Michigan gets in a parting shot

Driving home from a friend’s house last evening in the Cobra, it had been lightly snowing for most of the afternoon. Not really much in the way of accumulation, just that first-snow-of-the-season thing. I backed off quite a bit on my driving — the road conditions were iffy.

Yep. Iffy, all right.

On the M-5 north ramp from I-96 east, there’s a bridge over 12 Mile Road. It *always* ices up (actually, the one on the southbound M-5 does, too) long before anything else does. I was doing maybe 30-35 mph (in a section posted at 70) when I hit it, and, sure as hell… icy. Back end of the car started to come around. Caught it, and the next two or three reversals. The 4th one put the right front corner into the wall, which spun me around and put the right rear corner into the wall.

My own damned fault. I should’ve known and backed off even more.

No airbags. Good. Not even hard enough to trip the inertia switch for the fuel pump. Front fascia is messed up, pushed the front of the hood up a bit (so the upper rad support may need to be replaced), left headlamp pushed out (I slapped it back in). Rear fascia and possibly the exhaust pipe on the right side is messed up. I haven’t looked at it any closer now that it’s daylight, but I think the sheetmetal is largely okay in the rear.
Just another damned inconvenience. I gotta get it fixed before I can drive it down to Texas. I’ll be getting that going today.

ETA at noon-thirty: Arrangements made, claim filed, taking car to shop this afternoon. It’s nice when you can call the owner of the dealership on his cell phone… the Network is one of the things I will miss about this place.



  1. That totally sucks. Good thing you’re moving to the land of mostly sunshine and major floods soon. And I’m glad the damage to the Cobra is not too bad. I think this is a sign that getting away from there is a good choice. But I will warn you that when it’s icy here, Texans drive exactly the same way they do on dry pavement. As a result, I no longer go out in cold possibly icy weather here because the people drive like nuts. In fact, ever since a woman got hit by a cement truck when she was stopped at a red light, and her car filled with cement resulting in a two hour extrication, I have taken to calling in sick if it’s really icy. It’s just not worth the risk. Fortunately it’s only gets really icy here about one day a year, and I think it happens even less often in Houston. BTW, if you come to Austin, there’s a race track close by my land. I’ve only seen bicycles and corvettes out there, but I’m pretty sure they have other vehicles on other days.


    1. Oh, I know about Texans and Oklahomans on ice, and generally endeavour to stay the hell out of the way. I just gotta get it fixed pronto so I can drive it down for my house-hunting trip. More expense. I did just go out and look — rear quarter (the expensive bit) looks okay; I did get the exhaust pipe a little, though. Right front fender got pushed a little, and that’s what shifted the hood. It drove straight so I don’t think the chassis got tweaked; but the upper rad support (which bolts in) at least shifted a little — I can hope it only just pushed the hood latch up a bit, but I’m not confident I got that lucky. It’s going to need a little pull on the front rails, fascias front and rear, front lamps, and whatever else underneath the fascia that got tweaked. Yeah, I’ll burn through the deductible by enough to justify an insurance claim. Sigh.


  2. I’m glad you were not hurt! Black ice is treacherous. I’m also glad about the accepted job offer. I’m just glad all around, I guess. 😉


    1. Thanks. The weird thing about those bridges is that they’re even grooved properly, yet they still ice up before *anything* else around them. I know this, which is why I was doing no more than 30 in a 70 mph zone, and trying to be dead steady on my control inputs (no accel, no decel, no steering, no braking), but all it took was the crown of the road, a little bit of crosswind, and tires better suited to non-icy conditions and that was enough. The front end is going to need a little pull — once I saw it in the shop, the stuff in front of the shock towers is definitely tweaked, but it bent at what is a deliberate hinge point, and it will pull out nicely. The shop that has it is one of the best I’ve ever dealt with, so it’ll be right when it comes back.


  3. Yike! A close one. I didn’t have any close calls myself on the same drive (275 to 5), but it took me 95 minutes instead of 50. A simple application of salt would have taken care of the entire problem, but the road commission didn’t see fit to do so. This happened last year, too, as I recall–the first icy day of the year came and seemed to catch them with their pants down and their heads up their butts. Don’t they watch the weather reports? Come on, people–it’s NOVEMBER in MICHIGAN!


    1. Oddly enough, the *one* piece of bridge in the greater M-5-over-12-Mile vicinity I’ve never slid on at all is the piece that you drive on if you’re on the I-275 Northbound-to-M-5-North bit. If you’d taken the 12 Mile Road exit the way you were going, and then decided to NOT exit to 12 Mile and keep going up M5, you’d have driven over the bit I spun on last night. And maybe find my right foglamp, which pulled an Elvis.* Southbound M5 to 275 South? Slid on it. Southbound M5 to 96 West? Slid on it. Eastbound 96 to M5 North? Slid on it. And again last night, about 10:30ish. Whee. *”What’s an Elvis?” you ask. Why, it left the building. Bah-dump-bump. Thankyou,thankyouverymuch.


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