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May 11th, 2003

Near Accident

Yesterday I was driving home and was travelling at about 45 mph on a 4-lane road (2 in each direction). As I approached an intersection with no traffic light (I had the right of way), a car came shooting out from beside another car to make a left hand turn. The problem was, she didn’t inch out and look and instead pulled out in front of me. As I laid on my horn and slammed on my brakes, she looked in my direction with a look of fear on her face… if I had to translate the expression it would be “Oh shit, what did I just do?” My wheels screeched and I had to swerve to the right to avoid slamming into her driver side. If I had been looking away for a split second, there’s no doubt I would have plowed into her. I would have walked away from the accident OK (I’d like to think), but this woman, because of her rush to make it across a busy intersection, would have been in some serious trouble.

This was probably the closest I’ve ever come to having an accident… have you ever come really close to wrecking your car, but narrowly avoided it?

Posted in Cars

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday May 11, 2003 -- 11:45:44 am
Had a couple of real close calls, but here's the one that stands out the most, where there should have been more damage to the car and myself.

In late 2000, I was the director of the ACC Hockey league. However, I was living in Lynchburg, VA, and the nearest rink where about half the team played was in Roanoke, about 65 miles.

The "main" route from Lynchburg to Roanoke is Rt. 460, which, with the exception of passing Bedford, where the National D-Day Memorial is, is nothing but trees.

So anyways, back to the close call. I was driving back from an OT game in Roanoke, and it was LATE. College games usually start after 10, so the ice times are cheaper. It was roughly 2am, and I was returning back to Lynchburg. Only light on the road is my headlights, and there is a slight fog. No other cars on the road. As I round a sharp curve (only going about 35 with the fog), and there is a huge deer sitting 10 feet away from me.

I swerve sharply, missing the deer by just a foot, but the car does a complete 360 spin, before flipping once, and landing on all fours. I'm ok, thanks to the seat belt, and the car, other than a few dings, is in perfect condition. Don't ask me how that happened, cause I have no idea. Only possible theory is that the car was a little 2-Door Dodge Colt, and didn't have the bendable plastic as an exterior, but rather a harder, metallic surface. If I had been in the Elantra I now drive, that car would have probably crumbled.

Needless to say, I got a hotel room that night..and a stiff drink.

FROM: jk
DATE: Sunday May 11, 2003 -- 10:22:43 pm
One time back in about 1993 or 94, I was driving southbound on 95 just north of Baltimore, in the far left lane, and coming toward me was a car literally flying through the air, northbound. I don't know how in the world it happened, but this four-door Honda-like car was flying upsidedown, and I could see the people inside all slumping to the side of the car that was closest to me. The car hit the concrete median just feet in front of me, on its roof, and bounced back over to the northbound side. It surely was a miracle that it did not just fly over the median and squash me.

You hear people sometimes say that things were in "slow motion" and this truly was. I could see the people clearly.

Oddly enough, I never found out what had happened. Not a word. Not on the Balmer news, nothing. Weird things often happened on 95.

Just the other night I was in the left lane on a four-lane road and was admiring the new car in front of me, in the right lane. Suddenly the car began to drift into my lane...I knew I was in the guy's blind spot so I blew the horn and he slammed on his brakes as he got back into his lane. I don't think he was trying to pass the car in front of him, because shortly afterwards, he turned right at a light. I think he just spaced out! I drive a bright red car with daytime running would think I am more visible than most cars?

Why don't people turn on their lights when it rains? Don't these people in green and navy cars know they are as good as invisible??

FROM: towinlovinit
DATE: Monday May 12, 2003 -- 2:10:49 am
One time I was just turning right onto a side street and was just speeding up to go to 30 miles an hour. I was driving a 3 ton truck. An older gentleman was pulling up beside me and when he got just a little ahead of me took a right turn onto a driveway in front of me. Needless to say that not only did I slam on the brakes, but I also grabbed the emergency brake at the same time. I actually stopped that truck so fast that the guy behind me just bumped into the bumper of the truck. The guy behind stopped and got out and told me that he had never seen a truck that size stop that fast. I also got out to make sure the older gentleman was alright for he was stopped in the driveway and just sitting there. We both thought maybe he had had a heart attack. No! he was smilling and saying that he was lost and didn't know where the hotel he was staying at was. Oh boy! It took me most of the night to get over that one.

FROM: jk
DATE: Monday May 12, 2003 -- 11:05:21 pm
Wait! I thought of another one!

My friend Daisy and I were driving into Philly one night, and as we drove north on a one-way street, this 1970s boat of a car came careening toward us! I swerved to the left and watched it pass us on the right, and when I looked inside the car, it was empty! Someone had just jumped out of it and taken off on foot! Phew. We were awfully fortunate that it did not hit us.

FROM: liz [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday May 14, 2003 -- 1:15:42 am
oh, boy, i've been in upwards of twelve accidents. let's just say the people of chicago are probably happier i don't drive here.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday May 14, 2003 -- 8:41:28 am
I will vouch for that, being a person of Chicago.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday May 14, 2003 -- 10:59:50 am

Driving in Philadelphia is always a hazard, with plenty of one way streets. Consider yourself VERY fortunate there.

I had a similar Baltimore incident on 95, just north of the Fort McHenry tunnel, going south.

I was returning from Thanksgiving break, driving from Delaware to Lynchburg, VA. Slight bit of rain hitting the windshield. About a mile before you get to the tunnel, going southbound, there is a sharp turn to the right, almost a 90 degree turn, so 4 lanes going 65-70 and turning sharply is always dangerous.

Anyways, I was driving the same Dodge Colt (good car for college), and while making the turn, I see a black BMW zipping in between cars and lanes, going at least 80 as he hit the turn. He starts to skid, as he can't hold the turn, and slides right in front of me..I'm sure we are going to hit. But at the last second, his tires catch, and he zooms into the concrete barrier on the right side, hitting it head on, a la Dale Earnheardt.

I never heard about what happened to the guy, but to this day, it's amazing that with all of his sliding, lane changes, and plowing across four lanes of traffic into a concrete barrier that he didn't hit someone.

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