Driving in Fear in the Midwest Rain

Coming back to Chicago from Cleveland last week, it started raining. At first, this wasn’t anything special as I’ve driven in the rain plenty of times, but then we hit a spot in which it was raining so hard, I lost complete visibility. When the rain first started, I had already slowed down to around 60MPH and kept a distance of over 5 car lengths behind the car in front. We (Ha and I) then hit an area where that car completely disappeared and I could not even see the left (I was in the left-most lane) barrier to the freeway.

This was the scariest time I had ever experienced driving. My heart breaking out, sweat creeping out, I knew I needed to slow down, but I was fearful of the other cars around me. If I couldn’t even see the road or other cars, that would likely mean they couldn’t see me. Thus, it wouldn’t be a good idea to just stop in the middle of the freeway. However, to keep going would risk that I would hit someone else or drive into the barrier. I saw a car in another lane slowing down as I did with its caution blinkers on. I signaled to the right and slowly switched lanes to the right. I wanted to get off the road completely and stop, but I couldn’t even see it. I could only see my neighboring caution car and wanted to go along with him. During this entire time, I was expecting to get hit from behind – it is one thing to see a crash in front of you or have a few seconds of fear. I think this patch of rain was about a minute long, which may sound short, but is intensely terrifying if you are in it. When I finally got to the right most lane and was looking for a way to stop off the road, we passed the rain, and things became more reasonable in terms of visibility.

Since I am from the West Coast, I wonder if this type of rain happens to everyone in the Midwest area from time to time. All the cars involved were very lucky, and I hope no one got hurt. Keep in mind that this was around noontime, during the day. If this had happened at night, I don’t know if there is any way we could have avoided an accident.