Potential Fatalities In Motoring Incidents

This occurred a few years ago but I recall the experience every time I use the stretch of road concerned. Which is often.

It happened one autumn evening. It was dark and I had my lights on full beam. I was driving at 50 mph in a 60 mph limit. The road surface was dry with no frost or ice.

I was heading west towards Stow on a main road, approaching a right hand bend which can easily be taken at the speed I was travelling. About 30 yards before this bend there is a side road on the left. All of a sudden a car came out of the side road totally ignoring, or failing to notice, the give way sign at the junction and failing to notice me also. It joined the main road about 5 yards in front of me.

I had no time to make any choices. I reacted instinctively and immediately by swerving across the road and accelerating, overtaking the offending vehicle and taking the bend blind on the wrong side of the road.

I was lucky, very lucky indeed. If there had been anything coming in the opposite direction there would have been carnage. I wouldn’t have been here to post this message and others would have almost certainly perished.

I carried on, somewhat shaken, because there was no safe place to stop. Arriving in Stow I found myself in a stationary line of traffic with the offending vehicle immediately behind me. I stopped my car, got out and approached the other car.

There were two people inside, a man and a woman. The male driver wound down his window and I asked him if he realised what he had done back at the junction.

He said What’s the problem, nothing happened. The woman told me to chill out and get back in my car. I am not a nervous person but I was trembling by now. I didn’t say anything else, got back in my own car and drove off.

Later that evening I realised there was another implication to this incident. If there had been a crash, I would have been blamed for it. All that would have been evident is that I had been taking a blind bend on the wrong side of the road. I somehow doubt that the occupants of the other car, if they had survived, would have advised the police otherwise.

There are some arrogant and self-interested people in this world, and there always will be, but this attitude to a potential disaster shocked and disgusted me.

Such is life.

How long did it take until you could sleep again? I would still be having both nightmares and vengeance fantasies.

Around here, it seems to be mandatory on certain roads for people to drive down the middle. It doesn’t matter that the corners are blind. It doesn’t matter that the roads are wide. They drive down the middle. Coming around a bend and finding that another car is already occupying the space you need to occupy is pretty awful. Having the choice between taking them headon and ending up in a ditch is no fun.

But twice in the past two years I’ve had to choose the ditch. And the other car? Didn’t stop either time. Once it was a full size van, the other a pickup with a welded pipe bumper.

I hate them and I want their noses to fall off.

I was heading down a two-lane highway at probably 50-55 mph. There were two cars heading towards me. The closer car slowed down to wait for me to pass before making a left turn (across my lane). The rear car, for whatever reason, decided to try to pass the front car, or possibly try to make the turn before the front car did, and pulled into my lane, when I was maybe 40-50 feet in front of him. I slammed on my brakes, as did the car that pulled into my lane. I was trying to figure out where to go (there was the front car in the left lane, so I couldn’t go there, the ditch on the right side (after the road both cars were going to turn on to) had a relatively sharp, steep drop. Luckily the idiot who pulled in front of me realized I didn’t have anywhere to go and got on the gas again, making the turn into the road. I missed taking out his bumper by less than a carlength, probably only by five feet or so. It all happened in the span of a couple seconds, and I was shaken the rest of the way home.

I don’t know if there would have been fatalities, since we both got on the brakes pretty hard, but it would have been head on, and there was the car in front that had stopped, which would have been right next to the collision.

I was going to start a new thread to recount this, but it will fit in here nicely.

Last Friday evening, I was driving home on a state highway traveling the speed limit (65 mph). Vehicles generally drive at 70-75 mph on this stretch of road (including me), but I had slowed down due to the steady rain that was falling.

There are actually quite a lot of accidents on this road, including a fatal crash between two pickup trucks just last week, which resulted in one driver being ejected from the truck. I think it’s because people are traveling at interstate speeds, and despite the road being a divided highway with two lanes in each direction, the curves and inclines are somewhat greater than you find on an interstate highway.

Due to the inclines, the road periodically has a third lane off to the right, designated a “Slow Vehicle Lane.” In practice, what happens is that some maniac, who feels traffic is moving too slow for him, will dart out into that lane when it opens up and speed up to 85-90 mph to get around all of the traffic. God help anyone trying to get over into the slow lane. In fact, many slow cars actually avoid the slow lane due to the maniacs.

So anyway, that Friday, I’m driving in the middle lane at 65 mph, when I see a pickup truck approaching at a high rate of speed, and no sign of slowing down. There is no way that he’s not going to hit me unless he darts into another lane, or I get out of his way. I put on my right turn signal to get out of his way, but before I can switch lanes, the asshole darts into the slow vehicle lane and passes me at about 90 mph. In the pouring rain. Going around a curve.

He completely scared the crap out of me. This fucker came within inches of ramming into the back of my vehicle. So I honked at him.

He showed me, though. Rather than staying in his lane, or smoothly merging back into my lane, he jerked his wheel to cut in right in front of me. I then watched in horror as he proceeded to spin a full 180 degrees on the highway, crash into a car in the left lane (which ripped his whole front bumper off) and continued to spin off into the grass on the left of the highway. The car he hit spun off to the grass on the right of the highway. Thankfully I missed getting hit, or hitting them.

