Two totally different conditions, one general characterization.
In South Carolina, we get hit with heavy rain storms quite frequently. When I say heavy rain storms, I mean torrential downpours. When the sky opens up and the water starts to fall, locals say one thing: People forget how to drive when it rains.
In Washington and Montana, we had no shortage of snow. The white stuff came frequently. However, whether it was just an October dusting, a few inches, or a whiteout blizzard, people in the area would all say one thing: People forget how to drive when it snows.
Both conditions aren’t particularly fun to drive in. When it comes to some of the summer rain storms here in Myrtle Beach, good luck with your windshield wipers keeping up. This is no joke. The rain falls so quickly and so intensely that it is as if your windshield is obstructed by a permanent screen of giant blinding water spots. You can put your wipers on the highest setting but it won’t matter. The loss of seeing the road is made worse by the unsettling sound of violent rain pounding down on your vehicle.
I had not experienced such intense rain storms on such a frequent basis until I moved down south.
When it comes to the snow, it almost feels like Russian roulette. No matter how cautiously you drive when the roads are covered, you never know when you are going to go over an icy patch and your car is going to spin out of control. Additionally, snow presents other challenges such as your vehicle becoming stuck, visibility dramatically decreasing, and harmful objects on the road getting covered and then ran over.
So although we say “people forget to drive” when it rains or snows, it is obviously not true. People still understand that you use the steering wheel to turn, the little pedal to go, and the big pedal to stop. I think we can all admit that driving in heavy rain or a snow storm is more difficult than driving in clear conditions. The fact that some drivers might be more impacted by deteriorating driving conditions than others causes the more skillful drivers to say “people forget to drive.”
I am here to admit two things:
1. I am not a perfect driver in either of the two conditions.
2. However, I would always choose to drive in rain over snow.
Driving in a downpour is tough. No one likes driving blind. However, when it comes to the snow, there is a more terrifying condition in play. What I am talking about is the fear that you can’t stop. Many times when you are driving on a snowy and icy road, you have to keep going. Even lightly tapping the brake could result in a spin out. At least with the rain you always have the opportunity to just pull over. I would rather fight water than an unpredictable sheet of ice.
Perhaps the phrase should be changed from “people forget how to drive” to “people forget how to drive safe.” Remember to always stay alert on those roads! Don’t Blink.