Chicago mom’s plea to arrogant drivers: Please slow down in snow and ice!

Friday night I hosted a gathering at my grandmother’s house. It was 11:30 p.m. and it had been snowing a lot by the time I got ready to leave. My 80-year-old grandmother, in a very concerned voice, hugged me and said, “Be careful driving hon, I get so worried in these conditions. It is always the other driver.” I assured her I’d be fine and told my sister I would text her when I got home after driving a short 22 miles back into the city.

I realized right away the roads were not ideal. When I got on the Eisenhower, it had not been plowed at all. I drove slowly in the right lane. As I approached the split at Manheim and the Ike, I saw cars fishtailing since the drivers didn’t slow down. I slowed down even more and the person behind me flashed their lights because I was perhaps driving too slowly for him on unsafe road conditions.

When we reached a stretch of road that had been plowed, I picked up my speed to 50 mph and still drivers that were zooming past me and cutting in lanes. It made me so angry. How could they drive so carelessly? I am born and raised here, but it doesn’t give me the right to drive like an idiot. This is how accidents occur, my fellow drivers. Grandma is right; it is the other driver you need to worry about. I have some words for drivers who aren’t considerate of others.

When I was born, I became a daughter, a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter. When my sister was born, I became the big sister. When I went to school I made friends and kept some of those friends. When I got married I became a wife, a daughter-in-law and a sister-in-law. When my daughter was born I become a mother. My role as a mother continued when my son was born. And throughout my life I made more friends and built a community for my family. While I may be a nobody to you, I am a somebody to many. The three most important people in my life depend on me. My husband and my kids, they are my world.

It brings deep sadness thinking about arrogant drivers causing accidents. And while they may have been annoyed at my cautious driving, I considered those around me who are somebody to many, too.

We are about to get hit with more snow. People, drive cautiously, be an example to your kids in the car and talk about why it is important to be a careful driver when the conditions are bad. Someday our kids are going to be driving and we want them to learn from us why we drive safely all of the time.

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