All my life I have wondered how normal people end up in head-collisions. With double-yellow lines, reflectors, and various other road markings I found it hard to believe that two people experienced drivers would ram right into one another. Up until yesterday, I fervently believed that drivers under the influence were the only people of committing this act due to their lack of perception.
It was foggy, but you could still see fifty to a hundred yards front of you (Similar to the picture on the right). On the street where my near-death took place, it’s a long stretch of straight pavement with each way having two lanes. It’s a relatively busy street with businesses and residentials on either side, and when I was driving around 7:00 AM yesterday, traffic was pretty light.
Out of the fog I see two headlights in my lane. I have momentary amnesia and wonder, ‘Does the road curve there? I don’t think there’s a turning lane there.’ I realize there isn’t when I see the beige Ford sedan carelessly driving toward me in my lane. I look over to see I’ve been boxed in on the right by two cars and small pickup truck. I lay on the horn of my Honda Civic which reaches decibel levels just slightly higher than a bicycle horn. Meeeeeheeheheehee!
The car begins to swerve from side to side and I think, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die in a head on collision at seven in the morning on the way to work on a Monday.’ The car flips on it’s left blinker, which means it’s going to plough into the three cars beside me, and then I’m going to crash into the back of her car. ‘Okay, I’m not going to die, I’m just going to be in a car accident. Probably go to the hospital, but at least I’ll have the day off from work.’ Then the car screeches back onto its side of the street, into the lane that it should have been in the entire time. My neck swivels to peer into the window to discover the identity of the person who almost killed me.
No, it was not an intoxicated teenager, or a beer-bellied drunk wearing sunglasses. It was a little old lady. Literally, a little, old, lady. She was peering over the steering wheel, which explained why she could see the divide. She was cracked and wrinkled with obviously poor eyesight. And I thought, ‘Wow, I was almost killed by a little old lady in a head on collision. I never thought that would be the way I’d go.’
What I learned yesterday was that people who choose to drive in the fog that have poor eyesight, and struggle to see over their steering wheel, are just as dangerous as drunk drivers.