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Story ID:10324
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Anywhere All cold weather states USA
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By Fred Wickert

I live in the North East. We are accustomed to all sorts of driving hazards. In the summer months it is farm machinery in the road, cows in the road and even tourists in the road.

In the winter months as it is now there are different hazards. Two days ago I encountered some of them. We have the expected hazards such as slippery conditions from snow and ice, from blowing snow eliminating visibility and snow drifts or black ice which take one by surprise on an otherwise bare and dry pavement.

The ones I encountered two days ago can also be anticipated. For one, I encountered the first pot holes of the season. These are caused by the heaving of the ground from freezing. Then they thaw a little but it has cracked the pavement. Moisture gets in the cracks, it freezes hard again and a big chunk of pavement breaks right out of the surface, leaving a large hole.

The other that can be anticipated happens at any time of year. Deer dash across the road in front of you. Sometimes they run in to the side of your car and others, they actually leap right into your car. That happened to me less than a quarter of a mile from my driveway as I was returning home from Oneonta.

In today’s news I heard of still another hazard to watch out for. We all know, those of us who live in the North East, to be on the lookout for skiers and ATV’s and snow mobiles. We know to watch out for children with sleds. We also watch out for dogs that follow the children they love. We don’t know to watch out for animals frozen to the pavement.

In today’s news was a report of a long haired cat that was actually frozen to the pavement and could not get loose. Kind hearted folks came along and saw the cat there in obvious distress, so they stopped. They worked to get the cat unstuck from the road. The long hair around the feet had actually frozen to the pavement and the cat was unable to free itself. The cat was taken to a vet who pronounced it to be okay.

I suppose if it can happen to a cat, it can happen to a dog or even to a child. If a child gets the clothes wet and the wet portion touches the pavement, on a day like today when the high temperature of the day was nine degrees, it could freeze those wet clothes to the pavement instantly. So, in addition to all the other things to watch out for, drivers beware from now on of live animals or children that might be frozen to the pavement. One hopes adults could avoid getting themselves in that condition, but I suppose after a few drinks…. Well, who knows? Just be very careful and alert. Texting while driving is not advised.

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