What Is the Worst Type of Driving Condition?

Apparently some smart dudes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have invented a camera which can accurately measure distances when looking through translucent materials.

Big deal, huh? That’s what I thought at first but then I read on and discovered that this meant that it could be used to help drive in foggy conditions. Since fog is now one of my least favourite driving conditions I decided that it might be a good thing after all. It also got me wondering what the absolute worst driving condition is.

Fog

Photo credit: Tony Alter

I’ve only really been caught out driving in really heavy fog once, and it was my own stupid fault. I moved to live in Edinburgh and everyone warned me about the incredibly dense sea fog called Haar which sometimes comes rolling in over the city. Yeah, yeah. As if a bit of fog was going to scare me. Anyway, one night when some fog was forecast I went out for a drive and suddenly found myself in the middle of a giant ball of cotton candy or trapped in the middle of an enormous duvet or something. It is the only time in my life that I couldn’t see the front of my own car. Fortunately every other driver in the city was smarter than me and stayed at home that night, so I could inch my way home on empty roads with my heart racing and my legs trembling like jelly. The lesson learned? Respect the haar, man.

Heavy Rain

I grew up in the West of Scotland, where rain is more of a driving hazard than fog. Not long after passing my driving test I drove a friend home after yet another disappointing game of football. While I was driving God decided to turn on his new power shower. That was the night I became familiar with the term aquaplaning. It was a horrible feeling to sense that the tyres were no longer touching the road. Thankfully it only lasted for a second or so but feeling powerless to control your car is possibly even worse than not being able to see anything at all. It’s a tough choice, though.

Snow

I have to confess that I have never had problems driving in the snow. My parents live on a really steep street and when growing up I used to laugh heartlessly as drivers struggled to go up it in the snow or careered down it recklessly. This meant that I have always had a healthy respect for the white stuff and always drive slowly while trying not to press the brake. It has worked for me so far.

I think I will plump for the pea souper as my least favourite out of those. What is your least favourite driving condition?

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