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I did it again

edited July 2017 in Off-Topic
Sorry if I seemed in a bad mood. Frankly I haven't been posting much lately. That is another way of saying I haven't been getting *upset* at things as much lately (ARTYX notwithstanding which has been my long term pet peeve).

Around 4 years back I told you guys about a narrow escape I had when a car jumped over the median on the other side of the highway and crashed straight into me. I had a fractured sternum and was out of action for 2 months. More importantly I lived. Unbelievable. I got over it quickly. It wasn't my fault.

That was then. This is now. On my way to Austin, July 4, for my daughter's orientation at UT, I did something I don't normally do. I got "tired" of waiting behind an 18-wheeler. I changed lanes moving to the fastest but still under the speed limit which was still 70mph. Almost immediately I saw the bottle. I thought it was going to pass between the wheels. Last moment the wind blows it under my right tire.


I went off the road, crashed into the railing and totaled another van. My fault entirely. WTF did I have to change lanes? Wonder what would have happened if the railing was not there. We might have been in the ditch rolled over. I will try to post some photos. It was pretty nasty. While I braked I must have hit at at least 50 mph. My entire life - my entire family was with me. The only injury was scraping from airbags which is to be expected. We still made it to Austin thanks to a friend lending me his car, and then others lending me theirs while in Austin.

No thanks to me, we are all reborn that day. Until now I felt every problem I had was someone else's fault. So it was my right to get upset. Now I know better. I have been given a second chance, not at my life, but to make sure I live long enough to take care of my family. I can't even imagine what I would do if anything happened to them that day. The only reason I am penning this is because I realized I was getting upset. WTF do I care if M* and Artisan are pushing ARTYX? Bah!


  • If you were driving unsafely in any way, you failed to explain that in your post. Judging solely from what you wrote, I can't see how it was your fault at all.
  • So glad you and your family escaped uninjured. Whether it be illness or escaping an accident it changes you. In profound ways.. keep the faith.
  • @VintageFreak- I agree with dryflower- I fail to see how a legal lane-change to pass a large truck is inherently unsafe. Road hazards can appear anywhere, at any time, without warning. That bottle could just as easily been in the lane that you changed from, passed under the 18-wheeler without contact, and been right there waiting for you. Or even caught under the last tires of the 18-wheeler and spun through your windshield.

    That's just the way it is. If there's really someone "up there" watching over each and every sparrow they must be way too busy to worry about humans.

    Glad to hear that everyone came through it OK... well, reasonably OK, anyway.

  • You do the best you can to control the things you can, and deal with the other stuff as it happens. Glad to know you and yours are okay.
  • I never drive in fast lane. I will never drive in fast lane. Have seen too many accidents in fast lanes. I don't drive in HOV lanes either
  • Road hazards have no idea what lane they are in. I've gotten wiped out by road hazards in the "slow" lane. It is what it is.
  • Glad you're OK, VF. Those deployed airbags reminded me of an accident I had in Detroit on the way to a school in CT. Not my fault, but the whole family was really shaken. Off to Atlanta next month with youngest daughter who is transferring from UM. Will have the description of your accident in my mind as I drive.
  • Glad to hear that you and family are ok. That looks scary. I had one accident several years back where it was truly my fault. Had just come off the freeway on a last minute whim to show my family something in a passing city. I was driving at city speeds 20 mph (my wife actually complains I drive too cautiously!) but got distracted somehow by some red cones past the intersection (still don't believe why I was looking at them) and did not stop at the red light. Even though I was slow and there was essentially no traffic, a car was going through the intersection quite fast and I hit it. Thankfully, nothing happened to anyone in the car as well as us due to airbags. My mini-van rental was totalled. I had six persons in my car (my family plus grandparents). Till then and since then, in 30 years of driving I never had even a single minor accident, no speeding tickets, no parking tickets, nothing!
  • It feels good that you trust us here to share that mess, @VintageFreak. You hit a bottle that had no business being there. None of this can possibly include any blame on your part. Glad you are ok.
  • You did mention impatience.

    A difficult habit to break or merely bend. We are all guilty of it. Whether its investing or driving a car. I personally annoy those behind me as I coast to a red light while other relish in accelerating and breaking hard. I find myself using my hazards more and more on the highway when approaching slowing traffic. All this hustle equates to mere minutes, mere dollars...not worth the risk.

    Learn from your experience. Feel grateful that no one was injured. Hang in there. Glad you felt it necessary to share this with others.
  • "I personally annoy those behind me as I coast to a red light while other relish in accelerating and breaking hard. I find myself using my hazards more and more on the highway when approaching slowing traffic."

