Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A message from TXDOT

My dad, a recovering technophobe who is finally joining the rest of us in the AGE OF COMPUTERS, sent me this forward today. It's a safety warning. Rather than forward it, I thought I'd post it here. That way, ONLY MY READERS WILL BE SAFE. I think that logic went into writing the Bible. But anyway, feel free to pass around a link to the Robo-Pirate or just tell your friends why you shouldn’t use cruise control on wet roads yourself. If they are skeptical, make sure to tell them you read it on the internet.

A 36 year old Kilgore, TX resident had an accident several weeks ago and totaled
her car. She was traveling between Gladewater and Kilgore. It was raining,
though not excessively, when her car suddenly began to hydro-plane and literally
flew through the air. She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the
sudden occurrence!

When she explained to the highway patrolman what had happened he told her something that every driver should know - NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON.

She thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe, consistent speed in the rain, but the highway patrolman told her that if the cruise control is on and your car begins to hydro-plane (what happens when your tires lose contact with the pavement), it will accelerate to a higher rate of speed and you will take off like an airplane. She told the patrolman that was exactly what had occurred.

The patrolman said this warning should be listed, on the driver's seat

A couple of comments:

1. Where the hell is Gladewater? I know where Kilgore is, but I thought Gladewater was
that place in Florida where magazine subscriptions and vacation scams came from.
2. State cops who travel Texas freeways pulling people over and blocking off traffic are not
called Highway Patrolmen. They are called State Troopers, or, in East Texas, REDNECK
3. I don’t want to tempt fate, but I suspect this is a hoax. In order for something to take flight,
it must have some physical structure that creates lift. Unless her car had wings, I doubt she
went aloft.
4. Flying car = totally awesome.

Now, I acknowledge that unlike DFW and West Texas, East Texas does have some topographic features other than general flatness. So it's possible that she hydroplaned across the top of a hill, which I suppose is technically flying (in a Dukes of Hazzard sort of way). Disregarding this possibility, I think a car taking flight from level ground is impossible.*

--The Robo-Pirate

*Or is it?


Jeremy said...

+5 points for the M.A.S.K. reference.

I always wanted that damn green motorcycle as a kid. You know, the one that turned into a helicopter. Never got it.

Robo-Pirate said...

Me too! I had the purple motorcycle and the red one. But that green one was the best.

ANDREW M. said...

one xmas of my youth - the one where 'ole st. nick gifted upon my older bro and i the M.A.S.K. "boulder hill" gas station playset - was just about the happiest time of my life up to that point. the toys of today are lame in comparison to the ones of yore...

Robo-Pirate said...


Liz said...

I was in a really bad accident once where the car hydroplaned. They told us we were lucky to be alive. Across 3 lanes of traffic on Loop 12 and hit by 4 different cars and both cement walls on opposite sides of the road. Learned another lesson, don't over fill your tires with air, it can cause you to hydroplane.

Andrea said...

that's kinda good to know. i'm a cruise-control slut.