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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Friday, January 26, 2007

360

Years ago, I had an automobile accident which still haunts my dreams.

In slow-motion, I can see my car being broadsided by the right (another lady driver, an illegal from Colombia, without insurance...).

I can hear that awful c-r-u-n-c-h of glass imploding and metal collapsing.

And I can conjure up visions of me inside the car, desperately and yet with an ethereal calm that still fascinates me, manoeuvering the steering wheel to safety towards the shoulder OF THE LANE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD, alive, but aged a decade in experience, in seconds.

I remember thinking to myself, even before I got out of the car, God, it's rush hour on an extremely busy road. How did I not hit or get hit full on, by an oncoming car?

There I was, today, sitting in my car on the 878 ramp going east, about to enter the weird residential highway we call South Dixie Highway (better known to other Americans as US-1).

The light changed green, I slowly accelerated and with no traffic coming behind me, I did something I have never done, and hope never to do again.

My car did a complete, utter 360 turn, for no reason at all.

I just sat holding the wheel with a death-grip, trying to steer it "right" again.

Having watched The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, I should've known not to panic and overturn, since the wheels overcompensated, almost flipping me on one side...

As soon as I righted the car, I pulled over and checked the tyres. Nothing. Three of them, at least, are brand-new. I pulled in meekly into a full service garage, and had them check the automatic steering fluid. Full up.

To the moment that I am writing this, I have NO idea why my car decided to go postal on me; even the fact that it was piddling down today, and cold, doesn't explain how one can do a 360 turn, going from 0 to 20 mph, just like that.

But I still had chores to do for my parents, going here and there, as my mother is too busy taking care of my father, to do what she normally does for him -- so I drove on.

That was around one in the afternoon.

Later that day, around five, I happened to find myself on the opposite side of the 878 expressway, watching the cars turn as I did, just a few hours ago.

It was then that I realised...



...I was damned lucky not to have had this traffic behind me, at the moment that I spun around.

Else I surely would've totaled my car -- or worse.

P.S.: No, those aren't my skid marks. Obviously, there are some other blogposts out there, telling a similar tale.

Labels: ,

13 Comments:

  • Blimey, Vic! Glad you're OK.

    Sounds a bit worrying if your car did that at low speeds.

    Were you turning at the time, as in turning left or right at a junction?

    I assume the car is rear wheel drive?

    You could've hit a patch of oil, which combined with the rain, kicked the back end out?

    The only accident I've ever had was driving into the back of a parked Range Rover in my Nissan Micra. Guess who came off worse.

    By Blogger Kullrad, at Fri Jan 26, 05:22:00 am GMT-5  

  • I'm with kullrad on this: just the right combination of light rain and oil and acceleration and the next thing you know. . .

    An aside: kind of jarring to see "skidmarks" used on a Sundries post. Even if in the correct context. Ewwww.

    By Blogger Pete, at Fri Jan 26, 05:48:00 am GMT-5  

  • Ugh! This post brings back bad memories. I had two such incidents happen to me in one month, and it has affected my ability/willingness to drive ever since! One of these involved my backward flying through the air Honda Civic CRX being hit by the cab on an 18 wheeler that was trying mightily to avoid me. I was shoved even further back, landed on four wheels, and walked away...but ugh, such memories! I'm very glad you came out ok, Vic! I doubt I could go back and take pictures of the place I had the 'moon shot!'

    By Blogger Ron, at Fri Jan 26, 06:47:00 am GMT-5  

  • I am happy to know that everything's ok Vics, and that you're in one solid piece. Maybe you hit a slick of oil or some sand. In any case, you had it good.
    Perhaps you should offer stunt driving lessons to Nicole Kidman. Cars sometimes go bronco on us, and the taming of a horse seems to be eerily similar to the taming of a car, at times. Of course, the concept also applies to the taming of the ironhorse, the motorcycle!
    Glard you're alright Vics....

    By Blogger Charlie Bravo, at Fri Jan 26, 09:30:00 am GMT-5  

  • Paraguera!

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Fri Jan 26, 01:55:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I am glad that you came out of it unscathed. Sounds like you were very lucky.

    Everyone here has basically covered what it could have been. Somtimes it can get very slippery just as it begins raining because it brings up any oil on the road but I believe you said it had been raining all day...

    Perhaps you should take another trip to the Church of the Little Flower and light a candle.

