I had an extremely challenging drive two days ago, from the town of Cold Spring, NY to West Harrison, NY. Barbara and I left her friends' home around dusk, in heavy rain. We were told a route to follow. The driving conditions quickly became difficult, with a winding, narrow, semi-repaired mountainside road (Route 9D), heavy rain, some traffic, and then near the Bear Mountain Bridge, not only heavy rain but fog too! This took us to the Taconic Parkway, then an Interstate, then our hotel for the night.
I kept thinking how poorly we train our children for this type of situation. At many times during this drive, the road surface was more reflective than its markings. This results in many vertical light stripes, white and red, from cars oncoming, in the rearview, and ahead, and necessitates a driver following the lights of a car ahead of it. I also had one instance of a lane just ending, without a sign.
Drivers were more exponentially cautious-- where I might have seen dozens of aggressive drivers in this one hour stint, I only saw one, and hope (he?) is still alive. Still, the entire situation was contentious.
This drive brought two things clearly to mind:
1. We need to develop technology to vividly mark road lanes for this extreme weather-- that is, side stripes, lane markers, and more logical road signs. The road surface itself should be more matte.
2. Driver Exams should include training and testing, with a veteran driver in the car, in difficult weather conditions, and certainly on highways.
I also missed my oversized rearview mirror. We took Barbara's 2013 Civic for the trip, with its normal-sized central mirror, and I had a much more difficult time knowing what was in back of me for my decision-making. All cars should have oversized central interior mirrors-- this gains valuable time for decisions.It is tenths-of-a-second faster to see what is in back.