I don’t pretend to know what they mean, but I look for patterns.
This afternoon I had to go to Portland (50 miles north) to meet my sisters. Normally I take the Subaru because it gets 32 mpg on the freeway and the van gets 22. But this morning my wife forgot I needed the car and she took it. I was bummed, but there it is. I drove the van.
On the way back home I saw an object in the road, had no time to calculate a safe swerve, and I hit it. I think it was a trailer hitch. Boom! went my front right tire, and I got over safely to the side of the road. It took 15 minutes to locate and remove the spare, but I got it taken care of with a little help. The spare turned out to be low, but I got the van to a station and pumped up the tire. I am home safe now.
Here are the patterns. First, I wasn’t the only one to hit the trailer hitch. A guy in a 1992 Civic hit it and it removed most of his grille, ripped open his radiator, and shredded one of his tires. His car is toast. I shudder to think what it would have done to my Subaru and its brand new tires. Also, already on my schedule for tomorrow, before I hit that hitch? Buy two tires to replace the front tires. They were due anyway. And I was going to spend the time in the waiting room writing.
Financial impact of shredding a tire on the freeway? Zero.
Stressful as hell, though.