April 30, 2012: A car swerved off the road in Redmond Friday night and crashed into a home on…read more
April 5, 2012: I was driving north on I-5 last evening, near Olympia, in the steady and sometimes heavy rain. The speed limit was 60 there, but despite the rain, traffic was moving closer to 65 mph. I hadn’t noticed much about the semi-truck in the center lane ahead of me, but as the scene unfolded, I realized that he was too close to the car in front of him. He was about four or five car-lengths behind it, which is too close for a large truck doing 65 in the rain.
But what caught my eye and astounded me, was a car that was zipping along faster than most traffic, which came up beside the truck, and then darted in front of it, thus cutting the distance between vehicles down to two car lengths or less! And they traveled that way for close to half a mile. I shuddered. From my experience as a car accident attorney, as well as from my general understanding of physics, I knew that if the front car had to stop for any reason, or even slow quickly, the driver who had just cut in on the truck was dead meat. If ever there was an example of someone driving under the influence of stupid, this was it.
What was he thinking? Certainly not about the deadly car accident that could have happened and which would almost assuredly have snuffed out his life. He certainly was in a hurry to get somewhere, but probably also wanted out from behind the semi. On that point, I don’t blame him. But to put yourself directly in the path of a 40-ton rig, just 25 feet behind you, doing 65 on a wet road, is insane! Unless, of course, you have a strong death wish.
I hope and pray I can help others learn to avoid such obvious risks. Sure, I don’t like being behind a semi. But if there’s an accident, it’s far better to be behind one than in front of one. So I don’t pull in front of one unless I can leave plenty of space between him and me. See my post on avoiding car-truck accidents by not being in a hurry to pass that semi. Safe driving to you.