Bryan’s Song

It’s been colder than heck these past couple of days. It was so cold up here that other cold places aren’t cold any more. I was looking out the window watching the wind whipping and ripping.

The thermometer said 4 degrees, but we all knew it was colder. My dog didn’t event want to go out. It was weather that was fit for neither man nor beast.

As I stepped away from the window, I caught a glance of Old Betsy. She was unmoved. The wind battered her unmercifully. Yet, she stood firm in her magnificence.

I had to bring her into the garage, though. I just couldn’t take it.

And with temperatures in single digits and that darn wind making it even colder, I was afraid the old Ford F150 wouldn’t start in the morning.

But Old Betsy is, well, Old Betsy.

She’s a tank with a touch of grace. And she’s been through many, many battles with Mother Nature. There were mountain storms in Colorado and sweltering heat in the Nevada desert. She’s been through floods and earthquakes. There was a tornado she outran in Kansas, and a wildfire in Wyoming.

But still, it was colder than heck.

As I was sipping on a hot cup of Java, I read an article by AAA about the blizzard-like conditions that is affecting North Dakota. It warned motorists to stay off of the road during adverse weather, even if you had an Old Betsy.

According to data from the Federal Highway Administration, each year 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement and 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet, the report said.

As I read further, I became more and more intrigued. Here’s what the report said:

If motorists must travel during adverse weather conditions, making sure your vehicle is running well and properly equipped for driving on potentially dangerous roads.

Here are tips from AAA:

Know the local forecast: The state police encourages motorists to take note of local forecasts and plan accordingly for adverse weather conditions. Motorists are reminded that they can dial 511 on their cell phones for current traffic and road conditions.

Vehicle preparation: Motorists should ensure their vehicles are well maintained and properly equipped for winter driving.

Fluids: Motorists should check the fluid levels of their vehicles, particularly washer fluid and anti-freeze, to ensure they are at adequate levels.

Tires: Tires should be inspected to ensure they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth.

Winter Weather Kit: Motorists should equip their vehicles with a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight and some warm clothing and blankets.

Reduce speed: Anticipate delays. Most snow and ice related crashes are caused by vehicles sliding off the road because they are traveling at speeds too great for the roads.

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