Thursday, December 24, 2009
Many Madison drivers turn to faith-based driving in Wednesday's pre-Christmas snowstorm
I took this at a very slow shutter speed as I was stopped at a light near the Capitol Square Wednesday afternoon. In the photo the Capitol seems to be surrounded by a flock of flying electric birds. They reminded me of the old expression "flying on a wing and a prayer" -- probably because it described the way a lot of people were driving. They seemed to think they were flying, and some apparently turned to divine guidance as a kind of super-GPS to get them through intersections.
You could see why. They were getting off work and had a zillion things to do to get ready for Christmas. Suddenly they were confronted by snow and sleet and slippery conditions, tangled traffic, and dire threats from the weather peeps that they better get everything done now because it's only going to get worse, with snow turning to freezing rain and possible ice storms and power outages. So much to do and so little time!
Some people just cracked under the strain. Their minds just shut down and gave up on the idea of driving for the prevailing conditions. Instead, they drove fast and didn't think about stopping. A red light? Just close your eyes and cruise right through.
I saw this happen so many times that it seemed to be a pattern. Solipsistic drivers flying down the road fatalistically. The idea seemed to be what will be, will be -- but until then they would just keep on moving along. Fast. They had things to do. They seemed to be navigating by sheer faith, using prayer as a GPS substitute.
But I didn't see any accidents. Who knows? Maybe faith-based driving works, although I have my doubts.
Hope you navigated safely through our nasty weather this week and Happy Holidays!