Narrow Escapes I’ve Had In My Life
It was late evening. I was driving home to Tallahassee from Atlanta, Georgia, after attending a 2 day computer training seminar. The drive took me about 4.5 to 5 hours to make. I was tired and ready to get home. It was a completely dark, moonless night. By 10:30 pm I had reached the two-lane road that represented the last few miles to home (This happened in the 1980s, now that road has been widened and lanes added, but back then it was a very narrow two-lane road.) I had driven this road many times before, though mostly in the daylight. So I knew much of the road I was then driving on had no shoulder. In those places, if you drove off the side of the pavement, you dropped into a deep ditch.
I had been alone on the road for awhile. I was going the speed limit — I think it was 50 mph.
I saw another car coming towards me in the opposing lane. No problem, not unusual. But suddenly the car behind that one started passing that car. Now two cars were coming at me, and the one passing the other was in my lane, heading straight at me for a head-on collision. Neither of those two cars were slowing down to let the other car get back in their lane.
Instantly I was wide awake as the adrenaline surged. My brain went into hyperdrive. I knew 100 % that I was dead if we had a head on collision at our speed. I knew I was 100 % dead if I zoomed to the shoulder IF that was a place where the deep ditch was. I also knew there was a very slight chance I wasn’t at a deep ditch part … and I could not see what the shoulder looked like in the darkness. My brain was racing, instantly realizing these things. Although it may seem this process took a while as I explain my thoughts to you, at the time I had only an instant to think and the thoughts occurred immediately.
Ultimately, my brain decided a very slight chance of not dying was better than 100% chance of dying.
So, I jerked my steering wheel to the right, then braking, toward what I hoped would be the shoulder, my brain thinking “I’m a goner!”
Then Hallelujah! This was a part of the road that had a shoulder! A microsecond after hitting the shoulder, both cars whizzed by me at the same time, exactly even with each other so they were taking up the whole road. It looked like the first car was speeding up, determined not to let the car behind pass, and the car behind just kept speeding up to get by. I came to a stop, then just sat in my car, there on the shoulder. I shook for about 15 minutes before I could continue. The jerks that tried to kill me were long gone when I caught my breath and pulled back on the road to continue on home. They did not come back to check on me — or even apologize for being idiots! Maybe they couldn’t find a place to turn around.
LESSON LEARNED: Be prepared for idiot drivers.
LESSON LEARNED: Never assume other driver(s) is/are as intelligent as you wish they were.
LESSON LEARNED: On roadways as either a driver or pedestrian, always remember: The right of way is to be given, not taken. I clearly had the right of way; I’d clearly have died if I had kept my right of way.
LESSON LEARNED: Given two choices, where the first choice most likely will lead to disaster and the second choice will 100% lead to disaster, choose the first — a slight chance is always better than none.
Here are the links to my signing and cueing YouTube “Word Of The Day” channels. I post a new word every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Check it out and I would love to know what you think of them!
YouTube ASL Word Of The Day with PSE Sentence Examples: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLOG4fqHRMQ8zL3llMl9YDg/
YouTube Cued Speech Word Of The Day: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxojUy-dP6C2YKp3BWQPg1w/
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Please join me for my new blog posts each Friday. Have fun with your ASL and/or Cued Speech Adventures!