Wordsworkinc's Weblog

Life, love and language

Black ice

Black ice, we have been told time and again, is the most treacherous surface to drive on.  Snowy, slushy roads present a challenging driving experience, especially for those of us from sunny South Africa where dodging mini taxis was the biggest concern on the roads.  But snow covered roads are clearly visible and slow, careful driving will usually get you to your destination safely, with perhaps a few minor slides along the way.

On Thursday we encountered black ice for the first time.  As we rounded a corner onto an off ramp suddenly the seemingly clear, dry black top became a skating rink.  We lost control of our vehicle completely, spun around,slamming into the snow covered concrete barrier and ending up facing back the way we had come.  From our vantage point we were able to watch a number of other cars and vans hit the same patch and slide sideways past us, at least one of them bouncing off the same barrier which caught us, before proceeding on his way.

Thankfully, after a fruitless and frightening wait for the police to arrive, a good Samaritan stopped and held up the rest of the traffic so that we could turn ourselves around and limp home. The Tracker looked as if it had been the target of a number of army tanks but managed to get us back safely.

Our previous accident – that time someone ran into us from the rear – brought police, ambulance and fire trucks to the scene within a few minutes.  I can only presume that the police had their hands full this time round.  In fact, we must have seen 4 or 5 tow trucks on the stretch of the Deerfoot Trail where we were stranded, each of which was towing a battered car.

If nothing else, we have learnt one more lesson in Canada – if the weatherman tells you it’s an ice rink out there – stay at home!

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December 12, 2009 - Posted by | Relocating | ,

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