Yesterday there was a huge accident on the motor way, lots of cars were involved and the motorway was closed... needless to say it caused havoc all around the area because people were trying to find ways into work. It was a horrendous accident that resulted, unfortunately, in at least one death – though I don’t know the full details so it could be more.
It got me thinking about the responsibility we put on ourselves and others every day when we drive. Since I have thought about this I have noticed how many times I could have been in an accident just coming to and from work (5 miles) because of someone else’s stupid mistakes or my own impatience.
We all get complacent in our driving, you do it every day and normally the same routes so things just become habit but if you actually think about it, every time you get behind the wheel you are putting your life, your passengers, other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in danger. By saying this I am not trying to scare or change anyone but it is amazing that we are so at ease about the whole thing. You get people who can’t even get on planes because they are scared of it falling out of the sky but the dangers on the road are so much more risky!
The other day a cab driver got so impatient trying to turn into a road that he just started reversing, I was already going around him before he started so I couldn't stop and luckily he spotted me otherwise he would have backed straight into the side of me, wouldn't have been a major accident but a major inconvenience! And yesterday morning going to work I was going around a roundabout, indicating, and a girl decided to pull out in front of me! It was like she decided not to wait OR that she didn't see me, luckily (again) she slammed her brakes on and I managed to get past without any incident. When I passed I looked at her and she didn't even acknowledge that she had done anything wrong so I really am not sure she was aware! That is a worry.
I think because I had a minor ‘accident’ it has made me a little more aware of all these little mistakes people make, including myself, that could result in something awful happening. I had a lady drive into the side of me while I was going around a roundabout. Initially she tried to blame it on me saying I cut her up but after I pointed out that there wasn’t a chance the marks on my car could have been made unless I was ahead of her she quickly backed down and said it was fine and we didn’t need to change details etc.... anyway because I was in the right and did nothing wrong – I was indicating, there was no one coming from the left and she was in place when I set off – it made me realise that you can have a accident just because other people are not concentrating on what they are doing...
I mean you really don’t know who you’re going to encounter on a drive, people get so frustrated by cyclists that they make stupid, impatient decisions that could result in accidents. In the same breath, I see so many cyclists breaking rules and almost causing accidents themselves. I had numerous kids run out in front of my car near where I used to live, they just didn't seem bothered by the fact they were almost run over and yet I am sitting in my car heart pounding thinking about what would have happened if I had actually hit someone – it is a scary thought. Even if it isn't your fault imagine if you were involved in an accident where someone died, I can’t imagine I would ever be the same after something like that!
My aim now that I have noticed and thought about all these things, is to make sure I think more about my surrounding and try to lose the impatience I have when I drive – if I know that I have done all I can to drive safe I can’t be held responsible if there is an accident. You can’t stop the way other people drive but you can try to be better yourself.... maybe a motto for life in general too J
Peace on the roads people – take care, you’ll get home eventually so why not do your best to get there without incident J