Over the years, I’ve shared a few of my travel stories…this one is, perhaps, the scariest to date. In short, here’s a copy of the post I made to Twitter shortly after it happened: 70 mph + falling ice = shattered windshield. That was scary!
On my way back to Tulsa following a speech this morning in Van Buren, Arkansas, I was chatting with a friend (on my bluetooth headset) about a current project, when I heard a sudden POP and looked over to see the first image. After a startled shout, somehow I managed to maintain enough composure to end the call, pull over to the side of the road and figure out what had just happened.
As I looked back down the road toward where this had occurred, I noticed there was a huge power line stretched over the turnpike. The line, like the trees all around, were covered in a tremendous amount of ice left from the storm system that’s been working it’s way east over the past few days. Ice that was beginning to fall from a height of about 100′ to the ground. I never saw it coming.
When you look at the second picture, you can see the tremendous dent left in the support post on the passenger side of my SUV from the impact of the falling ice that actually hit the vehicle…Did I mention I was truly traveling at 70 mph when this occurred?
Fortunately, the impact was on the passenger side of the windshield and only blew glass into the seat NEXT to me, rather than in my face. And, despite not being able to use the wipers for fear of knocking an open hole in the glass that might rapidly cause the window to completely disintegrate, I made it back to Tulsa in about an hour.
Some things I learned today:
- Yes. Freak things CAN happen to ANYONE when driving. Stay alert, and be calm if disaster strikes.
- It is CRITICALLY important to keep your mechanic’s phone number in your cell phone. I called mine right after my insurance agent (who couldn’t help) and he referred me to a glass local, family-owned auto glass shop. I scheduled an appointment within 15 minutes after impact and about 3 hours after arriving back in town, the windshield had been replaced…at a VERY reasonable rate!
- Wiper fluid that includes Rain-X creates a helpful water shedding effect when driving on a wet highway if you are unable to use your wipers.
- Windshields are surprisingly cheap.
- Act quick when you need to get something done. By the time I arrived at the shop (about an hour after the incident) they were already pushing off work until next Monday (4 calendar days later). If I hadn’t called, I wouldn’t already have the glass replaced. [Hmmm. Anyone know a good body shop?]
God has a plan for me, and I must still have something important to do here on this great earth, so I’m going to continue making every day count! I’d encourage you to do the same.