Sunday, November 18, 2018

Red Flags

Been trying to figure out how to write this post today...bear with's a long one.
(Oh, and just I've been sucking down the last dregs of my Skyway Roasters beans.
- On Friday evening, November 16...I was at a birthday celebration in Midvale (Happy Birthday again, Nicki!) As most of you here in Wyoming know, that was the evening the recent snow began to fall. I think I headed out from the party back home at around 9-9:30. Had only one beer that night, over the course of about 2-2.5 hours, and lots of water, so I was good to go. Not drunk or buzzed. Just tired after a long day...)
🚩(Red Flag #1: Fatigue DOES affect your acuity.)
- So...a significant amount of snow had accumulated on my little Prius. It was dark, and for some reason, I couldn't find my scraper/brush anywhere (I do have one, it just wasn't in the car...a lot of good that did me at the time) I brushed the snow off with my bare hands and a plastic bag I found in the car.
🚩(Red flag #2. Make sure your vehicle is fully equipped for Winter weather.)
- Because it was dark (WY nights)...and snow covered the country roads...I crept out of the parking lot and temporarily put on my brights so I could adequately find the 8 Mile Rd/134 intersection. No problem for me (fully admitting that even I...born and raised in these parts...was a bit disoriented) but...I could see it could be a problem for someone who didn't know these back roads.
🚩(Red flag #3. Know exactly where you are in relation to main/cross roads...especially at night. And tell a friend or family member where you are, in case of an emergency. You might not have cell service, and if you're in an accident, emergency personnel and First Responders need pertinent info.)
- I went down 8 Mile Rd (speed limit=55) at about a 35-40 mph. Dealing with kaleidoscope vision (due to the falling snow/wind)...I kept on a steady crawl within ONE set of tire tracks made by the auto ahead of me. Yes, there were deer...fortunately, none of them pranced out in front of me, but they were on the edge of the road, totally deciding whether to...
🚩(Red flag #4: Unpredictable conditions. Do you really want to hit a deer at 55 mph on a dark, snowy, low-vis night? Um, no.)
- Once I got to the highway, I looked both ways, over and over, and didn't venture out until I saw that it was completely clear, NO headlights whatsoever, either direction. Crawled out...
🚩(Red flag #5: You think Main highways are gonna be cleared off frequently. Um...nope.)
- Was doing awesomely fine, then made it about 3 miles away from my home on the edge of town, when some !@#$% coming down the highway from the other direction...decides that they're invincible in their awesome, big ass truck...and whizzes by at high speed.
🚩(Red flag #6: There are !@#$% assholes in big trucks who don't understand the !@#$% laws of physics...much less give a flying !@#$ about other vehicles on the road, except for theirs.
- The after-effect of the truck, combined with the weather/wind...literally "whooshed" my entire little car UP OFF of the pavement, and set it completely out of control. I went zig-zagging across both lanes of the highway. Doesn't matter that I had all-season tires...I did my very best, turning into the slides. At no time did I brake, but...I could "feel" the fish-tailing from the back end. It took everything in me to not "over-correct" and stay calm. I was just lucky that there was no oncoming traffic when it happened...or ironically, the Riverton EMS crews would've had to scrape me up off the highway!
So there, yes. I said it. And I get that everyone thinks it's a !@#$% joke that I drive a Prius, and that they might feel they have to compensate for their own insecurities through their big ass vehicles, but...let me lay it out on the line for all of you:
1. Just because you have/drive a 4WD truck/vehicle, doesn't mean you're invincible. You are most likely more the problem than the solution in hazardous road conditions.
2. I've only been with the EMS crews for a shy of a year, and I know very well that any conditions on the road...dry, wet, snowy, slick, DUI, not discriminate. Whether it's drunk driving, careless driving, reckless driving...pompous ass put everyone at risk with your stupidity. And you know what? You never know. The person/people you hit and injure/kill might be someone you know, a friend or a family member(s).
3. I drive a Prius, okay? I get the jokes, and I'm good with them all. I'll laugh with the !@#$ best of y'all. But c'mon. Don't !@#$% dent my car with your door. Don't spit on my windshield/windows. I'm not going to disrespect the vehicle you drive, as long as you don't disrespect the vehicle that I drive. Isn't it ludicrous (and I realize that's a big word for some of you) that it's come to this in the world? Yet, it is what it is.
I told this story because it's something I just experienced, and thought I'd share. If you've read this far...OMG, you read!!!!
Given that, here are a few helpful web sites:

(Hey, Millennials...Google the rest, I'm not going to spoon feed you...)

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