Earlier this month, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and the good people at the Utah Department of Transportation announced plans to improve lane striping on Utah freeways.

They seemed to be, shall we say, really excited.

This announcement is a long time coming, and big — nay, huge — news for those of us who have had to fight for our lives while driving in a rainstorm at night. So, all of us.

The disappearing line phenomenon has a scientific explanation, best explained in a story from WVXU, Ohio’s NPR affiliate station. Rain on the roads causes specular reflection, or in normal-person terms, water on the lines causes rays from headlights to refract, much like light shone into a glass jar refracts.

According to UDOT, the new striping — which is made of adhesive tape and embedded with reflective glass beading which should catch the light and highlight the lanes, then contrasted with black paint — should dramatically improve lane visibility. Especially in inclement weather and during that weird time of day when the sun is blinding. The striping will also be two inches wider than what we currently have on our roads.

This improvement will be great. All states should have this. And to be clear, I am very glad this is happening.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to reflect on and express my appreciation for the camaraderie that was often born on those rainy commutes of yore.

It usually went like this: The rain or snow or hail or sleet or plague of locusts or whatever would start to fall and suddenly, lanes would disappear. We’d be left with only vibes. Bad vibes. Panicky vibes. In those moments of terror, we drivers had to learn how to rely on each other.

It helped to find a leader. Typically, a truck. But not a showy truck like a lifted Dodge Ram. A sensible truck, like a Toyota Tacoma. An older model. It needed to be a truck that had seen some things. A truck that messaged, “I can help you with your move, or you can borrow me for an IKEA run.” This is the kind of vehicle and driver that we could trust to safely guide us through the storm.

But sometimes there was no leader to be found, only minivans, Subarus and Teslas. And we’d have to come together to navigate our way home. It didn’t matter if we were driving in the middle of a lane, in the wrong direction or in reverse, we were in it together.

It was, I believe, the purest form of government. We’d put aside our differences, namely our driving styles and car preferences, to work together and avoid a multiple-vehicle pileup. We’d make collective decisions about the speed we should drive, when we should turn and if it was OK to merge. We worked together in terror, yes, but also respect and get-it-done-edness.

I believe if we put all members of Congress in cars and released them onto rainy Utah roads for an hour — pre-lane-striping — then sent them back to the Capitol, we would have a solution to climate change, the student debt crisis and inflation, lickety-split. We could reunite Oasis by putting the two Gallagher brothers in hydroplane conditions. Joan Crawford and Bette Davis might have been besties had they driven together on I-15 during a summer storm.

The Utah County portion of I-15 will have the new striping by early fall, then Salt Lake, Davis, and Summit counties are next in line, according to UDOT. And once the striping is finished, I have no doubt we’ll all be safer and far less panicked when we find ourselves driving in a storm.

But I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the friends I made in those moments of panic on I-15.