That Highway 6!
Now last time this kind of thing happened I had just missed hitting a man crossing the highway in a wheelchair. That was about a year ago.
This time (like last time), I was minding my own business paying attention to the road, probably going 60 MPH which was the speed limit on Hwy 6, on my way home from Best Buy. The car in front of me swiftly shifted lanes (moved from the left to the right lane) which left me approaching an unforeseen car stopped in the left lane ahead. Now don’t do like my mother and accuse me of following too closely the car that shifted lanes. He never signaled nor slowed down. So imagine me approaching a stopped car a few yards ahead.
Now I should have suspected something, because about 1/4 mile back, there were about 3 cars pulled over onto the right shoulder. Why? I don’t know, but this car (gold in color in case you wanted to know) didn’t seem mangled or part of any accident.
I slammed on my brakes and knew instantly there was not enough stopping room. I was going to slam hard into the rear of that car. And it was going to be all my fault. My foot was hard on the brake, my hands gripped tight on the wheel, my eyes bucked and focused on the car. . . my mouth probably open. I (and I’m sure all cars around) could hear the loud screeching of my tires.
In a last split second effort to reduce the impact, I veered to the right of the car, not even looking to see if I was cutting of the other car in the right lane. If anything I would hit them both on the sides, because there was no more stopping room to do anything else.
As my car continued to move forward with my foot on the brake, I braced myself expecting to scrape and dent the sides or knock off some mirrors or cause a whole ‘nother accident in the right lane. I held my breath as I went into whatever size that space was. And what I felt was . . . the wind.
The wind, people! The wind! I took my foot off the brake as my car glided past the 2 cars. I didn’t hear anything. I didn’t feel the car get hit (you ever notice how you and your car blend into one, you could feel the slightest hit). I didn’t feel any scraping metal. So, I kept going. I asked myself briefly, do I need to stop so I won’t be accused of hit-and-run? No, because no one was hit. I checked my senses again, no I didn’t feel anything. There was no hit, at all.
THANK GOD! I felt like a stunt person. How the hell did I get through those cars without hitting at least one? I think it was God’s doing. I don’t have that kind of skill.
I looked in my rear and the gold car had the bright idea of pulling over onto the shoulder, the left one at that. An 18 wheeler was approaching behind me. I’m sure he had been watching the whole thing. Thank God, again!
Any patting on the back aside. My mother was right. Although I wasn’t following THIS car closely, the lesson to be learned is do not follow cars closely, because you never know when you might have to stop suddenly.
Aw, and don’t tell me you knew that anyway. We all know that.
Thanks for reading. The wheelchair man story is on this blog, too.