Monday, March 05, 2007

Driving...Slower

Jeremy Clarkson, in a development that I suspect will be temporary, writes here about how seeing the terminal results of a motorbike accident in South Africa has left him driving more carefully. This caution has paid swift dividends, as by playing safe he avoided hitting a little girl who charged into the road in front of him.
I was musing the other day as I drove down to the West country to my grandfather's 95th birthday party why it was that I seemed to have eased off the throttle in recent years. I've done a lot of driving, but the last three years have seen me move to London, and away from regular access to a car. I'd put my slowdown down to that.
But on reflection I think I can date my slight speed aversion to an event on the Livingstone-Lusaka road in the summer of 2003. Driving back in my ancient and much-loved Toyota Corolla (500,000 km on the clock - beat that!) I was passing through a village at more or less top speed - albeit only about 110 kmh - when about 500 metres in front of me a man of about 30 or so, but emaciated and extremely out-of-it, lurched into the road, turned in my direction and started staggering up the road towards me. I slammed on the brakes as hard as I could (though I suspect that they also had seen half a million kilometres of use) and, leaving molten rubber in my wake managed to stop with approximately an inch clearance - certainly no more.
If I'd been a second slower in reacting, I'd have killed him, there's no question of that. He didn't look robust enough to have survived even a mild impact. I actually wasn't going a particularly inappropriate speed but the shock still made me feel distinctly uneasy all the rest of the journey, and killed off most of my affection for risk-taking on the roads. Apart from anything else, I still see his face occasionally in nightmares.

2 Comments:

Anonymous JG said...

Conservative Party Reptile

Please spare a few minutes to look at this website:

http://www.pickinglosers.co.uk/

The site aims to create a debate by drawing attention to the downsides of government intervention.

We have already linked to you, and if you feel that you would like to, please link us back.

Find out more here http://www.pickinglosers.co.uk/page/bgprior/20061023/about_us

Or read the blog entries here:

http://www.pickinglosers.co.uk/

11:50 am  
Blogger Tim J said...

Done! Looks like a pretty interesting read too.

2:23 pm  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home