Teen drivers and BLACK ICE: a parent's Top Ten survival guide

Winter temperatures wax and wain from year to year in the region I live in. Vivid memories of gripping a Costco cart's ice-soaked push bar while trying to keep a baby's knit hat from blowing off it's head are now replaced with shoppers in flip-flops, Capri's and sunglasses.

Also seared in my mind is this image of our FIRST grey Honda Odyssey 2002 van.
Recent winter driving video's posted after Seattle's fluke weather pattern will lead you to learn how my beloved "friend" got to this state. (I was NOT THE DEMISE of this relationship)!

       ---Top Ten Rules for Parents---

1.  Registration papers in the glove compartment not only should be replaced yearly, but explained their purpose to teen drivers.
2.  When both spouses are "prompted" to get their kid from work instead of letting him drive home in questionable weather, DO NOT ignore.
3. After a parent receives a panicked call stating an accident has occurred and a ride home will be necessary, grab some winter weather accessories and load them in the car.
4.  Expect that if you offer the teen the above accessories he will deny that he is cold even though his lips are blue, his hands are stiff, and his hair has frozen icicles in it
5.  Expect that if approaching the scene of the accident that your teen will NEVER take blame even though it is obvious who was responsible.
6.  Whomever else is involved in the collision, even a professional NFL football player, will show up to give assistance even though said person was not driving.
7. Above said person will take the heat away from an intense situation and keep your teen occupied while you grapple with the police issuing a ticket. Person will also prevent parent from "hurting" responsible party in front of law enforcement.
8.  While retrieving the vehicles remaining valuables while stored at the insurance car lot, don't forget to google "how to retrieve a new $1,000 timing belt" before the vehicle is totaled.
9.  During the next available snow storm, encourage, motivate, force, bribe, threaten, etc. your second teen driver to get out and practice driving in ice and snow.
10.  MAKE your teen pay back the money used to replace the car and ticket issued for the accident just like you MADE your teen fix the hole in the bathroom wall the exact size of his fist.

If you are a detail reader, skip to the "jump" to get more of the end of my "friend".

My oldest son drove home from work in an icy and snowy mix. As he exited the highway, he hit a patch of black ice and his brakes and steering wheel locked. As a result, he slid into an SUV and was forced off the road, as well as the SUV. Although there were large rocks on both sides of the exit, both cars steered past those.

Both drivers escaped without injury, however, our van took most of the damage. The front passenger side slid under the back of the SUV and it pushed up the engine and other parts, as well as damage the hood. Our car is a total loss--estimating repairs at $5,800.00 and the SUV did not appear to be damaged, although it was dark.

The owner of the vehicle just happened to be Brad Cottam--professional football TIGHT END! He showed up on the scene to help his brother who was driving the vehicle. We also rushed to the scene with the UPDATED vehicle insurance in hand which I FORGOT to put in the glove compartment. (Cottam) was rushing to the scene for the SAME reason. Great minds think alike!

In complete AWE of the professional football player, my genius son stood outside in his windbreaker and short-sleeved shirt for 2 hours during an icy/snow mix. The football player stood in his light jacket, t-shirt and CROCKS! My husband told us that the players were to practice the next day OUTSIDE in 3 degree weather to prepare for their remaining games. The Memphis native was not looking forward to that.

Both brothers were kind and helpful, despite the fact that our son caused the collision.

We mourned the loss of our car all week as we drove past all the Honda Grey Odyssey's driven by Moms and family's. That car has taken our family across country several times and has connected us with family and friends.

Thankfully, no one was hurt during the wintry accident.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! I never knew the details of that accident! I'm so glad he was okay!


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