If I could have, I would have passed out “good driving” certificates to every driver I encountered during about a 45-minute period Monday night on Interstate 35, southbound between the Stillwater exit and Waterloo Road. Make that Covell Road. Aw heck, let’s say Second Street in Edmond.
You all are to be commended and thanked, from the guys driving the big rigs to those in the compact cars. You made the trip much safer, simply by being smart and considerate of others who negotiated their way through a strong thunderstorm.
My wife and I were returning from a holiday visit to our families, like countless others I bet, when conditions turned treacherous. What began as an incredible electrical display off in the distance rapidly became an Oklahoma thunderboomer like we’ve all come to know and … respect.
By the time we reached the Fir Street exit at Perry, it had become very clear that we weren’t going to slip by without at least a little dance in the rain. By the State Highway 51 (Stillwater/Hennessey) exit, we were feeling the wind, hearing the thunder and starting to see some rain.
I told my wife that the long line of vehicles headed north (nearly bumper to bumper, actually), as compared to the much thinner line heading south, was an indication that there most likely was some heavy rain and more ahead. It was minutes later when we found ourselves smack down in the middle of the worst of it.
With visibility less than a hundred feet or so, slowing down to a near crawl was the only option. But everyone seemed to be of the same mind. And, they were using their flashers as they eased on down the highway, making it much easier to make out what and how far away the vehicle ahead was.
The truckers were doing the same and their huge sizes helped smaller vehicles by becoming somewhat of a windbreak. In addition, they were making a path on what was now a water-covered roadway.
We saw no instances of road rage, no indication that anyone was taking any unnecessary chances, and no attempts at what I call the “me first” mentality, where the driver pushes himself to the head of the pack. It was just plain common sense prevailing.
I’m sure there were several out-of-state drivers in that mix. I couldn’t read tags through the rain, and wouldn’t have anyway. All attention was focused on the road and those on it.
It was great to see everyone doing the right thing and keeping themselves and others safe in the process. Great job by all.
See KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA for more on last night’s storms and check out the resources on weather safety. It just might come in handy.