10 Lessons Learned From Driving My Car Into A Ditch During An Ice Storm

Today I hit a patch of heavy ice and drove my car into a ditch.  My trip was going just fine as I came upon a slight incline.  My plan was to go between 20-30 mph and the momentum would carry me right over the hill.  However, the car in front of me was far more “cautious” and was only climbing at a rate of about 5 mph.  As I waited and waited for this vehicle to move on, it was if a giant suction cup literally pulled my car off the side of the road into the ditch.  In case you’re asking, no that is not my car in the picture!

Shortly thereafter, about six Good Samaritans drove by with chains and pulled me out of the ditch.  In the midst of the worst Georgia ice storm in over a decade, I learned several important leadership lessons:

  1. Being fearful can be just as dangerous as being reckless.  I am very concerned about how many organizations (particularly churches) put their people in a ditch because they are fearful of moving forward.  “We’re waiting on the right time” or “We’ll move forward ‘when the economy gets better'” paralyzes organizations (especially churches).
  2. You wind up in a ditch when you have no momentum or forward movement
  3. We all wind up in a ditch sooner or later.  Everyone goes through a period of life when calamity strikes.
  4. We can’t get out of ditches by ourselves.  We will all need help.
  5. When you’re in a ditch and in trouble, you don’t care what the person’s age, personality, religious background, or natural origin is.  You just want someone who can help you.
  6. There are still many very nice and wonderful people in the world.
  7. 4-wheel drive is better than front-wheel drive.
  8. Always prepare for the journey.  My wife instinctively and proactively packed bottled water, extra clothes, and a sleeping bag “just in case”.  I didn’t need them but it was nice to have just in case.
  9. You need a team of people to solve big problems.
  10. Approximately a dozen cars drove by as my vehicle was being pulled out – all driven by men.  Just an observation.

If my personal history is any indication, I’m sure I’ll wind up in another ditch tomorrow.  I just hope it’s not because of ice.  Can any of you relate?

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

8 Responses to “10 Lessons Learned From Driving My Car Into A Ditch During An Ice Storm”

  1. I had a similar accident a week ago, and like you, chronicled it in my blog (http://2020visiononline.org/blog/486). It even includes the video of us flipping a guys truck back over who crashed right behind me. Great insights; I can honestly say I know how you feel!

  2. I am so glad that you are okay, and I was really blessed by your article. I am going to bookmark it and refer to it often. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  3. Further proof that there is wisdom to be learned in every situation when we have the right perspective. Thanks for sharing yours.

    • Elder Wiggins,

      It is good to hear from you and thank you for your comments. It always helps to try to have a great attitude doesn’t it. I hope you keep reading and commenting.

      Thanks again,

  4. I couldn’t help but smile a little when I read your post. I’m glad you and your car are okay!

  5. Last winter, I blew a tire coming home from a funeral. Something very sharp in the road cut my right-rear like a hot knife going thru a cube of butter. This was unfortunate, and the temperature was something like 10* F.

    Everyone of my “buddies” from the funeral, drove right on by and did not stop to lend me a hand. When I was completely done, one of them drove up and I got in his truck and he said to me, “Jeeze, I thought you would never get done with that Don.” I have been sitting over there watching you forever.

    Man, I love winter time.


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