QOTD: The Closest Call You've Ever Had?
In a QOTD post last week, we opened up our memory banks and recalled the days of driver’s ed; the bumpy road we all took to become the car fans we are today. But the dangerous driving moments never end at the learner’s permit or license.
Today we want to know the closest call you’ve ever had.
The closest call your author’s ever had stands out above any other dangerous driving situations (thus far). I recalled it to a friend the other day, which is why we’re here right now. Probably the worst part of telling the story was that any crash would’ve been entirely my fault.
The year was circa 2007, the time was in the early evening, and the car was a 1997 Infiniti I30 (a fine car, by the way). Darkness was just beginning to fall as I approached a green light on US 50 in Indiana. I’d like to show you the intersection and how it looked at the time, but by 2008 (as old as Google Maps goes), it had been replaced with the ramp arrangement you see below. Coming to the intersection in the left lane, I was distracted by a view across the road.
Said view was of the old, closed-down Kroger where I used to work. It was where I parked my Audi 5000 so many times. The store had relocated shortly before, down the road a ways. But I had memories there, and they were enough to draw the eye. Realizing my eyes had drifted from the road, my vision snapped back forward — to see a nearly new (and hideous stepside) Toyota Tundra coming to a stop a few yards in front of me. That green light was apparently an old one, and must have turned red right the instant after I stopped looking. At the time, I’d guess I was traveling about 40 to 45 miles an hour.
Seemingly in slow motion, I gave a cursory glance over my right shoulder while jabbing my foot on the brakes. Seeing no car was there, I sawed at the wheel as the ABS pulsed under my foot in protest. The soft suspension prompted a nose dive to the left as I took the right lane, next to the Tundra. When the I30 came to a stop, its nose was level with that of the Tundra. Hands white knuckled on the big airbag wheel, I looked over slowly to the Tundra driver, who gave me a pretty perplexed “What the hell?” sort of look. Crash avoided. It would’ve been a serious one, to be sure.
Let’s hear about your closest call.
[Images: Nissan, Google Maps, Toyota]
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