Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Re: would you give your daughter a jeep?
LEVE, your column pretty much hit my points.
heres my story:
Background: Raleigh got an inch or so of snow and ice yesterday. City was unprepared, gridlock and over 300 collisions ensued.
I crested a hill going for a freeway entrance ramp in my little civic. 50 yards ahead I see a tj fishtail, brake lights come on, it keeps spinning, and comes to a halt against the curb. I hit the brakes, realize I am on ice, ABS comes on, my brakes go away. Try to steer, nothing. Im headed straight for her. I cross my fingers and hope for the best. My left front bumper hits the tj’s right rear tire, and I slide in next to it resting on the curb.
A girl gets out, I ask if she is ok, dazedly she says yes.
I ask her to exchange info so we can get out of the way of traffic. She starts crying about daddy or something. Fine, I expected her to be shook up, I try to be understanding and explain we need to get out of traffic before more people slide into us. She refuses and demands that we wait for an officer to arrive. 911 says they have a 3-4 HOUR backlog, and it is about 20 degrees out. She goes from bad to worse, hysterically crying and screaming that she will not move her vehicle, while at least 4 vehicles narrowly avoid hitting us.
Finally an officer arrives and does the report as fast as possible to move us out of the way. He asks her if the vehicle is 4wd, and she says “im not sure” finally they get it moving and on her way. At which point he turns to me (off the record) and says “that’s the problem, she doesn’t know how to drive”
According to her info, she is 20, so a relatively new driver. Most vehicles are fwd these days, few still know how to properly drive a rwd, or drive out of loss of traction. And it appears no one told her to use 4wd in inclement weather. Thoughts just kept racing through my head, “who gave this little unprepared girl this vehicle, and will they realize what they’ve done and what could have happened.”
Jeeps come with plenty of warnings these days, I hate to say it, but should some sort of driving school be mandatory? In drivers ed they go over fishtailing and snow/ice driving, but unless you use it it goes in one ear and out the other.
This whole incident makes me afraid for all the teenagers and their families who buy wranglers because they are “cute” or “convertible”