I like to keep my blog generally superficial, report on life moments, perhaps provide an opinion or two, but never anything overly personal because, well, this is a public website, and I keep much of my life and inner-most thoughts to myself, or in limited ways, to my close family and friends. This post is a rare exception.
I saw something this morning that I want to write about, in hopes that I can get past it and get some work done today. I took an unusual way through downtown Mobile to work because of traffic in the main tunnel. There was a really bad accident on a corner. The kind of accident where they tape up the windows so you can't see in, kind of accident. This was the second time I've ever seen this, the first was on the way back from Utah last year. As selfish as it is, I will always think that that could have been me.
Many of you know that I lost my dream car, my mustang convertible, on the 110 freeway going home from school in November of 2010. My close friends and family also know that, even though I only came away with your typical post-accident whiplash pain, the mental pain was much deeper. It wasn't my first car accident, but it was the first (and hopefully the only) in which I know that, thanks to some quick thinking on my part, I probably saved my own life. I got clipped on the drivers' side by a big rig, which sent me swerving to my right, and thanks to my car's handling, I was able to correct before going head first into the concrete barrier wall. My passenger side hit the wall, and although the body and the axle sustained total loss damage (I think the body shop was amazed that I was okay), since the car literally went up the barrier and bounced off of it, the cab stayed intact and my airbags did not deploy. Also very thankfully, no other cars were involved.
But the accident fundamentally changed the way I look at driving. It made me realize that when it comes to car accidents, especially high speed accidents, the difference between walking away from an accident and being killed in an accident is very small. I stopped driving regularly for awhile after my accident, because it scared me, and I am all too happy to no longer be commuting in California (north or south). But these things can happen on a street in downtown Mobile too. Just yesterday the PA announcer for the Red Sox was killed in a car accident when he hit a tree. We all need to be careful when on the road, try not to go too fast, and be alert to what is around us. Too many people are hurt and killed each year from car accidents to be worth slacking off about this.
And I look forward to the day that we all have automatic cars - Nevada just registered its first Google car this week.