Watch Out!

October 13, 2010
By , Brush Prairie, WA
Black ice is probably the most dangerous thing to look for when wintertime starts. Oh wait, you can’t even look for it, it’s invisible. When the ground is incredibly cold, and it rains, the rain hits the ground and freezes instantly creating a sheet of ice. It is called this because it is clear and all you see is the black road, so it looks like black ice. This ice is very dangerous because even though you can’t see it, you can slide and slip on it. When wintertime starts, people should be extra careful with driving especially because they can’t see it. They should drive slow or not even drive at all during those cold months. It is safe to say that I have had an encounter with this deadly ice, and it was no fun at all. Therefore, people who think that it is okay to drive in the winter months without caution should drive slower and safer or perhaps not even at all, to avoid getting in a car crash or even killed.

Once, on a normal, dreary December day, the 12th of 2009 to be exact, my mom had a great idea to go babysitting in Camas. This was sort of a big deal considering we lived in Hockinson and it took about around 25 minutes to get there but we all agreed to go make a little extra money for the upcoming Christmas season. To make matters worse, we lived on Larch Mountain, in Hockinson, which is very hilly and steep. It hadn’t snowed all winter season so there was no hesitation when my mom drove 5 girls out to babysit. It might have been cold outside but no one thought much of it.

“Come on girls! Get in the car, or we are going to be late!” snapped Mom as she waited in the car for us.

“We’re coming,” I moaned in hopes that we would all be out the door in less than 2 seconds. My mom checked the windshield and there was definitely rain on it but nothing more, so all 5 of us girls hopped into the car and we were off to babysit. After my mom started the car, and drove out the driveway everything just seemed perfectly normal, it wasn’t slippery, or even raining anymore. As we were driving down our steep mountain, no one was really feeling eerie about this idea until my mom turned around one corner a little too fast. Black ice. We hit black ice! My mom didn’t expect it, no one did, but we were sliding and swerving all over the road. As I looked up from talking to my dear friend Natalie, I noticed that my mom had lost control of the wheel and we were sliding in a zig-zag motion. This was very dangerous, because not only could we go off the bank that was next to us, but also a car could come around in the other direction. After all, it was a blind corner.

“It’s going to be okay, girls!” My mom assured us as she was struggling to take control again.

We were all in panic; we didn’t know what to say. The two girls in the front seat were screaming and Natalie and I were still in shock. It seemed like we were going to die, no one knew what was going to happen. We felt as if we would be swerving for an eternity. After swerving about 5 times back and forth, instead of going off the right bank, she took one last hard left and jolted into a ditch on the left side of the road. This maneuver caused all of us to snap forward and sit there for a few moments in silence.

“Is everyone okay?” My mom turned to us and asked us. We all replied that we were fine. Amazing. No one had gotten hurt, what a miracle. On the other hand, the car wasn’t so lucky. There was an estimated 2,700 dollars to fix it from the wreck. How could one night to go babysitting turn into such a nightmare? Anyways, after she was assured that everyone was okay, the next task was to get out of the ditch. This was a very dangerous place to be, because cars could just be racing up and give no warning whatsoever. I mean, our car was sticking out across the road. So, in order to keep safe, we all got out of the car just in case another car were to be zooming up.

Natalie’s house was visible in the distance because she lives right down the hill from us, so we decided to walk over there. A nice man with a towing cable stopped for our car and helped us to get it out. Also, Natalie’s dad took us home in his hefty 4 wheel drive truck. It was so scary to go home because we were in fear that we might hit the ice again, but thankfully we didn’t. The random guy helped the car safely out of the ditch and my mom drove it home very carefully. Obviously, we didn’t go babysitting that night. We were very fortunate that we didn’t get hurt--or even worse, die--but this proves that everyone should be careful when black ice comes in the winter season.

In conclusion, anyone who thinks that hitting black ice isn’t in their future, or that will never happen to them, let me assure you, that’s what we thought too. So, instead, you should take extra precautions and drive slow in the cold wintertime, even if you have to leave a little earlier, because it will save you from hitting black ice or even from dying in a car collision. Clearly, we didn’t think much of the cold winter, and look where that got us: into a ditch on the side of a bustling road on Larch Mountain, definitely not a good place to be. In other words, the next time you decide to drive when its freezing, slow down and take extra caution in any circumstance.





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