TirithRR the Eccentric wrote:
I spent a year down in South Carolina driving between work and Myrtle Beach. Every time it'd rain just a little bit, you'd see cars crashed on the side of the road. I even saw one flipped over on its roof in a ditch.
I came back to Michigan and was talking with my parents. My dad mentioned that up here in the North we get the roads Salted, Sanded, and Scraped for 8 months out of the year. That down in the South, the oils from cars build up, and then the light sprinkling of water leaves a oily film on the road. I kinda nodded and thought that was a pretty good explanation.
But then I realized that I was also driving on those roads at the same time as these motorists, and didn't notice any real issues with that light rain falling on a relatively sunny summer afternoon...
I think those warm-folk are just terrible drivers.
South Carolina is not Southern California. South Carolina gets about 4 times as much rain per year (and that's statewide average, Southern California gets about half the state average), so whatever effect you were seeing probably didn't actually have anything to do with high oil buildup (or not much). I fully accept that folks in other parts of the country may just be crappy drivers.
If you were driving in Southern California and you saw this, I guarantee you'd notice the slipperiness of the roads as well. It's extremely noticeable if you try to make a fast turn, or accelerate too fast. I've seen a car, starting from a stop at a left turn light, traveling at what would be a completely normal speed just spin out in the middle of the intersection and slide into the the far corner (thankfully missing the cars sitting at the light facing the other direction, but not by much). His mistake? He accelerated at a fast but normally completely safe speed while making a turn. All while a very gentle light rain was going on.
What usually happens is that people who are used to driving in rain come to California and about 6 months later it rains for the first time. They see everyone slowing down and cautiously making turns and whatnot and think "These people don't know how to drive in the rain. Hahaha!". That person drives faster thinking he's cooler or better than everyone else, then he hits a slick spot, or just takes a turn too fast, and spins out and sheepishly becomes one of those people on the side of the road that everyone thinks are Californians who can't drive in the rain.