Jan 26 2010


Published by under Health and Safety

San Francisco has a lot of cars, trucks and buses, a lot of pedestrians, and a lot of bicycles. This is a recipe for accidents, and San Francisco has a lot of them. You read the article on Pedestrian Safety. There are ways that drivers can be more careful, and there are ways that bicycle riders and pedestrians can be more careful too. The city can also help to “calm” traffic.

Accidents are very scary, and near misses (where you almost have an accident, but don’t) are scary too. I have been in a few accidents in my life, but I have always been lucky and had no physical problems, although I couldn’t say the same thing about my cars. Once, when I was still in college, I was driving my car on the freeway, moving my things from Detroit, where I lived, to Ann Arbor, where I was going to school. I was driving in the left lane and it was raining. I was probably driving too fast for the weather, but it wasn’t my fault when the car in front of me lost its muffler (the part under the car that makes the engine noise quieter, or “muffled”). The muffler fell right in front of my car. Instead of running over it, I swerved (turned the wheel quickly to avoid it) onto the shoulder of the freeway (the part on the side where no one drives, but you can pull over if there is an emergency). That part worked fine, but when I tried to get back on the freeway, I lost control of the car and it went four lanes over to the right side and crashed, stopping on top of the barrier on the right side of the freeway. I was a little dazed, but very lucky, as the damage was just to my car. I had been moving all my belongings to a new apartment, and I still have the same rice cooker I had then, with a dent in the side from the accident. (They don’t make rice cookers like they used to either! Mine is over 42 years old.)

I remember a near miss I had on the same freeway. That time it wasn’t raining, but it was snowing. The traffic was moving slower than normal. Suddenly, a car started to skid and spin (slide and turn). Everyone had to stop. We all put on the brakes, and all the cars started skidding and turning. Finally, they all stopped, facing many different ways. However, not one of the cars hit another car. I felt like all the drivers in those cars experienced the same feeling of relief at the same time. We were all connected at that moment. Then we all slowly straightened the cars and continued to our destinations. It was a very lucky day for all of us.

How about you? Have you ever been in or seen an accident or a near miss? What happened? How did you feel?

20 responses so far

20 Responses to “Accidents”

  1.   Valeriyaon 26 Jan 2010 at 11:31 am

    Dear Lauri,
    Unfortunately I have never had a car. And up to now I have never been in an accident. But about three years ago I was in my daughter’s car when we near missed an accident. The road was narrow and very steep and it was snowing. Suddenly the car began to slide and my daughter lost control of the car. It was a terrible feeling and I think it was really dangerous. But in a short time my daughter got calm and continued driving. So we avoided an accident

  2.   Valentinaon 26 Jan 2010 at 11:41 am

    I began driving a car when I was forty four years old and I was very scared. From the very beginning my friend was always with me but then I had to be on my own. When I drove alone I was very nervous. When I was nervous I could make a mistake. I parked close to a playground. Instead of pushing on the brake I stepped on the gas and drove into a big tree. I broke the bumper of the car. I didn’t hurt myself. It was just very scary. Then we went to AAA and fixed the bumper.

  3.   Zinaidaon 26 Jan 2010 at 11:51 am

    I have never been in an accident. However, I have a terrible connection to an accident. My mother died on the street in my city. She was hit by a car and died immediately. As it was explained by the driver, she crossed the street on the red light. Now I’m very careful when crossing the street.

  4.   bettyon 26 Jan 2010 at 11:59 am

    Dear Lauri
    I have had several accidents. but all were not my fault because I always drive very carefully.

  5.   Laurion 30 Jan 2010 at 10:48 am

    Slippery roads are so dangerous; it is easy to lose control of the car. I’m glad you avoided an accident.

  6.   Laurion 30 Jan 2010 at 10:54 am

    I started driving when I was 16, so I have been driving for 48 years. Some reactions I have are now automatic. I think it would be very difficult to learn how to drive when you are older.

  7.   Laurion 30 Jan 2010 at 10:55 am

    What a sad story, Zinaida. I always tell my kids that whether they are walking or driving, they should always expect the other driver to do something stupid or miss seeing something. You have to drive and walk that way too.

