What Are The Worst Driving Conditions?

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Snow. Ice. Sand. Rain. Gravel. Tiny mountain passes. Clogged, multi-lane highways. The roads of the world are lined with precarious driving conditions that can make life hell for anyone on four (or two) wheels, and I want to know: what are the absolute worst?

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Now, the things that I consider the ‘worst’ driving conditions might seem a little strange. I’ve driven across the country multiple times in all sorts of weather and on all kinds of terrain, and there is one thing that I absolutely despise more than anything: Texas highways in the rain.

When I’m in Canada and my husband is driving on an icy road, I get it. I understand why people are having a bad time of it. It’s cold. It’s gross. Their cars are cold. The drivers are cold. It’s windy. Maybe it’s snowing and visibility is crap. Whatever. I fully comprehend why someone’s driving skills might be compromised in that situation.

But you throw a five-minute drizzle at Texas drivers, and all hell breaks loose.

Yes, I understand that the water makes for a greasier road which, in turn, makes for nastier driving conditions. What I do not understand is how many people use this as an opportunity to speed up for some reason. It’s like 60 percent of drivers on the road collectively panic and forget how to maintain a reasonable speed, so they smash that accelerator to the floor and then realize, oh shit, I need to slow down before promptly smashing the brakes. I think it’s the sheer, collective stupidity more than anything else that enrages me.

This, my friends, is not how to approach a greasy, wet road. But it does not appear to be a thing that many Texas drivers understand. It is, by far, some of the worst driving conditions I’ve ever been in—and one time I followed a blinding storm system through the Appalachian mountains for 12 hours.

A special shoutout goes to the suburban roads outside of Philadelphia. Rarely do I feel the kind of fear-rage combo that I do trying to drive the six miles from my apartment into downtown, avoiding potholes that lead straight to hell, narrow roads, drivers who don’t understand stop signs, and wandering pedestrians along the way.

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Now’s your time. Get it off your chest: what are the worst conditions you’ve driven on? 

DISCUSSION

By
factoryhack

I would nominate a week long trip around Iceland’s ring road. So, it’s not like the surface is particularly bad, just narrow with no shoulder for many long stretches. I’ve driven on lots of highways like this and it’s no big deal in a car.

The problem is areas with a steep rocky slope on either side that will put your vehicle wheels up if you make even a minor miscalculation in the middle of nowhere.

Add in a gusty 50+ MPH cross wind and a top heavy Ram 1500 4X4 with a camper shell and your fun is multiplied infinitely. We got through just fine, but, I’ve never white knuckled it more than on any other trip.

It was absolutely gorgeous, though. Just don’t be a dumb American and pick a full size 4X4 truck with a camper shell. Rent the Renault or VW California van instead and you'll also save a bazillion dollars in gas money too.