In the Rearview Mirror

Having just read and commented on Ginnie’s blog about her accident and her new car, I was reminded of a series of accidents that I was involved in although I only ended up being an observer of the third incident. Believe it or not, I was the innocent and blameless lamb in all three cases.

The first happened on a Sunday morning in Detroit. We were visiting Cuppa’s aunt, and the three of us were on our way to church. A red light loomed in front of me, and like a good Canadian boy in a foreign land (although I didn’t know it at the time, I was really still a boy), I stopped in strict obedience to the law. Immediately, I heard the squeal of a braking car behind me before we were pummeled. That was a bit of a shock to the system, let me tell ya: particularly for Cuppa as it eventuated shortly thereafter.

Although banged up, the car was drivable, so we continued on our way to church. During the hymn portion, however, Cuppa suddenly felt faint and shocked us by sitting abruptly. She didn’t actually sit but plunked onto the chair. This was  quite a concern to me and her aunt as Cuppa was pregnant with Thesha at the time. However, both mother and child were to be fine. Phew!

Many years later, a somewhat similar event occurred. There was a red light ahead; it wasn’t sudden, and I had lots of time to stop, which is fortunate because I found the conditions underneath to be dangerously slippery. Having been rear-ended once, I was immediately leery and glanced in the rearview mirror. Sure enough, the car directly behind me wasn’t able to stop in time. Thunk. Then a third car collided with the second. Strangely enough, only the third car was charged in the aftermath. That’s something that to this day, I don’t understand as she did not drive the second car into me. That car hit me under her own momentum; she wasn’t pushed.

Needless to say, I have since been even more aware — if that’s possible — of the danger of sudden stops. That was to prove fortunate since I was about to play the Third Time’s a Charm game. Fortunately, it proved to be true.

The third incident did not occur at an intersection. I was simply driving along when the cars in front stopped suddenly for some reason. It wasn’t a really speedy road, but we weren’t crawling either. Fortunately, since I am usually careful about leaving space between me and the car in front, I had no difficulty braking. But my previous experiences taught me to look in the mirror, and I began to see the inevitable occurring behind me. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to check the other lane, see that it was clear, and swerve over before the the car behind me was rear-ended. It’s amazing what your mind can instantly process. I think I would have been in the clear regardless, but it was better to be safe than sorry.

Because I had momentum from swerving I thought it best to keep going, for I had somewhere to be. After I completed my little errand, I drove to the police station to tell them what I had witnessed. They said that the officer was still there investigating, so I headed back and left my name with the policeman. He said something about wondering about the car that left the scene, but he wasn’t really interested in any testimony that I had to offer, which was that the car two behind  had been travelling too fast and too closely behind to the vehicle in front of him.

Those are my three encounters of a similar theme. Now, of course, more situations spring to mind. Has  a series just begun, and how many accidents has AC been involved in? Even AC doesn’t quite know the answer to the first part of that question … although, like you, I have my suspicions 🙂

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12 Responses to In the Rearview Mirror

  1. Mara says:

    Ever since I’ve had one of those incidents where someone couldn’t stop in time, I’ve been a sucker for mirrors and had some close escapes as well. Unfortunately I’ve also managed to hit others over the years, but since I am a professional driver, I think that’s inevitable.

  2. KGMom says:

    After visiting here, I need to head over to Ginnie’s to read her story.
    Three times, eh? A charm? Of sorts.
    I too leave lots of space in front of me–the proverbial car’s length or two–but of course other drivers think that space is for them! So I then drop back again, only to have the nipping in repeated.

  3. Diana says:

    I try to be so careful when driving. People just seem to be in their own little worlds anymore! I saw Ginnie’s car too. I was happy that she wasn’t hurt!
    I see the beginning of a new series for you AC!!
    Love Di ♥

  4. Lorna says:

    this post made me very disquieted, even though I knew from personal experience over food and wine that you were just fine. If this is a series-to-be, please be advised that I’ll be zooming along in the fast lane, while it’s under construction.

  5. Pearl says:

    Glad you walked away from them all.

    I’ve been in 3 cars that were totalled, but not as the driver and no permanent injuries. Even cycling now my stomach and back clench when I see a bumper coming up on me fast. The mind can sort things but the body has a while longer to go to remember.

  6. D. Hough says:

    Twice I’ve been in accidents where the car behind has driven into my car. Once on a roundabout, where the driver behind me just wasn’t paying attention and accelerated right into my car, and the second time coming around a bend on a narrow country road, and seeing that the car in front had stopped and was signalling to turn. I managed to stop in time, but the car behind me didn’t.

  7. Friko says:

    I am lucky never to have been rear-ended or shunted into anybody in front and I hope it never happens. I’ve had two accidents where no one was hurt but one car (mine) had to be written off, that’ll do me.

    Thanks for your visit. Yes, all photos are mine and were taken the day before posting.
    I always carry a small camera, so when these moments occur, I can grab them.
    Golden moments are rare in the dull, grey winters here in the UK.

  8. Donna (Texas) says:

    Hubby and I were also hit from the rear as well 2 yrs ago. By a doctor no less. The street was wet and he was in a hurry to get to the hospital. No one was hurt thank God.
    Think positive! No More Accidents….

  9. Doris says:

    I’ve been wanting to relate this tale of an accident I witnessed so here is my opportunity. You probably remember O’Brien boulevard (it’s one of the widest streets in St-Laurent) – well, one morning while walking to work and waiting for the light to change, I saw two cars backing out of their driveways (which were on opposite sides of the boulevard). Each driver seemed properly cautious, looking for oncoming traffic, etc. but I could see what was going to happen (with no ability to warn them). They both backed out into the empty street and collided in the middle! I wonder what the odds are of that happening. I am a little ashamed to say I laughed.

  10. Ginnie says:

    Your words are comforting, AC…it makes me feel less stupid when I know I am not the only one to get caught behind someone who just stops for no reason ! Let’s count our blessings and hope we’ve had our share of car mishaps.

  11. Ruth says:

    I was rear-ended at a good speed by an off duty police officer when I worked in the community (a brand new minivan too). I did not see it coming though. I was in a very serious head-on collision where my parents were badly injured and am a bad passenger to this day. I prefer to drive than to be driven.

  12. Col says:

    I’m afraid I have been on both ends of this story. It does make one cautious, especially with winter driving, and, if nothing else, I always leave plenty of room between me and the car in front.

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