Close Call!

March 4, 2008 at 10:28 am 8 comments

dummies

Close Call!

For once I am glad to be at my desk, in my little bunker, in darkest Walsall. This morning the sun is shining and reflecting off the yellow hard hats of the street workers midst the myriad roadworks, and, it is beautiful. For I have just survived a near death experience. An accident on the M6, around junction 15.

It was just last week that I was bemoaning my commute to work and the terrible driving that I had witnessed. Well, today was a shave too close for my liking. The last two mornings have been a little dodgy due in part, I believe, to the cold, icy mornings, and the bright sunshine. The winter sun is very low in the sky and there are certain stretches on the motorway where it catches drivers unaware. They are suddenly dazzled, blinded and yank on their brakes. Consequently the motorway goes from the national speed limit (or above) to zero in the briefest of moments.

Consequently, I do try to leave a sensible gap between me and the car that I am following. I also hope that the car behind me will attempt to do likewise.

Well, this morning I was tootling along in the outside lane (I am advised by the more politically correct members of the office that we shouldn’t refer to it as the “fast lane”) when, all of a sudden, the traffic in the middle lane slowed significantly. Without warning and without signalling a white panel van pulled out in front of me, and a Vauxhall Vectra pulled out behind me. The panel van had been travelling at a slower speed than I was and he immediately hit his brakes. I reacted instinctively and jammed my brakes on, making an emergency stop just as the white van ploughed into the car in front of it.

Unfortunately there was not any time for my life to flash before my eyes as I braced for the impact ahead and behind. I do remember thinking that it was rather sad that one of my very last images could be the words “Please clean Me” finger-painted on the van’s rear doors as my head made rapid progress towards the windscreen. I had a brief memory of an article that I had read during some driving awareness course or other which described the last thirty seconds of someone’s life as they were involved in a fatal car crash. It hurts apparently.

But there was a minor miracle. Praise be the engineers at Audi. In particular, those in charge of brakes on the TT. I was able to stop with millimetres to spare. I was able to keep the car in a straight line. The car behind me had swerved back into the middle lane to avoid hitting me.

The panel van had ripped the back end off the car which it had hit, pushing it into the middle lane. But somehow the driver of the car was sufficiently unhurt or so high on adrenalin that he was able to leap from the wreckage and drag the white van man out of his seat for a bout of fisticuffs, until he was dragged off him by the driver’s three other mates. Road rage, but understandable given the circumstances.

How I was not hit and how I stopped in time I will not know. My guardian angel was truly alert this morning. Fortunately, the hour-long queue between junctions 11 and 10 gave me sufficient time to calm down and count my blessings. The coffee is beginning to kick in now, so all is well.

Drive carefully out there!

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Entry filed under: driving, rant. Tags: , , , , , , , .

EuroVision What Is The World Coming To?

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. wow!  |  March 6, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    holy cow! Thats a close one! you are so lucky! 🙂

    Like

    Reply
  • 2. rocksandchairs  |  March 13, 2008 at 2:41 am

    OMG!

    You know I’ve seen near misses and such but I have never seen someone actually pull someone out of their car and start beating on them. Maybe it’s because I’m from Canada, but I’ve had friends say they’ve seen it. Guess I’ve been lucky?

    Shitty drivers give me road RAGE

    ~road Raging

    Like

    Reply
  • 3. joshheilman  |  March 24, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    dude…so according the the driving awareness course, the last 30 sec of someone’s life in a fatal accident apparently hurts. hmmm. Amazing. Sounds like something that would happen in Los Angeles. Glad you’re ok.

    Like

    Reply
  • 4. Birdwatching From mars  |  April 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Yes, we should totally start a club about this.

    (This is the writer of Love Taps, by the way)

    I dig the blog, man. Keep it up!

    Like

    Reply
  • 5. whinencheese  |  May 29, 2008 at 2:09 am

    Pretty good… I have had similar experiences, but I have never had the satisfaction of seeing someone jump out of a car and go Chuck Norris on someone. I would LOVE you be able to witness the crash then in the aftermath get to see some Ultimate Fighting in the in the carnage!

    Like

    Reply
  • 6. falloutofline  |  September 19, 2008 at 7:28 am

    hey i left your ‘link’ up on my comments. i think you should blog roll me please.

    Like

    Reply
  • 7. Pink Sunshine  |  October 27, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    The M6 definitely does attract more than its fair share of bad drivers 😦

    Like

    Reply
  • 8. kylefunderburgh  |  November 3, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    The Audi TT is one hell of a car. The very body construction is designed to give you that racing-style braking. The even bauhaus construction really assists the four-wheel drive and that traction applies to braking as well. I’m planning a small driving article on following distance in the near future.

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    Reply

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