On the way home last night, I nearly had a serious car accident. One minute I was safely driving along, the next minute I was in mortal danger. It happened so fast, within a matter of seconds, but it was terrifying and I knew for sure I had had a close shave.

I had been sitting in my car, waiting at a T-junction for the lights to turn right. Finally, the light went green. As I turned right, a bus opposite turned left from a side road into the lane beside mine. Suddenly, from behind the bus, a red sports car hurtled around the corner, driven at high speed by a young man. He was coming straight for me, side-on. I had nowhere to go as there was only a concrete motorway divider on the other side. I saw him, saw my situation, and I even looked straight into his eyes for a second as if time had stopped.

He was driving so fast that I thought it was all over. I thought my time was up.

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Then the young man saw me, registered what he was about to do, and he spun the steering wheel hard left. Swerving hugely, the back end of his car skidded as he struggled to get the car under control. After that, he stuck one hand up in the air, to say he was sorry.

I was thunder-struck.

I drove off slowly, pondering life and saying prayers of thanks.

I felt as if my eyes had opened, or I had woken from a deep sleep, to this very real awareness of the fragility of life. One minute I was driving home, listening to my favourite music, everything had been fine, and the next minute, everything had been in dire jeopardy. The boy’s car had come so close to mine. It was within a hair’s breadth. Just like that we both could have been dead, or hideously injured. Anything could have happened. But in this case, he swerved at the last minute and we both walked away.

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When I got home, I was still in a state of shock. I found I was shaky. I took some rescue remedy and had a cup of tea. The incident made me contemplate my mortality, because in a very real way I had seen how easily it can all be over. Just like that, in a twinkling, your time is up and you’re gone. I felt a new appreciation of life and felt so grateful to be able to walk in the door back into the arms of my family.

Today, the feeling of appreciation continues. I can’t help myself thinking about that young reckless driver. While his speed had been life endangering, the young man’s feat of driving to avoid a collision, I have to admit, was admirable. I put it down to the good reflexes of youth, and probably the years of gaming that all the kids do now, and also the expensive car would have helped too, because he could respond to the fact I was there and turn the car on the head of a pin. But he had to slow down within seconds, as well, or he would have ploughed straight into the back of the bus. The car was fishtailing all over the place. Lucky for him he had good brakes. His car kept him alive, and possibly me, too.

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I understand that since 2000 there has been a reduction in the number of fatal road crashes in New Zealand. However, I find that fact surprising. In the last few years, I’ve seen more dangerous driving on the roads than ever. I’ve witnessed some truly brainless stunts. I see more cars with dents in the bumpers and fenders. I used to like to drive fast as a younger person, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to drive more safely.

My father always used to say, “It’s not what you do on the roads you have to worry about it’s the other person.” That’s true, and what you do contributes, too.

I get it. Everyone’s hurrying everywhere because we’re all busy and under pressure. We’re all running late and there are more and more vehicles on the roads. However, life is more precious than getting there on time. I’ve been reminded of that and jolted out of my complacency into a deep gratitude for every moment I get to have with my family.

My new resolutions: I aim to be a better driver. I want to be more aware of what others are doing when I’m driving. I intend to slow down. 

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Talk to you later.

Keep on Creating!

Yvette K. Carol

*

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. – Richard Bach

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Comments
  1. You were lucky. I’m glad to read that things ended up ok. I don’t particularly like driving anymore. Way too many aggressive, ignorant people on the roads.

    Neil Scheinin

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      I know what you mean. Every time I drive anywhere, I feel I’m “taking my life in my hands.” It’s so scary on the roads. I get especially nervous when I see big jeeps being driven by people who are texting or talking on their phones.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sussu Leclerc says:

    Oh no, Yvette! I am so glad you’re still here.
    Life does give us several close calls, that’s true.
    I’m happy you dodged that one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Sussu! Even today, a day or so later, and the sky still seems extra blue, the sun more warm. I have had a wake-up call, for sure. If I was a cat with nine lives, I’d have only eight remaining. So, I’m feeling very grateful. 🙂

      Like

  3. Lynn Kelley - Author says:

    Thank God you’re still with us, Yvette. So darn scary. I’m glad the boys weren’t in the car with you. That would have been even scarier. A close call like that ages us a year in a few seconds! But your outlook and prayers will get you back to your young-at-heart self. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How terrifying … makes you wonder how precious life is … and how fragile. Carpe Diem. 😌🎈🦋

    Liked by 1 person

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