I’m heading to work and it’s raining, foggy, and the sun has just disappeared over the horizon. Suddenly I see lights in my face, feel my car get crunched, feel the airbag blow out of my steering wheel and push me back in my seat. I try to keep from being pushed off into the ditch. When I stop, there’s a horn going off somewhere—turns out it’s mine. My door won’t open, but I’ve enough adrenalin pumping through me that I’ve no difficulty grabbing the top of my door sill and pulling myself up and out of the car. I pull the wire to disconnect my horn. Turning to the scene behind me, I put together an image of what just happened.
A Honda Accord was sitting in the opposite lane to mine, waiting to pull across my lane onto a side street. A huge, green SUV following behind the Honda Accord decided to use the Honda in place of its own brakes. The Honda had its wheels turned my direction when it was hit, thus it was driven into me, the oncoming traffic. The Honda’s rear end was crushed all the way up to the back of the driver’s seat. The SUV sustained very little visible damage. My car was totaled. I, however, was only shaken up and suffered slight “carpet burns” to my wrists where the air bag rubbed when it deployed. Neither was anyone else injured.
As fun as driving is, and as much as I feel it’s just the other side of breathing in terms of its importance to me, it’s also dangerous. This accident was only one of several I’ve had over the years. Incidents like this remind me to be mindful of my surroundings and help keep me from drifting into autopilot mode—something delivery drivers are prone to do.