Monday, January 24, 2005

Analogy between skiing and driving

I think you can tell a lot about a person’s driving style from a person’s skiing style. Take Jason and I for an example. He’s a cautious skier. When we go to a new resort and try the slopes for the first time, he always goes very slowly because he doesn’t know the topography of the slopes yet. I, on the other hand, race down with blind faith and deal with whatever comes my way when it comes, ice patches, moguls, and whatnot. Sometimes I wipe out because I skid on ice, or my skis are caught unexpectedly in some extra powdery snow, but falling face first into a pile of snow is part of the fun too, in my opinion.

Now, let’s look at driving. I don’t like to keep below speed limits, even on winding mountain roads. Sometimes I don’t brake until I’m half way into a curve causing Jason to complain that he feels like he’s being thrown out of the car. He always says that I drive too fast, and I always say he drives too slow. Like skiing, he’s the cautious one and I’m the reckless one. Unlike skiing however, it’s not fun when your car hits something due to your carelessness, as it happened on our ski trip to Tsumagoi.

Coming down the mountain, the roads were covered in a sheath of ice/snow. I was for once obeying speed limit (40km). I thought it was plenty slow already while Jason constantly urged me to slow down. Next thing I knew, I was getting closer and closer to the car in front of me. Then I saw his right blinker come on. Oh shit, he’s stopped without using his brakes! (How the hell did he do that?! Do manual cars allow you to do this? By shifting down the gears?) I stepped on the brakes with all the strength I could summon in my right foot (caution of skidding went out the window). It all seemed to have happened in slow motion: I hear the grinding sound of the anti-lock brake engage; I feel my car slowing down but not nearly enough; I see the license plate of the car in front getting bigger and bigger; for a split second, I thought my car just might stop in time and I willed it to with all my might; then I hear the ill-fated bang.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt (including Libby), and both cars suffered only minor damage (by my estimate). Needless to say, I wish I listened to Jason’s nagging and slowed down, but all is too late.

After this incident, we decided that Jason should be the one driving on icy road surfaces from now on. Just like I neither see the reason nor want to slow down on ski slopes, I don’t have it in me to slow down on roads. I guess I could force myself to, but since it’s an unnatural thing for me, Jason would have to nag constantly for me to keep it slow. So, to save us both the trouble, we decided to delegate cautious driving to the cautious skier.


Hsin said...

Oh dear, hope no serious damage done. Was the other driver pissed? Sheesh, if I ever did this, Danny would be really pissed. Which is why I always suggest he drives anyway - I hate having him looking over my shoulder all the time. That said, he's probably more reckless than I am. It's just that I hate being nagged and he really does nag when it comes to driving.

Lynn said...

I have to say, all parties involved were very calm and civil about this. Jason was actually very good and didn't even blame me (but it doesn't mean he is not going to bring this up over and over for the rest of our lives).

Our six-month old car now has a dent on the nose and the bumper is slightly cracked. I do feel bad about it, not only for the $1000 deductible we have to shell out, but also for doing this to our beautiful Harrier.

Am sending it to the dealer for an estimate this weekend. I am sure the dealer just loves us, we just keep on giving them more business even after we bought the car.