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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scared Safe!

I've always considered myself a safe driver. A good driver.
But needless to say, I will admit...I sped - ALOT...infact, ALL THE TIME! It was like I was addicted to speeding...once, I even tried going a whole week without going over the speed limit - didn't work. I just got so frustrated that I sped even more.

And while I know "there's no such thing as 'safe speeding' " (I've read the signs, I've seen the ads), I still considered myself a good driver. A safe driver. I never drive recklessly or in a dangerous manner. But yeh I would always be at least 5, 10, maybe 15 ks over the limit, always.

Since having Muffin (since falling pregnant really) I cut down on my speeding considerably. It helped that I was no longer working at my day job so didn't have to get thru the 9-5 hustle and bustle of peak hour traffic. But yes I did still speed, not with Muffin in the car though and I'd try not to go over 10ks past the speed limit.

Recently, Mr.J & I traded in Black Betty, for a new more family-orientated car (a station wagon).

I'd owned Black Betty for near 7 years now, I knew it very well, knew how to handle it, could probably have driven it at unrealistic speeds in horrible environments with my eyes shut - backwards - and not have an accident.

Sure I've hit a few poles in my time but both times it was in a parking lot and I was barely doing 5 kms let alone 105kms and it was a mis judgement on my part.
But I knew my car...I knew what it was capable of, I knew how to handle it in tricky situations.

I knew how to speed in it.

Since getting the new car, I've cut down even more on my speeding, it helps that I'm no longer working my night job and I have no schedules so I only occasionally sped if I was running late for coffee with a friend or something.

Last week, Muffin & I were on our way home from my mum and dads. Its a 45-50 minute drive, I take the m7.
It was raining...absolutely pissing down.
I was driving up the Boulevarde...it has about 5 or so roundabouts - big ones up the whole length of the street.
Its a dual carriage way.
The roads were slippery.
I could hardly see out the front windscreen.

I was not speeding. I never sped in the rain.

It was either the first or 2nd roundabout - I cant remember now.
I was in the right hand lane.
There was a fair distance between me and any cars in front of me.
There was no one next to me in the left lane.
I had just finished turning my wheel to the right from entering the roundabout and was now turning it to the left to make the exit.

I lost control of my car.

I was turning the wheel to the left but the car kept sliding to the right. All of a sudden, the car lurched towards the left, just in time to miss going into the other side of traffic.
Because it happened so suddenly, I guess I was still sort of trying to pull the wheel to the left. It thrust me over into the left lane so sharply that I went sideways out of the roundabout.

I don't know how but I managed to regain control of the car and straighten back into the left lane before cleaning up the telegraph pole on the sidewalk.

All I could think during this moment was that I would never forgive myself if I crashed and Muffin died or was injured. NEVER.

I am SO glad that I was not speeding that day.

I have never lost control of my car before. But this is a new car and I don't know it, at all. It took me years to get to know Black Betty. I've had this car for about a month - if that.

I haven't gone over the speed limit once since this day.

I take extra care at corners and in roundabouts.

I'm so ashamed that even when not doing the wrong thing, I could've just lived out every drivers worst nightmare.

I learnt a very valuable lesson that day. One that I will never forget.

Ever.

2 Reader Repsonses:

Sarah said...

Aw Shannon you know what it happens, you were in a car you weren't used to and luckily you weren't speeding or it could have been much worse. I drive alot slower nowadays infact i'm driving along daydreaming or singing and i realise whoa i've got a build up of traffic behind me lol
I've aqua plained a few times and its scary to say the least somebody was obviously looking out for you girls x

Stay safe

Anonymous said...

Such a well written true story, Unfortunate you had to go through it but a great lesson for people turn learn from so they don't have to. Keep up the good stories fantastic reads! And to those negative jerks who have nothing better to do than getting their jollies from harrassing and ruining peoples day .... Get a blow doll!

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