So, this morning I had a very close call on the drive into work. As I changed lanes from the left lane to the middle lane (which was clear), the car in front of me decided to do the same. He didn't leave exactly enough room to accomplish this, but I saw him starting to move and had already applied the brakes in anticipation of getting cut off.
Then the guy in front of him did the same thing.
Except he saw the cars now in the middle lane, panicked, and stopped. Yes, stopped. Guy in front of me slammed on his brakes, I slammed on mine. Hard. Launched my lunch bag off the passenger seat onto the floor and everything. I heard the brakes lock up, and everything went into slow motion as the back end of the Jeep in front of me got closer and closer.
Fortunately, the truck's brakes held, and I stopped about 6 inches from the guy in front of me. Six inches isn't an awful lot of space, especially when it's all that stands between you and a very expensive accident report. It's a reminder that the unexpected can happen literally any time, and that being prepared isn't something you do once in a while, when you're thinking about it.
It's also a reminder that we can't anticipate everything. I counted on the guy in front of me cutting me off; I didn't expect the guy in front of him to do the same, then panic and stop (on the highway, because that's a smart thing to do, right?) While I was ready for one thing, another caught me by surprise. Fortunately, I'm a big believer in keeping safety equipment in good working order, and the truck's tires and brakes were up to the task. What could have been an expensive accident turned into a story, instead.
Be careful out there. Idiots are everywhere.
That is all.