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There were too many close calls on my freeway commute this afternoon. Each time a wild and crazy moment verged on turning into an emergency, my knuckles were white while my hands strangled the steering wheel. I ripped one hand off the wheel to hit the horn.
While I was driving just under posted speeds, I noticed that the traffic up ahead was lighting up their brake lights. I came up to the car in front of me just as it dramatically weaved to its right on to the shoulder of the interstate. Appearing right in front of me and taking the entire lane was a riding zero-turn-radius mower. My brakes groaned vigorously. Thankfully, I dodged the blockage with a jump to the freeway shoulder.
Someone is going to be very surprised when they get to their destination and look into the back of their trailer. While most of us who deftly sidestepped the obstacle found that thought humorous, I am sure that someone is going to be very sad. At least that light thought made me regain my composure, return my blood pressure to normal and clear my head for the rest of my long drive back to my office.
The freeway split ahead with a gentle and wide opening for destinations north and south. Good signage gave traffic plenty of time for merging into the correct lanes. But, well-designed traffic patterns do not make up for distracted drivers who make decisions at the last-minute.
A pickup truck heavily laden with a bed full of construction equipment was lumbering along slowly, well below the posted speeds. No doubt its slow speed was complicated by its payload. Just as I was approaching its driver abruptly pulled into my lane while his truck bobbed and weaved under it strained suspension.
I had to braked vigorously to keep from rear-ending him. Traffic to my left was heavy preventing any quick lane change. My horn was sounding the alarm of both an emergency situation and a very irritated driver. When it was safe to pass him, he was hiding his face in embarrassment. I was just trying to catch my breath and push my heart back into my chest.
Can you imagine how many close calls fill up all of our lives? What do you think your guardian angel would say to you when recounting how many times we were protected on any given day?
photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography