QOTD: The Closest Call You've Ever Had?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
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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  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Nov 09, 2018

    I've told this tale on here before, but it is still, by far, the closest call I have ever had. Southbound on I-495 in MA, around Andover. Mid-morning, just after some thunderstorms so the sun is out but the road is wet. 75mph moderate traffic. I'm about five car lengths or so behind a pickup in the left lane in my Saab 900SET. On the other side of the median, I see a big explosion of brown mud - I start braking. This resolves into a semi crossing the median (50' or so wide, bushes and small trees)! I get HARD on the brakes as the semi comes completely across the median and absolutely annihilates that pickup that was in front of me. Semi ends up across all three lanes of I-495, perpendicular to the road. I end up stopped about four feet from the side of the trailer. I duck across the passenger seat, absolutely certain I am about to be rear-ended right underneath that trailer. But amazingly, everyone got stopped around me. Was able to pick my way across the roadway and go the wrong way up an on ramp to get off the highway. The pickup truck was just disintegrated. I found out on the news that night that a car on the northbound side had hydroplaned into the semi and broke its steering axle. The poor driver was just along for the ride at that point. The guy in the pickup died on impact (no kidding, they probably had to suck him out of what was left with a shopvac). By some miracle, no other vehicles involved. Still gives me the shakes just thinking about it, and I can replay the whole thing in slow motion in my mind.

  • Road_pizza Road_pizza on Nov 14, 2018

    How'd I miss this one? Way back in the winter of '82-'83 my father had some legal research to do for a case (he was an attorney) in Colorado Springs and he asked me if I'd go with him to split the driving (he didn't like to fly) and being . We packed up the '81 Concord and headed out from Lakewood, OH to Colorado. Stopped for the night in Topeka, woke up the next morning to a budding winter storm. Heading west on I-70 the weather kept getting worse and worse and worse. Somewhere in the hinterlands while traveling at maybe 35mph I hit a spot where a road grader had cleaned the snow off the highway and exposed a nice ice patch which caused the Concord to immediately spin out. Came to a stop at a 90° angle to traffic... with a sliding 18 wheeler heading right for us! The Concord stopped right on said ice patch and it refused to move, the rear tire (no Posi on that "prices start at" special!) spinning in a vain hunt for traction. Somehow at about the last possible second it caught traction and spun out of the 18 wheeler's path with maybe a foot and a half to spare. Scared the living bajeebus out of my father and me.

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.