Have you ever noticed how a car wreck never sounds like it does in the movies–at least when it isn’t something major. It makes this flat, heavy noise–no reverb, no echo just THUNK.
Yesterday in Nashville traffic someone smacked into the back of my car and one of the first things that I thought of was about the sound. The next thing (after I made sure Meredith and Nathan were OK) was about an article I had read online. It was something about new brakes and the people in the comments were arguing about how better brakes just means that you are going to get hit by the guy with worse brakes behind you. One person talked about what you should do, (and most drivers do naturally) is once you have your car stopped enough that it is under control you roll up as far as you can so that the person behind you doesn’t hit you.
I read that article on Thursday night and all day when I was driving on Friday I was thinking about it and about how it is natural to look up in your mirror when you are stopping hard to see if you are going to get hit and see if you can get out of the way. So after a day spent thinking about that I actually got to use it and to get ticked off at someone who had no clue what was going on behind them.
Here’s the story. We have just pulled onto the interstate and are about to roll off at the next exit. I am still accelerating and not planning on getting out of the far right lane. Suddenly the guy in front of me throws on his breaks because the line for getting off at the exit is backed up out off of the ramp and into the interstate. So I slam on my brakes so that I won’t hit the guy and once I sure that I wasn’t going to hit him looked in my mirror. That was when I knew we were about to have a wreck. There was no way the guy behind me was stopping in time. I swerved towards the shoulder and and let up on the brake to try to roll a little farther up to give him some more room, but it wasn’t enough. He smacked into my back bumper. It did a little damage to my car and crumpled his hood up and pushed back his radiator. But here is the annoying part. When he hit me I didn’t have my brakes on so I rolled up a little and when I did I could see that the car in front of me had about a 2 car length gap between him and the next car. Had he seen what was happening behind him and rolled up a little I wouldn’t have needed to spend 2 and a half hours on the side of the road.
Yes you read that right it took 2 hours for a police officer to get there to check out the accident. Next time I am leaving my car in the middle of traffic so that they will come and see what is wrong.
(By the way Nathan and Meredith got in the car with my sister and brother-in-law so they didn’t have to wait on the side of the road with me. Waiting for that long with a baby would have made the tone of this entry much less lighthearted)