thief of time

Friday, February 04, 2005

Stormy Weather Driving

I had a “near-accident” experience this week and I was not impressed. My life didn’t pass before my eyes, either because my life isn’t a movie (I wonder if it’s artistic licence, or if it really does happen in some exceptional individuals), or because things went by so quickly, I didn’t have a chance to think much of anything at all. My thoughts certainly weren't terribly coherent, whatever they were.

It was the day of the big storm. I’d heard some nasty weather was on its way, but wasn’t able to get away from the office early and I was certainly glad I wasn’t out on the roads when it did hit, because the weather was incredible in its ferocity. Thank goodness it was brief, or there would have been even more damage than there was, though I know some places around here were extremely badly hit.

At any rate, I left home when the worst had well and truly finished and it was just raining lightly.

I go home via a back road which only has a few lights along it, before I turn off and join a side street that leads me into my suburb proper. Three of the four lights were out due to the storm and I was sure there’d be all kinds of problems, but everyone was sensible and approached the intersections slowly and with respect. It’s quite surprising when people behave sensibly. I guess we naturally expect the worst. I know I do.

When I got off to the last stage of my trip, only minutes from home, someone came zooming out of a side street, straight through a Give Way sign, right in front of me. I had just enough time to put the brakes on (which thankfully did the trick, but not by a whole lot) and say a quick “thank you, God”, before going into adrenaline overload.

The other driver slowed down slightly and then just sped off. I’m glad they at least noticed what almost happened, as I’d hate to think I didn’t register on them at all.

Why in heaven’s name would someone be travelling at speed along wet streets and go through a give way sign without even looking?

On the other hand, why am I just as surprised when people behave like idiots, as I am when people behave sensibly?

It must be experience at war with expectations.


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