Driving protip: If you can’t see ANY oncoming traffic when trying to cross a 50MPH street, don’t zip out into the lanes at 30MPH. Slowly ease the nose of your car forward until you can see what’s coming at you, or wait. Don’t do with this jerk did to me this morning.
My little hot rod will usually come down from the top/right of this scene, then turn right onto the street heading to the top/left of the image. Usually there is zero traffic here. Today there was a concrete mixing truck and a concrete pumping truck trying to make my right turn, with a couple of cars behind them. Decision: I’ll go straight and head on to the next place I can get around this block. It’s going to be too slow to follow all these trucks and cars down the side street. There was also a concrete mixing truck in the left-turning lane, also trying to go down this side street.
What I couldn’t see was there was a typical Central Texas driver sitting in the side street, wanting to make a left turn and go up and off the top/right of this picture. Significantly, the driver of that car could not see ANY oncoming traffic in either direction. Their view was entirely blocked by huge trucks and piles of stuff on the ground nearby.
So this genius decides to ZOOM across to the other side of the street. A safe driver would inch out until they could see, or better yet make the right turn and go HALF a block down the road, and make a u-turn where there is a clear sight line. No, they wanted to go by-god-right-now. 50MPH cross traffic be damned.
This is about where our cars were, the first time we saw each other. And I’m going 50ish miles/hour here. If I were much less attentive of a driver, this would have been a T-bone collision. STRAIGHT into the driver’s door at 50MPH and they might well have died right there. My whole day and car would both have been ruined. I could give a [deleted] about killing someone when they deserve it, but I like my car. They saw me and stopped IN the lane where I was going to be in half a moment. The truck waiting to turn left was farther away than the car suddenly blocking my lane, so I slammed on my brakes and cut left. Physics declared I didn’t have enough room to stop, and the oncoming lanes were empty so I ditched left again. I was ready to go up on the curb and empty sidewalk area across the street, but the lanes continued to be empty.
Suddenly, a wild car appears! They were in the #2 lane or there would have been a nasty crash – me sideways with my passenger side, into the cement mixer to avoid the oncoming car. But they were in the #2 lane. I steered right and they steered right and nobody hit anyone. Thank GOD. The person who had been coming down the road behind me a couple of seconds ago was now stopped, waiting to see the movie-special-effects explosion of car parts. As I was reversing into the left turning lane, they waved me into the lane where I had been a moment before. Thanks, buddy! Somebody with some courtesy around here yay! Notably, the dummy who would have caused the collision had made their left turn and was gone. Took off between the car that almost killed them and the one that almost rear-ended that one, and away like nothing happened. Jerk.
Total elapsed time: probably 3 seconds. Enough time for the airbags to deflate, if my car had airbags and I were as bad a driver as the other guy. It seemed like it took a minute and a half, at the time.