Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Standing puddles causes spinning

You read the title and probably are trying to figure out what this is about. Well my friends, it's about a term calling hydroplaning. The definition that wikipedia gives me is this: Hydroplaning (tires), a loss of steering or braking control when a layer of water prevents direct contact between road vehicle or aircraft tires and the road or runway surface. At this point, cars can slide across the top of the water like a skier until their momentum decreases enough where they sink or they reach the other side of the road.

Here is my version of the term:

Driving down I-75 in Georgia. Me and my sister, and my sister's friend (who ended up being my roommate and now best friend), are heading to our house in South Georgia, from Athens for the weekend. Please note that this is Daniela's (our friend) first trip down to the country. About two hours into the drive and about one hour left in the trip, it starts raining so hard, and next thing you know, my car turns towards the inside wall of the interstate. I thought we were going to hit head on, then something happens and then we head back across over three lanes of traffic towards the trees along side the interstate. We managed to slide across the interstate without hitting anything. All I could see was rows of pine trees ahead of us....I had a brief flash that this was it, I was about to meet my maker. The mud kind of turns my car to the side and then we smack the tree then bounce back and kind of sink in the mud. After a few seconds of catching our breath again, and actually being able to get words out, we get out of the car. I immediately go to look at the damage....

I keep looking, and keep looking....there isn't a damn scratch....what just happened...I am scratching my head at this point. I trek through the mud to look at the tree. I can't see any marks, but I do see a stumpy knob growing off some of the root of the tree...holy crap....my tire hit that and bounced of the tree....
It was a miracle....I can't remember who, but someone in the car saw a flash of a semi heading straight at us, but we managed to miss it, we missed all the traffic....we hit NOTHING! How did that happen?!?

As we sit there going, what the heck do we do now. I call my dad, because what else do I do when something car related happened. We call 911, and they sent out a cop. My car is stuck in the mud, there is no driving out. While we wait for help, I see a car pulled over on the road not very far away. I run down there and I am like "OH MY GOSH! Did I hit you?" The lady looked at me dumbfounded and replies "What, I am having car trouble?" She didn't even see us stuck in the mud and thought I was crazy. Well I will settle with crazy if I didn't get slapped with fixing someones car.

So we called a wrecker prior to the cops getting there. The cops told us to get out of the rain and sit in the back of the car. While we waiting one cop decides he thinks he can drive my car out. He said I know it's illegal to call a wrecker then leave, but he said I don't want you to have to pay for a good tug, because that's all that it needed. The cop tried and tried, but to no avail.

Guess what...here is where it get funnier...between three college students, how much cash do you think is in the car?!?! A full total of less than $20. So the wrecker pulled me out then told me it would be $4o. I asked if he took checks, he said cash only....ummmm...dude it's either you take less than $20 cash or you take a check...he took the check. We all got lectured from out parents about carrying emergency cash for such a thing. Oooops....we spent it on beer the week before :)haha

It was all a miracle, that much I know...but we have all had laughs that day and any time this memory comes up!!

PS. It was brought to my attention by one of the participants that I forgot to mention the little fact that before the hydroplaning, all three of us had to use the ladies room, and after the spin we were shocked that no one pissed their pants. Needless to say, after the whole debacle and about an hour later and were able to get back on the road and legs tightly crossed, we stopped at the first exit and used the most god awful bathroom EVER!! (If you know me, you know it's a miracle in itself that I DIDN'T pee in my pants...I tend to do that...especially if I laugh really really hard)