Thursday, October 09, 2008

Attention! Prangs Ahead

If I finish this academic year without having pranged the car, I reckon it'll be a miracle.

The route taking my eldest to school is fraught with potential accident spots. The other day it was raining and I was in the left-hand lane. I wanted to be in the right-hand lane, so I could turn right a bit further on, but just as I was about to nip into a space, a car a few cars up slammed on its brakes, and three cars behind, one didn't quite make it and crashed into the car in front.

I thankfully managed to avoid this little accident, just avoiding an accident myself from the car behind me as I changed my mind and stayed a bit longer in the left-hand lane! It's so easily done.

This week, two cars have broken down on a two-lane road and sat causing havoc as they wait for the truck to come and tow them away. I have to keep reminding myself not to get distracted because that's the moment the guy in front stops moving and you go sailing into his rear.

I remember when in the throes of marriage breakup, being constantly distracted, and tired, and probably a danger on the road. I did have a couple of little accidents, but I'm sure there are continually people like that trying to cope with the stress of their lives whilst in charge of a vehicle.

You become less reactive - a bit like having a high alcohol blood level I suppose. Your head is so full of shit that you can only pay a much smaller percentage of your concentration levels on driving. It's all very well condamning people for talking on phones while they drive, but a hasard as dangerous, if difficult to test, is the preoccupied driver.

This evening I was creating rude letters to send to various people (well, one in particular) in my head when I realised I should be paying attention to the traffic jam surrounding me. It's so boring though, sitting in traffic, isn't it? You move, stop, move, stop; you can't get out a book, and there's perhaps crap on the radio. The journey isn't really very long, but you're dying to get home for a cuppa because you're tired. It's so easy to just let your mind wander and end up misjudging the movement of the car in front.

I'm telling you, it's either me or my neighbour who's driving whilst under the influence of a preoccupied mind, and the chances ain't good that I end the year with my car intact. Mind you, I wouldn't mind too much someone going into me either back or front as I have work to do on both ends which could be sorted nicely if paid for by someone else's insurance...

Always look on the bright side!

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