Sunday, February 12, 2012

Photo of the Week #41 – The Risks Of High-Speed Ground Travel

Here is a photo that illustrates one of the risks of ground travel. This is the blown-out, right front tire from my ’96 Cadillac Seville during my road trip to Ontario, OR, Fresno, CA and other great places during May and June of 2010. This tire blew out at 85 miles per hour on Interstate 80 as I was passing Dix, Nebraska. Fortunately, the car was an excellent performing and handling vehicle. It also didn’t hurt that I had approximately 800,000 miles of previous driving experience. The incident turned out to be mainly an inconvenience.

It was about an hour or so before dark when the tire blew out. My planned destination was Cheyenne, WY for that night. At 85 mph (the prevailing traffic speed on that road at the time) I was about 45 minutes from Cheyenne. By the time AAA Road Service reached me and changed the tire for me, I didn’t feel it was safe driving at lower speed on that road in the dark with the small “donut” spare tire on the car. You’re not supposed to drive over 50 mph and only for a limited amount of miles on those  spare tires. I spent the night in a motel in Kimball, NE, a few miles further west on I-80 from Dix. By the way, I joined AAA from my Magellan GPS unit while I was sitting in the car, stranded on the shoulder of I-80.

The next morning I limped into Cheyenne at 50 mph. I decided that I’d find a WalMart to get two new tires. I figured if I had any additional tire issues along the way, I could easily find another WalMart. This photo was taken at the WalMart auto center in Cheyenne. It’s plain to see that the tire was demolished. My only reaction to the incident was that I lost a little time. But, since I had built in a nice pad, I still arrived at my destination, Ontario, OR ahead of schedule. I thought this photo was a nice indication of the risks and hazards of ground travel, especially at high-speed.

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