  8.   Laurion 30 Jan 2010 at 11:15 am

    Sadly, driving carefully is not enough to avoid an accident. You have to drive defensively. (That means you have to always be alert for the other driver’s mistakes.)

  9.   christian louboutin saleon 31 Jan 2010 at 6:02 pm

    What a great blog! It’s a pity that i can’t find your rrs address. If you can offer rrs subscription service, i can track your blog easier!

  10.   Ananda Cordaroon 01 Feb 2010 at 10:05 am

    When I had just gotten my driver’s licence I crashed my car into a post. It wasn’t a dangerous accident, just the side of the car got smashed.
    I always try to drive carefully and I’m afraid to take a ride with people who drive too fast.

  11.   Leaon 01 Feb 2010 at 10:22 am

    Hey Lauri!

    I have never had a car accident, but one of my closest friends had a really terrible accident. Till today, we don’t know why, but the brakes weren’t working. He was driving 100 km/h, it’s not that fast for Germans :-)
    Anyway, a truck was coming on his side of the road and he tried to brake, but they didn’t work. The truck was coming closer, so he decided to avoid it by going over to the grass on his side. Because he was driving fast he estimated he rolled over 5 times and got stuck in the car.
    I remember sitting at home, waiting for him as suddenly my phone was ringing and the hospital called me and told me about the accident. He must have had a lot of angels looking after him, because he was really close to death. He made it, and I’m really thankful for that! After weeks at the hospital he was back home, and except for some scars, he’s fine now.
    Since then, I’m always a little bit afraid and tell all of my friends to check the brakes every now and then.

  12.   Yukoon 01 Feb 2010 at 10:25 am

    I had a near miss yesterday! When my friend was driving his car and passed an intersection through a green light, a car came from our right side ignoring her red light. We thought we had an accident in the moment, but her car didn’t strike our car. We almost had a big accident. After that she told us she was hungover.
    In Japan, I worked in a property and casualty insurance company and I was a kind of expert of car accidents. I know many big accidents and I had met many people who lost his or her family in a car accident. We have to take care about driving.

  13.   Kenon 01 Feb 2010 at 10:45 am

    I don’t have a car license and I have never been in an accident either. I know the fact that to avoid an accident we not only need to drive carefully ourselves but we need to look all around at others also. Especially some holiday drivers and teen drivers. It seems to me that they make some mistakes on driving so easily.

  14.   Mahaon 01 Feb 2010 at 11:33 am

    Hey Lauri,

    Actually the accident I will tell you about now happened to my son and it was a terrible one. Five months ago while he was traveling to spend a long weekend in our summer house with some of his friends, he was driving not very fast but he was talking with one of them who was sitting in the back. He found a big truck was out of order standing in the street and he couldn’t notice it because he was looking at his friend, so he hit the truck hard. He was the only one hurt because he took all the force of the crash and when he went to the hospital he was bleeding because he had a big cut in his liver. Now he is in good health. Sorry for this, but everyone who drives has to concentrate on driving.

  15.   Laurion 01 Feb 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I sent you an e-mail. I am using this blog for my class, but you are free too read and comment.

  16.   Laurion 01 Feb 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I hate to ride with people who don’t drive safely. Driving too fast is one of the things that makes me scared too.

  17.   Laurion 01 Feb 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I’m glad it turned out okay in the end. Did he say he rolled over five times? I wasn’t sure if that was what you meant, but I fixed your post. Let me know if it wasn’t right. It sounded like a terrible accident.

  18.   Laurion 01 Feb 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Wow, you didn’t have to have a near miss just to have something to write here! People don’t understand how dangerous it is to drive when you are distracted. Driving after drinking is really terrible too. I’m glad you managed to avoid the accident.

  19.   Laurion 01 Feb 2010 at 9:22 pm

    I agree with you. In order to drive carefully, people need to pay attention to their own driving as well as the driving of the people in the other cars.

  20.   Laurion 01 Feb 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I’m so glad he is in good health now. You can never take your eyes off the road. It makes me very nervous if someone is driving and wants to look at me in the passenger seat while they are talking to me. I tell them to please just look at the road.

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