Several friends and family members, especially Margot, are driving places this week. I urge them, and all of us, to engage mindfully in defensive driving.
What happened this morning is that a car came fairly close to smashing into me, directly connecting at the driver’s door. I am willing to recognize that at the age of seventy-six I may be misrepresenting to myself and to you what happened, but I think this is accurate.
I was stopped at a traffic light, and planned on turning right. The light: red. (My street ended at this intersection. One had to turn left or right.) I was in the right hand lane, turn indicator on. A car directly behind me. This was a location where a right turn at a red light is o.k. Nobody was in the left lane next to me.
On the street running perpendicular, only one car was approaching from the left, its right turn signal on. It was just in the process of going into its turn.
I decided to assume it would do as indicated, and to move ahead with my own turn. Then, I decided to hesitate another second and take another look to be certain that’s what the other car was doing…when it suddenly swerved to straighten while speeding up and plowing ahead, just missing the front of my car. If I had not hesitated, I’d have been out there, most likely for a broadside smash. (Or, another possibility–I could have collided with THAT car on its right side as it passed. Ugly, ugly, either way.)
I turned right as that car zipped ahead of me. As I suspected, that driver had realized as he began to turn that this wasn’t the street he wanted. The car’s turn indicator was now off, but two seconds before it got to the next intersection the right indicator came on again, and it swiftly turned right.
And I lived happily ever after.