My brakes still work

I very nearly had a car crash yesterday. I was on my way to pick up Chris from Frankston station, heading down Frankston-Dandenong road. Just before the Frankston freeway intersection, next to the golf club there. I was cruising along, doing just under 80 (the speed limit), when someone in a red stationwagon – I think some kind of Ford, possibly a Fairmont – cut across into the golf club. They do that so often there, it really peeves me off… something about the combination of selfish driving with the assumed pomposity of the over-rated golf club… grrrr.

Anyway, I had to slow down to avoid smacking into the side of this guy, and only missed him by a metre or two. That wasn’t a big deal – it frustratingly happens all the time there, and I saw it coming as a result. What I didn’t see coming up to that point was the traffic in front. It was stopped. In the entirely stationary meaning of the word. About five metres past this car cutting across. I couldn’t see because of this stupid car.

I immediately hit the brakes hard – although I’m happy to report that while I did skid briefly near the end of my deceleration, I didn’t otherwise lock up the wheels, and seemed to make a very near perfect stop – and when it became clear that I wasn’t going to stop quite in time, swerved slightly into the other lane. Luckily no-one happened to be beside me. I ended up coming to a halt with the front left corner of my car underneath the tray of the ute in front. No contact, but boy it was close. The guy in the ute looked at me in his side view mirror and waved, to which I laughed nervously and waved back… hopefully he was thinking along the lines of “jeez, that was close” as opposed to “urgh, what a dickhead”.

Anyway, that was a little nerve-racking… it’s unusual for the traffic to be backed up so far at that point, although it can be busy around that time of day (peak hour).

Curiously, I wonder if perhaps the jackarse cutting me off didn’t in fact save me from hitting the car in front… I mean, I was watching where I was going, and I think it was mainly the distraction of seeing the car in the turn lane, knowing he was going to cut in front of me dangerously, that prevented me from seeing traffic stopped earlier… still, maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention, and had I not already been slowing down to avoid that guy (or girl; illegally-dark tinted windows) I may well have not stopped in time.

It’d be a real shit if I wrote off my car so close to leaving… but then I guess I won’t need it soon anyway. :)

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