the highway.
Driving on ice will get you nearly every time. Respect it, and avoid it. And if you must be out in those conditions, maintain a safe speed.
Check out I-65 yesterday just south of Montgomery.
[Thumbnail Photo: ALEA Aviation via Twitter]