Close call

We were out pretty late one weeknight because Raquel had to go to her Photography class which ends at 9pm. There were some roadworks at the freeway that night so some lanes had to be closed.

I had to do a merge when we got on the freeway like I usually do and it always made me slightly nervous each time. You have to come in at 80kph and make sure that there isn’t a car on the lane you’re merging into by the time you need to do the merge. Otherwise, crash!

There we were attempting the merge with slow vehicles in front of us which always makes merging a tad more challenging. I looked right and there was an approaching car. I’d make the merge if I could just gain more speed. So I sped up while ensuring I don’t hit the slow car in front of me. I merged just at the right moment. Whew.

Then I noticed that the lane I was on would become closed-off a few metres down the road so I quickly switched to the right lane (and only lane that would remain open) to avoid worrying about another more challenging merge later. After the switch, I stepped on the gas to get up to the posted speed limit and avoid being rear-ended by the fast-moving oncoming car behind us.

However, the car that was in front of us in the previous lane decided at that moment to switch lanes and get right I’m front of us. The car in front of that car also had the same idea but did it more slowly than the one in front of us.

Suddenly, the car in front of us braked to avoid hitting the car in front of it. I had to suddenly pull my foot away from the gas pedal and slammed it on the brake pedal with all my might! We continued to skid forward anyway! I can see the bonnet of the car quickly closing in on the front car’s rear and the only thing I could do was to continue to floor the brakes. I looked at my rear view mirror and the speeding car behind us also hit the brakes but was skidding right for us.

If I hit the car in front of us and force us to come to a halt, I was sure that the car behind us would hit us as well. So for the next few seconds, I was trying my darnest not to collide with the car ahead. As I floored the brakes, I steered the car to the right hoping that angling the car diagonally would give us slightly more space between us and the car in front of us. But I had to control the steering to make sure I don’t crash against the freeway’s right-most railing.

It was amazing! We didn’t touch the car ahead of us and we weren’t rear ended neither! It was the closest thing to drifting I had ever done. Once the car in front started to gain some speed, I realigned our car and stepped on the gas. And then all was well again.

Talk about close calls. It was so close to becoming a roadside disaster and I’m thankful Raquel and I came out of it in one piece.

Thinking back, there were two things that may have contributed to our lucky escape: all those years playing video games prepared me to react quickly to sudden changes in environment; and I remembered that before I drove off the car park, I prayed that God bless our trip. I usually don’t pray before driving but I did that night. I leave it to you which of the two contributed more to our safe ride home. I’m just glad we got out of that whole incident safe and sound.

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Published in: on August 28, 2008 at 7:22 pm  Comments (4)