Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A bad thing happened on the way to the church

I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floatin' around accidental-like on a breeze. But I, I think maybe it's both.
Forest Gump

I caused an accident Sunday. Well, maybe not. Maybe I was just the catalyst, a pawn in the hand of destiny planned for two people I don't even know.....or it was just an accident.
I was in the right lane making a turn into the church parking lot to pick up my 93 year old Mom. There was a little gold car waiting to turn left from the parking lot. The driver, an elderly lady, squinting toward me into the sun and seeing me signaling and slowed, darted out to be struck by a pickup passing me in the left lane. The gold car was pushed into the oncoming lanes that were luckily empty of traffic. The crash was horrendous. The little car appeared crushed. I had little hope for the frail driver.

My cell phone was where it's usually found when I need it, charging on the kitchen counter at home, so I drove down to the church calling out (somewhat hysterically, I'm afraid) to people leaving the building to have someone call 911. Eventually, the call was made.

Various church members rallied to provide what aid they could. Some stood by the car speaking encouragement to the driver. One elderly gentleman conducted traffic with such grace and efficiency that he must have done it many times in the past.

After the departure of the fire truck and the ambulance, ("No siren," I said hopefully to my Mom.), a pleasant, young policeman came to take my witness statement. To my joyful amazement, he said that the driver of the little gold car, although battered and bruised, seemed to be all right! Her car had provided much better protection than I dreamed it could.

He went on to say that the fact that the truck and my Ford Escape were about the same gray played into the way the other driver perceived the oncoming traffic. Seen against the sun, the two same-color cars blended to appear as one vehicle, a trick of the eye that apparently happens fairly often.

I was reminded that driving requires attention. I had been aware of the truck behind me, but not that it had changed lanes to pass me. In retrospect, I know I couldn't have changed things, but I could have been more aware. When driving, I listen to the radio or a CD, or visit with a passenger, or just get lost in my own thoughts and forget to watch the mirrors. I plan to be more aware of surrounding traffic at all times in the future.
Here's an AOL site that lists the safest cars and some safe driving tips.


Stay safe on the road and off.........