“Your pushing your luck everytime you drive unsafely, but accidents can happen in only a second…we spend on average 100 hours on the road every year…that’s 360,000 seconds…how lucky can you be?” – William Chen
I almost died today…and I’m not being dramatic.
I was driving on the lane closest to the side of the road, when I noticed the car infront wasn’t able to keep a straight line. It would drift to the left, then to the right, and then all of a sudden, it clipped the kerb and the car lost control, and a second later crashing head on into a power pole.
I hit the brakes as soon as I saw the car hit the kerb, but I wasn’t slowing down nearly fast enough to stop in time, but in the final meters, I managed to pull a hard left onto footpath, missing the car by about a meter.
The driver was taken to hospital in an ambulance, I believe he was in pretty bad shape, but he was alive. I came out with only a punctured left tyre (probably from hittng the kerb too hard) and a good dose of shock. It was a miracle that nobody was on the footpath (I’m sorry if I did the wrong thing by turning onto footpath, but it was a split second decision I had to make without really thinking).
You are now probably asking, it was a close call, but why did I say “I almost died”?
Because on another day (infact most other days), I would of probably rammed straight into the back of that car as it came to a sudden stop after hitting the power pole. Not only will I be gone, but I would of most likely killed the driver infront too. I will now explain why, and I hope you guys will read carefully. Although this has nothing to do with Wealth or Success, if I can save one life with this post, this blog has done it’s job.
Phone and Other Distractions
On another day…I could be fiddling with my GPS.. I could be changing the radio station, or skipping to the next song on the CD or I might be taking a sneak peek at an SMS I just received on my phone..and if the car infront had hit the pole in that exact moment, I would of seen it much too late, and likely hit the car infront at near full speed. “But the chances of that happening is like 1 in a million!” you say. Accidents happen in only a second and we spend on average 100 hours on the road every year…that’s 360,000 seconds…how lucky can we be?
Like most other drivers (especially teenagers), we have all broken the speed limit at some point in our driving career, some of us more regularly. The road is straight, just how unsafe can it be? We justify to ourselves. Sure we might get home without a problem for years, and maybe even go through your whole life without an accident, but it’s the one in a million scenarios that will kill you. I have way too much to live for (just like everyone of you reading this) and I’m not taking that chance.
Keeping your Distance
I am guilty of sometimes following way too closely to the car infront. I mean, I always leave enough room for most braking situations, but if the car infront were to brake hard suddenly, I probably wouldn’t stop in time. In the case of the car hitting the pole, it certainly would mean the difference between life and death for both of us.
Ask anybody who know me, and they all say I work too hard, and don’t sleep nearly enough for a normal human being. As a result, I feel almost constantly sleepy. And being sleepy is a terrible state to be driving in, especially with the amount of driving I do (Over 40,000km a year). Research has proved over and over again the connection between driver fatigue and accidents. Not only are you at risk of having a micro-sleep (you literally nod off for a second or two), but your reaction times are dramatically reduced.
But it just happened that this week, I have been getting slightly more sleep than usual, and as a result, I was a tad more alert than my usual self, and that just might have gotten me that precius half a second to respond and avoid the car ahead.
I have a bad habit of not fixing something until it is broken, and in the case of my tyres, it was in such a terrible state, that 3 weeks ago, I got a defect notice from a passing police officer that pulled me over, which said I had to replace the bald tyres (anybody believe in fate?). And I did just that. Today, these 4 new tyres probably gave me just enough grip to keep the car in control to pull left in the last moment. Sure, a bald tyre would of gotten me home fine on most days, especially if the road is dry, but today it saved my life.
- You can take a chance next time you want to use your phone while driving, and make it home most days…
- You can impress your friends by speeding down that seemingly safe stretch of road, and get a few cheers from it…
- You might experience a micronap next time your driving fatigued, and make it home to tell your friends what a close call it was…
- You might get away driving with bald tyres or worn brakes, and put off spending these extra bucks for now…
But in one second, on one of these days, you might not be so lucky.
Take care and drive safe everyone.
Hope the guy in the accident is going to be okay.
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