There is something about a snow storm and icy roads that brings out ridiculous behavior in some drivers. These ridiculous behaviors, I think, are brought on by brain freeze. The weather is cold and they get into their vehicles and instantly….their brains freeze allowing them to operate their motor vehicle without their brain working.
For example, there is a person in a red mustang with Texas plates who drives 5 miles per hour down Central Ave. Yes, it is great that they have slowed down and are driving cautiously; but, this is too extreme. Then there is the person in the white pick-up truck with Georgia plates who was driving 40 miles per hour (this is an estimate) in a school zone (The speed limit in a School zone is 25 mph). When they got to the corner with a four-way stop….they slammed on their breaks. The near miss of them sliding through the intersection was terrifying to watch. I’ve lost count of the number of times individuals have driven the wrong way up the one-way street in front of the office I work in. Then there are accidents caused by people who pull out without looking or do not stop at the stop sign. A friend and I were comparing notes one morning. She saw a three car accident happen at a corner that has notoriously bad visibility. I saw the same accident as the tow trucks were taking away all three cars.
One of the strangest things I have ever seen happened at the drive through mailbox at the post office downtown. A woman in a SUV was trying to put mail into the slot on the mail box. She was having trouble reaching. So she opened her car door and tried to reach it that way. She still couldn’t reach so she stepped out of her vehicle. The vehicle started rolling. She still hasn’t gotten her mail into the slot. She turns back to her vehicle and I think grabs the steering wheel as she is trying to get into the SUV. Mail is flying everywhere and there is the distinct sound of metal on metal as her vehicle grinds against the light post pinning her between her vehicle door and the vehicle itself. She cries out as she falls to the ground. The vehicle keeps rolling picking up some speed as it goes up the side-walk and drives over her leg. It continues into the post office parking lot and only stops when it hits a truck parked in the lot. Many of us came to check on the woman and ask if she needed assistance. She said she was fine. Someone picked up her mail and put it in the post office box. The guy whose truck her SUV hit, put her SUV in park and called the police. I was very concerned for the woman. I told her that she needed to go to the walk-in clinic and get checked out because she may have injuries that could not be seen.
Some of these behaviors may be because the people do not know how to drive in the conditions. Some of the behaviors may be because people are not paying attention. Some people just don’t caring and expect others to watch out for them. What they forget is that it is sometimes hard to stop when you are driving on icy streets and they pull out in front of you.
As I was watching snow fall and thinking about brain freeze behavior, I realized that we all have our brain freeze moments. A friend, who is a carpenter and does wood working for fun, told me about a time when he was using a table saw and his concentration wasn’t 100% on the task at hand (pun intended) and cut off part of his finger. Don’t worry, he was able to get it sown back on at the emergency room. One doesn’t have to have such a dramatic brain freeze experience. I once put sour milk on my cereal and didn’t notice until that first disgusting bite. I was reading a book while making my breakfast. I was in brain freeze mode. Those little moments when you are not fully paying attention, those are brain freeze moments.
Brain freeze illustrates how important staying in the moment is. That being aware and experiencing life as it happens is not only critical to your creativity, but to your health and wellness. Paying attention to what is happening around us, gives us an edge in avoiding those who are suffering from brain freeze.
I just heard the weather forecast….. they are saying cold and snow.