"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Road hazards

Seen today on I-81 southbound, just outside of Staunton, VA:

You can't really tell from this angle, but there's another car under the truck. The Interstate was completely shut down for hours, and traffic behind this accident backed up for at least twenty miles or more. In the resulting parking lot on the highway, groups of folks were gathered outside their vehicles to talk, play ball or frisbee, walk their dogs, etc. while they waited for the wreck to be cleared. There was nothing else to do. Fortunately, we were going in the opposite direction.

Today's portion of the trip was the most arduous: our 12-hour-plus driving day has covered over 700 miles of ground through five states, from Nashville to Harrisburg, PA. In addition to avoiding the accident above, we also narrowly missed being sideswiped earlier on the same highway by some asshole who cut across four lanes of traffic and nearly rammed into our van, coming literally within a few inches of hitting us. I give some serious props to Mrs. Toast (who was driving at the time) for a tire-screeching yet textbook-perfect accident avoidance maneuver. Fate was truly smiling on us today; we ran into showers which slicked the roads soon after this happened, but if the rain had come a little bit sooner, our sudden braking would most surely have thrown us into an unrecoverable skid. Also, about two weeks before the trip, I had noticed our two rear tires were looking a bit thin and replaced them. Had I not, this might have made just enough of a slight difference in the van's handling under the stressful maneuver to have erased the few inches of clearance between only having our nerves shaken up and actual crunching of metal.

Thank you Saint Christopher!


  • At 7/20/2006 06:22:00 PM, Blogger April said…

    OUCH! I'm glad you were miles and miles away when that happened! I have a St. Christopher's medal in my car on my visor... maybe that is why I've never been in an accident or gotten a ticket of any kind... or maybe I'm just a damn good driver


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