I was just driving back home, past the elementary school, when a red ball came bouncing across the street in front of me.
It wasn’t athletic equipment, like a basketball or a kickball. It was one of those plastic ones like you get at a supermarket; in fact, I think that’s where it did come from, because one of the local stores has a huge display of them. So it would be a resilient plastic with nothing inside of it.
The road is uneven, due to never-ending “repairs”, and the ball fetched up right where my left front wheel was going to be in about 1.5 seconds. What I pictured was the wheel meeting the ball, and instead of running over it, getting the ball wedged in the wheel well, preventing my wheel from turning, with disastrous results.
I slowed down a bit more, and when I got to the ball, my wheel gently nudged it, and it continued its progress across the street, coming to rest against the curb. No one came running out to claim it, AFAIK.
But it occurred to me afterwards that I might have done better to have plowed right through. Luckily, the car behind me slowed when I did, but I shudder to think that I might have caused one accident while trying to avoid another one. Would it really have gotten stuck under/in my car? Would the right front corner have been flung into the air, then come crashing down? Or would the ball simply have gone “pop”?
Contrary to what some former cow-orkers might say, I don’t make a habit of busting balls, and if I’d had to be the mean lady who ran over it, well, I’m not the one who let it roll out into the street in the first place. I just didn’t want to damage my car. Did I do the right thing?