While I was away on holiday recently with my family we had a very close call driving the car with my wife and daughter. We were driving on a two lane (one each way), bendy, country road.
I didn’t notice the road sign where I wanted to turn left (I was driving in NZ so we were travelling on the left side of the road) until I had almost passed it.
I initially indicated left, but gave up on that idea as I was not going slow enough. (I was well under the speed limit, but still going too fast to make the turn safely).
A hundred metres or so up the road there was a driveway where I could turn right and go back and since we were already running late for our friend’s wedding, I thought that would be the best option so as not to lose any more time.
I quickly indicated right and turned, but in the mean time a large utility had opted to pass around me when I indicated left.
The driver was committed now, traveling at high speed as he was running out of road and I was turning right, unbeknownst to the catastrophe unfolding behind me.
All of a sudden the truck filled up our view on the right side and clipped the right hand front bumper and my wife screamed (she was sitting in the back with our 10 month old) as he finally got past us.
Fortunately the only damage to the car was just a little bit of tyre rubber left on the bumper. That was easy to rub off.
It’s going to take a while for my wife not to feel jumpy in the car with me now though. I can also feel that there has been an erosion of trust between us which will take much longer to repair.
The moral of the story?
Always check your blind spot. If you change your mind about which direction you are going, check it again. Be confident that what you are about to do is not going to cause another person to make a rash or dangerous decision.
It could save your life, or that of someone else.