The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Immoblized by showers

As I sat in traffic during a storm the other day, a Creedence Clearwater Revival lyric kept repeating in my head.

“I wanna know have you ever seen the rain?”

The way people drive around here, I doubt that Santa Barbara citizens have.

I was driving from City College to the Natural History museum, a drive that usually takes 10 minutes took nearly 40 that day. The freeway was dead stopped.

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It seemed as though everyone thought that if you drove faster than 5 mph, your car would spinout, you would lose control and cause a major accident.

After moving at a snail’s pace for the length of one exit, I was off the freeway and onto the side streets thinking I had made my escape.

At first it was a safe haven. It felt like the people above gave me my own little private street just so I could get to class on time.

Inevitably, the once clear path I saw ahead of me soon oozed traffic in from all angles.

Trying to get down a street filled with stop signs when you’re behind a line of cars and late for class is no situation for the ill-tempered.

Soon I was cursing the sky and ruing the day I ever set foot in a place where the common motorist faces such an ordeal when trying to drive during rain showers.

I zigzagged my way up to the museum, constantly getting behind some over-cautious slowpoke doing 1 mph because they’re afraid of hydroplaning their vehicle in a puddle that couldn’t drown a worm.

This situation is beyond my comprehension. Growing up in places like San Francisco and Juneau, Alaska, I know that people can handle driving in the rain.

The Southern California myth of people actually driving the speed limit while water falls from the sky can come true, I’ve seen it happen.

Unfortunately, the citizens of our great county just can’t seem to figure it out. Maybe it’s because everyone is driving such nice cars that they’re afraid of messing them up.

But those nice cars that are so much nicer because they are supposed to have such great handling.

A person is supposed to be safer in one of those cars during showers than those whippin’ deathtraps desperately trying to go at least the speed limit instead of 20 under it.

I will admit when it first rains, oil does tend to come to the surface of the road making for slick conditions.

But the motorists in this area overcompensate to the brink of insanity, driving so slow, braking too soon, taking turns so wide they almost seem obtuse.

It’s enough to make you bash your dash in a fit of rage.

But I abstain from vehicular battery. Instead I let John Fogarty’s vocals play in my head while I chuckle at these blundering, bush-league motorists.

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