    By Blogger Renato, at Fri Jan 26, 09:18:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Blimey, Vic! Glad you're OK.

    Thanks, Kullrad. I confess, I was shaken up a bit after that.

    Sounds a bit worrying if your car did that at low speeds.

    Were you turning at the time, as in turning left or right at a junction?


    Right. In the photo you see where the traffic is veering to the left from the 878 off-ramp -- that's what I was doing.

    I assume the car is rear wheel drive?

    Right again.

    You could've hit a patch of oil, which combined with the rain, kicked the back end out?

    That seems to be the general consensus, and not being very mechanically inclined, I can only nod. :)

    The only accident I've ever had was driving into the back of a parked Range Rover in my Nissan Micra. Guess who came off worse.

    Yipes! Poor Kully...although the Nissan Micra convertible is rather fun, still, wouldn't like to be in one of those during an accident.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Jan 27, 03:00:00 am GMT-5  

  • I'm with kullrad on this: just the right combination of light rain and oil and acceleration and the next thing you know. . .

    Yes. :(

    You know, I thought about this a while, after reading your remarks.

    VERY nearby is an Auto Parts store, and I wonder if maybe there isn't a higher-than-usual amount of oil in that precise area, because of all the makeshift oil changes, fluid injections etc. done so close by.

    An aside: kind of jarring to see "skidmarks" used on a Sundries post. Even if in the correct context. Ewwww.

    Ewwww! Men! ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Jan 27, 03:03:00 am GMT-5  

  • Ugh! This post brings back bad memories. I had two such incidents happen to me in one month, and it has affected my ability/willingness to drive ever since! One of these involved my backward flying through the air Honda Civic CRX being hit by the cab on an 18 wheeler that was trying mightily to avoid me. I was shoved even further back, landed on four wheels, and walked away...but ugh, such memories! I'm very glad you came out ok, Vic! I doubt I could go back and take pictures of the place I had the 'moon shot!'

    Holy Mother of God, Ron! How ever did you walk away from that?

    Goes to show, you have what my mother calls bad good luck. Sure, you got into that predicament in the first place (unlucky), but somehow, you walked away more-or-less unscathed (lucky).

    Still, I'm sorry you don't feel comfortable driving any more.

    Believe me, I know how you feel (although I got in the saddle immediately afterwards, because I love driving. I find it calming...).

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Jan 27, 03:05:00 am GMT-5  

  • I am happy to know that everything's ok Vics, and that you're in one solid piece. Maybe you hit a slick of oil or some sand.

    I'm guessing that is the case, Charlie. No se porque, but things like that happen to me sometimes.

    Don't say it! Women drivers. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Jan 27, 03:07:00 am GMT-5  

  • Paraguera!

    LOL! I was trying to remember that word, which a Cuban friend of mine used to use in Hialeah.

    Not only La Ciudad que Progresa, but La Ciudad De Paraguerismo.

    (Translation for non-Cubans: Crazy ass, reckless drivers)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Jan 27, 03:08:00 am GMT-5  

  • I am glad that you came out of it unscathed. Sounds like you were very lucky.

    You bet!

    Anyway, I a gypsy told me I would die an old woman in my bed.

    Of course, she also told me I would win a Nobel Prize by the age of 40, and well, I just don't see it happenin'.

    Everyone here has basically covered what it could have been. Somtimes it can get very slippery just as it begins raining because it brings up any oil on the road but I believe you said it had been raining all day...

    Yes, it had, BUT sporadically, so you're guess might be right anyway.

    Perhaps you should take another trip to the Church of the Little Flower and light a candle.

    LOL! Good one, Renato. And yes, I should. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Jan 27, 03:10:00 am GMT-5  

  • Many moons ago, back in the Harvard visiting days, I met a German student who was seeing America via an airpass, and he promised to come see me here, which he did. In a three day visit, the one German word he insisted I learn was 'frauemsteur' -- (my bad spelling from memory!) women drivers!

    The other thing I remember was when I asked "What's new in Munich?", he launched into this story about a torn-down department store that wanted to rebuild on the same site, but couldn't because they found an old Jewish cemetary there and things were in a legal bind. "Ach!" said Helgar, "the Jews are always a problem." When I looked at him in shock, he made a sweeping palm gesture and said, "Do not worry so much -- the authorities will handle this matter."

    Whew!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sat Jan 27, 04:58:00 am GMT-5  

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