Monday, November 10, 2008

First Time White Stuff Crazy Day

Today was the first day of the season with enough of the “white stuff” (snow) to stick to the ground. Therefore everyone crashed their cars and effectively shut down the roads of Southeastern Michigan.

I am fascinated with the field of economics, the way that they take data and use it to identify trends and draw conclusions from them. I like to participate in that except for the data part, where I substitute my own observations and then make stuff up.

I have such an observation about the first snowfall in this area each year. Everyone seems to go a little bit crazy and the amount of traffic accidents are way out of proportion to the truly hazardous conditions we will experience later in the season. It is possible that everyone forgets how to drive in snow and ice and then re-learns it throughout the season. I used to think maybe all these accident-causers were the people who were new to the area, such as having moved here from the south, and were experiencing cold weather for the first time, but that theory doesn’t hold now that nobody has actually moved into this state since about 2005.

And then there’s this:

Notable expert Mindula Oblongatta has been quoted as to the spike in traffic accidents on the first day that there is noticeable snow drifting through the air. “It is due to the phenomenon of light reflecting off the snowflakes and into the retina of the eye of the driver causing a blockage in the brain that controls proper usage of a steering wheel.”
Oblongatta goes on to state the following: “The sound of the local newscasters shrieking about the weather, when entering the ear of a driver, directly affects their ability to operate a brake pedal with their foot.” These impairments are then combined to result in general driving hysteria that correlates to both the temperature and accident count trends.

I knew it! Be careful out there.


Anonymous said...

I have lived in Michigan my Michigan all of my life, and there has always been the increased accident report for the first day of snow. And any of us could come up with a theory that is better than that so-called expert that you quoted! I think that sugarplums are dancing in a lot of heads out there....
Aunt Chris

Nancy USA said...

After 55 Michigan winters, we are enjoying San Diego now. But guess what!?? We have the same problem here when it RAINS!! (Which is a LOT less than how often you get snow, unfortunately!)

It'd be funny if it was so dangerous!

The explanation here is that the oil on the road doesn't get washed away for 8 months at a time. So when we get just a tiny, and I do mean tiny, bit of rain, it becomes slippery as ice!

The weather people here go bonkers when we get 1/100th of an inch of rain! I'm not kidding! We celebrate that small amount!

We NEED rain bad!

Anonymous said...

I think Medulla Oblongata nailed it! What a name though. Who would think of calling someone Medulla Oblongata? :-)
Mary Beth

MomForThree said...

Yeah what was up with traffic the other morning. I left home later than usual, hoping to miss the morning rush on my southbound trip and it was a total nightmare. I can also attest to the rain phenomenon being alive and well in St. Louis, MO. Every time it rain, everybody freaked out and drove no faster that 40 on the highways.

LYNN said...

Wow...did it snow...must have missed it here in Rochester. I don't recall any real traffic on the way to Lifetime at 8:30 and I must admit I was a bit sleepy from my mini-nap when I left to pick up the kids from school...but I do recall that Richard said something about the ground crusty when he took the dog out in the morning...hummm, and I was just thinking I was feeling "out of the know" this week.

Mindy said...

Lynn I can't stand to hear it about how you don't have to do the commute thing these days. I'm so jealous.

What's a nap?

Aunt Kathy said...

There's a lot to be said for warm Florida sunshine! No regrets on living down here!