    @bee- You too, h'mm?

  • I too, am in the habit of doing what little I can, to signal oncoming drivers, or someone I'm passing, or someone else passing me. Maybe headlights on and off X3 to warn the guys coming the other way that a stinky, sneaky cop with nothing REAL to do, is hiding where I can see him, but by design, the cop is parked where traffic coming at me from the other side will not see hide nor hair of the copper. And I'm not trying to win the race, anymore, either. I'm from the Northeast, though, and it does annoy me when someone is lollygagging, and in so doing, preventing me from getting around them. TRULY, younger drivers are being taught these days to drive stupid. When we learned, we learned to drive efficiently--- and to be AWARE of what's going on around us. Damn, I hate lollygaggers.

  • We just had something similar. Plastic gasoline can about five gallon size fell out of back of pickup ahead of us. We hit it because lanes on either side of us were full and we couldn't swerve around it, but got lucky; it was empty. Things happen in a hurry and sometimes are no one's fault.
  • @VF: Better call MAACO !
  • VF, All that matters is that you are OK. That vehicle is a mess; you are fortunate.
  • Vintage, so very glad to know you and your family are ok. I agree with others that say there was no real fault at all, except for whomever tossed the bottle, and that could have been months ago.
  • Even though I do not post much, I read most of your posts. I am very glad that you are fine.
  • Hi VintageFreak and All MFOers,

    Congratulations VintageFreak on your survival! It appears the car didn't do as well as you did. Good for you.

    Much of what happens on our highway system is location dependent. State stats vary considerably across our Nation. Many of these stats are very unexpected. For example, California drivers are not as bad as their reputation suggests. Here is a nice accident summary presented in an easy to understand graphic format:

    Enjoy. Some parts of our Nation are far more challenging than others in terms of driving safety statistics. Like factors approaching five. Wow!! And I wish all of us safer long term outcomes. Although we don't have total command and control, we do have a significant input.

    Best Wishes
  • VF, Glad you and your family is safe. The air bags and side curtails saved the occupants. Our car sustained windshield damage from objects fell out of the trucks. These were frightening experience as I see it replayed in slow motion before it striked the windshield.

    Several years ago a deer ran out in front of our car was within the city limit and it rolled onto the hood and windshield. Once more roll, the deer would come into the car when the sunroof was open, and I would not be writing here. It was complete accident and the insurance adjuster got a good laugh over it.
  • Glad to hear you’re OK. Sometimes you can be minding your own business and a piano falls out of the sky and flattens you. Some years ago, I was on a rural interstate at maybe three in the morning. Driving along in the right lane reasonably above the speed limit. I look in the mirror and see a big Cadillac gaining on me. Fine, he’ll pass, thought I. I look up a couple moments later and, HOLY CRAP, HE’S NOT GOING TO PASS! BAM! There I am, standing on the brake, skidding down the road. Big dudes get out of the car. The driver apologizes that he was talking to “my man.” On inspection, there seemed to be no damage (This was before air bags). I couple hours later, my muffler fell off. Sigh.

    I guy I worked with was in an accident in his SUV where he and his three boys ended up skidding down the road upside down, just like in the movies. Everyone was buckled in – No one was injured. A teachable moment? While the boys were freaked, I suggested he emphasize what a story they would have to tell …
  • God bless the automotive engineers. I'm in awe of their ability to design the crumpled boxes from which we walk safely away.

    And you, too, big guy. We can't avoid making choices, all of which have consequences but few of which have foreseeable consequences. So we do the best we can to be alert and thoughtful and forgiving, not least of all to ourselves.

  • @David_Snowball- Yes, I was thinking the same thing re the safety engineering. They've done good.
  • Dare I ask whether some of those design outcomes were the result of government regs?
  • No, you dare not. The correct answer would only start another fistfight. As you well know.
  • Just finishing "Return to Glory," the story of Ford's return to Le Man 24-hour race in 2016. The author correctly points out how the design of racing cars has positively affected passenger cars. Both racing cars and our daily drivers are indeed cocoons, designed to absorb or deflect the energy of a crash. In the case of race cars, body parts are meant to fly off on impact, but the driver remains fully protected. The question might be: would the auto manufacturers have voluntarily incorporated all the best crash protection without nudges from the DOT? Oil extractors have sophisticated enough technology at their disposal to prevent methane gas from escaping; from what I've read they are no longer required to install the devices on their wells as a consequence of this administration's desire to cut back on regulations. (Expletives deleted.)
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