An open letter to fellow SFV drivers fellow valley drivers: I sensed your anxiety this morning, and I’m writing to let you know that stuff falling from the sky is just rain. It’s not a portent of the apocalypse. It’s not going to melt your car. No hurricane or tornado is forthcoming, and you are not going to be raptured up to heaven. It’s just rain. Light rain at that.

That said, there’s no reason to creep down Balboa Boulevard at 15 miles an hour or Burbank at 30. Ever. Flip on your windshield wipers, put on your headlights (which should always be on when your wipers are on by the way), and find the freaking gas pedal. It’s the skinny one on the right.

(Picture by Clinton Steeds used through Creative Commons license.)

12 thoughts on “An open letter to fellow SFV drivers”

  1. Why do Socal drivers either drive at warp 6.5 or 1/4 impulse as soon as the rain starts? Can’t we all just move along at a normal warp 2 pace?

  2. With all due respect Dr. T, I would rather people didn’t drive their regular excessive speeds, especially during the first 24 hours of rain we’ve had in some time (due to the oily roads), as well as precisely because people here don’t know how to drive in the rain.

    Don’t listen to her, SFV drivers. Drive at whatever speed will keep you and everyone around you safe. Please.

  3. See but 15 isn’t safe because you may actually provoke someone like me to ram the back of your car at some point during the commute out of pure frustration.

  4. Travis — everyone I know who’s been in a serious accident did it in the rain. Them thar streets are slippery, and they don’t drain very well, especially around Burbank. Some cars have a tendency to skid and careen when you brake suddenly. I feel like I’m risking my life every time I drive in the rain out here, a fear I don’t have when I drive in climates that are more frequently wet.

  5. There is a reason there is more than one lane. A lane for slow people, and a lane for the rest of us that know how to drive in the rain.

    If you want to drive slow, fine get in the slow ass lane.

  6. Hey you native-hating transplants, the real reason why driving in the rain is risky is not the inferior driving habits of the locals (all my transplant friends beyotch that the California driving test is more demanding than what they’re used to) that you like to smugly tout in order to maintain an air of moral superiority, but the lack of tire maintenance which results in less traction and lack of control, regardless of one’s place of origin. Get your tires checked people.

  7. My biggest beef is that SoCal drivers ALL tailgate! Eighty miles per, rain or shine, someone’s two feet off your rear bumper. Eight miles per hour, same two feet. Nobody here seems to have heard about the “four second rule”, let alone having to double that distance in the rain!

    Oh… I also don’t hog the left lane, on the freeway _or_ on the streets. (That’s why the quickest way to get over the hill to West LA on the 405 is to stay in the right lane going up, and the left lane going down.)

  8. MA hit part of it with a direct bullseye. Tire wear, specifically tread depth is down to the warning bars.

    Speed for conditions too few pay attention to. Yes, first rain is the worst as the oils that built up all summer rise to the surface.

    Too slow is Travis’ bitch and not unreasonable. A bit under the limit is fine, but you need to go at a speed similart to other traffic. Too slow you become a hazard by impeding the free movement of traffic causing people to have to go around. Too fast is worse is a lot of reasons.

    Of the thousands of accident I was involved with when I was a cube dweller rain accidents were the worst. More often than not it was the too slow person pulling out in front of the too fast one.

    On days like today I am so glad I am not in the cube waiting for the onslaught of accidents from boneheads doing dumb stuff in the rain.

  9. Yup, Militant is right about the tires. But there is no way I’m going to replace my bald $15 retreads until after they’ve popped or until the sound of the loose rubber flaps hitting the underside of the car gets too annoying. Anything before then is solely for the bourgeoisie! Don’t make me speed up.

  10. Hrm. The L.A. Time reports that there were something like 200 accidents yesterday. I rather doubt that they were caused by people going too slow. It was pretty apparent to me driving home last night during the heavier part of the rain (with fog) on the 405, 101, 134 and 210 freeways that I was somewhat of a nuisance going 65-70 in the 2nd to the fast lane as people whipped around me going 85 plus. That’s just wrong and stupid.

  11. Just for the record: This is a post about going 15 miles an hour in a light misting/drizzle. It’s not a post about going 75 mph in driving rain or speeding through flooded streets.

    I’m no hot rodder, but mass retardation makes my head explode. That’s all.

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