I pulled over and called the state police. I hung around long enough to give a statement to the police. Thankfully, nobody in the car that was hit was hurt at all. Unfortunately (and forgive me for saying this), neither was the pickup truck driver.

The asshole truck driver had a huge, brand new, black pickup truck. When I left the scene (after giving my statement), he was loading his bumper into the bed of his truck. :smiley:

He’s lucky his truck just spun off the road. I hesitate to admit this, but it’s a damn shame his truck didn’t roll or flip. I really, really hate people who pass on the right in the slow vehicle lane. :wally

In the zoo area of Seattle, there’s this road that goes under I-99 just before the 4 way intersection with the entrance to the zoo. This means that there’s a blind left, and to make it worse, it’s on a fairly steep hill. So when you’re heading uphill (west) on that road, you really, really can’t see oncoming traffic or traffic on your left until right before you hit the intersection due to the incline and the embankment for people turning onto I-99 south.

We get the occasional genius who hops on over onto the WRONG side of the road to make a left (south) onto the road parallel to I-99. Ignoring the rest of us who might be waiting politely in line to make a legal left turn. Or oncoming traffic in the opposite direction. Or people who’re turning right (east) onto our road and can’t see the genius roaring uphill on the left. I’m surprised there haven’t been more accidents. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

I lost my equilibrium for a while but after a few days I came to terms with it.

After that, what preyed on my mind most of all is that, in the event of a head on collision, I would have been blamed for any casualties whether I had lived or died. Family, friends and others would have thought I had overtaken on this bend just for the hell of it and killed innocent people into the bargain. Death, coffin and opprobrium or life, jail time and opprobrium. Difficult choice.

An even scarier proposition is that I might not have remembered what happened myself. Amnesia is not unknown in such circumstances.

In the past twelve months I have met three cars going the wrong way in a traffic circle. (This does not count the ones simply backing around a traffic circle.)

I bought a Volvo. A big one.

I know this may sound extremely prejudice, but when the same thing happens to me, the car is invariably large and very new and often a BMW or Mercedes or the like and the driver is male and middle aged.

[QUOTE=Chez Guevara]
There were two people inside, a man and a woman. The male driver wound down his window and I asked him if he realised what he had done back at the junction.

He said What’s the problem, nothing happened. The woman told me to chill out and get back in my car.


By this logic, they would have been completely unperturbed if you had taken a large gun and fired a shot a few millimeters above their heads. No harm, no foul, right?

A good analogy.

I wish I’d had the presence of mind to offer such a riposte to their truly incredible comments, but the incident had occurred a mere two minutes earlier and I had great difficulty saying anything at all.

You and I are both turning left at an intersection, onto a four-lane road.

I drive a small four-cylinder car with a manual transmission. I care about my gas mileage. This means I will not be accelerating like a bat out of hell. This does not mean you can swing out and pass me on the right.

You take the spot I am supposed to use to enter the right-hand lane. You then match my speed and occupy it so I miss my side street, and I have to drive an extra two kilometers to get to my destination.

Fuck you, you impatient fuckstick, and learn to follow the rules of the road.

Our minivan was in the shop for the past few days and we were driving a Ford Focus rental. We went to pick up the van last night and took the Dulles Toll Road so we could get to the shop before it closed. The exit we use, Sully Road, goes from three lanes at the toll plaza down to one at the merge. Traffic was unusually heavy last night and some idiot in a big hokin’ pickup, maybe it was a SUV, bullied his way into our lane by trying to merge into our rental! Then he did the exact same maneuver, sans turn singal both times, to get on Sully. Jackass.

Um, he did the exact same maneuver to another small car, sans turn singal both times, to get on Sully.

Come now Paul! I have been on the roads in the Tragic Kingdom more times than I care to recall (fortunately just as a passenger, as my gender precludes my taking part in the fun and games) and I have seen plenty Saudis driving (if you could call it that) both within the Kingdom and here in Bahrain! Driving dangerously is a national Saudi pastime! :wink:

I don’t get it. Why don’t you slow down, let him get farther along, then move to the right behind him? How close is this side street to the large intersection?

Like I said, he matched my speed. I slowed down, he slowed down. Then I missed the street (which was only about 50 meters from the original intersection to begin with), missed the next street (100 meters up the road), as it’s a red light and I’m still in the left lane. I’m pretty sure I left rubber on the pavement just to pass and cut in to make the third right turn (a kilometer up the road).

Of course the guy had seen my right turn signal come on before he did this. Either the guy is completely oblivious, or incredibly spiteful. Either way, get off the road.

I still have an incident burned into my mind…About two years ago, I was driving down a state highway at about 40-45 in a 55 due to dense fog in the area. This was REALLY dense fog, as in you can’t see 50 feet in front of you. A brain surgeon behind me decided it would be a grand idea to pass me in these conditions. I then watched in horror/non-surprise as Sir Dumbass had to swerve into the opposite lane’s shoulder to avoid smacking head on with a vehicle coming from the other direction. Luckily for him, he did manage to avoid the collision, otherwise we’d likely have had a Darwin Award winner.