So, there I was, sitting at a red light in the left-turning lane, minding my own business. Had it not been after sundown, I might not have seen the headlights suddenly "blooming" in my rear-view mirror as some hat-backwards jackass, realizing he couldn't brake hard enough to stop in time, swerved around me in a rubber-and-brake-smelling cloud of dust. I reflexively bucked my car forward and in so doing, gave this lip-flibbing moron enough room to complete the swerve with microns to spare.
If he'd slammed into me from behind at the speed he was traveling, I'd have been hospitalized for sure (and the titanium implants already in my spine from two previous surgeries wouldn't have made my situation any better).
Had this dunderhead been texting, dialing his cell-phone, or tuning his radio? I dunno—whatever it was, he was certainly more engaged in that than he was with operating his car. One thing I do know is; getting rear-ended in a Model T is a whole lot worse than getting rear-ended in a modern car.
Well, by the grace of God, the knuckle-dragging idiot missed me. Thank you, Lord.
Learn from my experience, not your own: Don’t relax your vigilance just because you’re motionless at a red light. Keep one eye on the mirror and stay spring-loaded for evasive action.
Praise the Lord you're ok!!!
Yeah, I'm a big believer in thanking Jesus for special favors like this one.
After driving behind my son in his semi-gloss black '29 Roadster with its minimal taillight, I started insisting he take along a red magnetic LED light that I found at Tractor Supply. He sticks it in the center of the car and sets to flash or stay solid depending on the road speed limit and the level of darkness. I have a similar one in my T. Royce had a photo of this light on the forum years ago and I bought it based on his advice.
Glad to hear you dodged the bullet Bob. There are times when no amount of tail lights will fix idiocy.
The Doofi are always with us.
Yep,been there,done that,got the screws and fishing line holding my shoulder together for a keepsake.
Not in a T thought thank goodness.
It would be so simple to make cell phones not function in a car.
But then there is the hamburger in 1 hand,cold drink between the legs,while shifting gears and talking on the phone while makeing a left turn type folks that you have to watch out for.
I think if they brought back the straight drive,manual steering cars,maby these problems would go away.
You might be on to something there, Mack. Just require cars to have no power brakes, no power steering, and manual transmissions. Drivers would be too busy to text and do all the other stuff.....
I also agree wholeheartedly that, since the technology is easily applied, simply disable cell phones in cars. Of course, naysayers would ask, will what about the passengers? Too bad. The good would significantly outweigh the inconvenience. If someone needs to make a call, just pull over for a minute.
Tom, I am a firm believer in the flashing LED lights from TSC and other sources.
MY only advice is get the light in AMBER as a flashing RED means emergency vehicle here in Texas and probably most states. You can use the steady "on" setting with the RED light, but not the flashing when actually driving.
Thank you for the reminder .....
A few years ago on a trip to Kentucky,
I had to stop at a red light on a rural divided highway.
I was in the ' high speed ' lane and as I sat I checked my rear view mirror.
Out of habit of years of over the road driving I do that - I saw a car coming at a high rate of speed up on me - I moved over to the curb lane as close to the road as possible.
The speeding car HIT the car that was in front of me - backed up and drove off around the left of that car down the road.
I had a description and a plate - they got the car about a half hour later - the passengers in the car that was hit suffered medium level injuries.
Just some tips for you other drivers ...
When you STOP - make sure you keep at least half a car length between you and the vehicle in front of you - check your rear and side view mirrors - keep checking until you can accelerate from the stop.
I was lucky- my daughter was about a year old at the time - I hate to think what would have happened if that car had hit us instead.
On the way home from work last night I had 2 wheels off the road on my way to the ditch in an effort to get out of the way of a woman in a buick who was crossing into my lane. She swerved back with only a few feet to spare at the last minute. Not sure if she was on her phone or not, but that seems to be the likely causese these days.
Four years ago, on an HCCA tour in Ocala, FL, I was driving my one-cylinder Cadillac. My hat blew off (I have no windshield), and I pulled all the way off the road onto the shoulder so I could walk back and retrieve my hat. Before I could get out of the car, a subanthropoid in an SUV, yapping on a cell phone, went off the road, hit the left rear of my little Cadillac and sent it 30 feet down the embankment. I was fortunate not to have left the car yet, since he would have taken my legs off. It took 3 years to get the car back from the restorer. I feel about a$$holes the way Lincoln felt about the poor - God must love 'em 'cause he made so many of 'em.
The hat came out just fine. It's now a very expensive hat. The only one I know of that's a bigger investment is the one Queen Lizzie wears when she opens parliament.
Bob, I'm glad you dodged a bullet. And so did your car.
Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ
I've never been hit but I've been missed enough to know that tail lights & turn signals don't do squat.
Bob, I happened by chance to catch your posting on the MTFCI forum first, so responded there first.
Here I would like to add that twenty-some years ago, my mother was stopped about seventh in line at a red light in front of a high school. She was in her big old Pontiac at the time. A high school girl in her fancy Mazda sports car rammed into the back of that Pontiac and went right under far enough that the pop-up headlamp that ripped out of the Mazda fender was shoved into the windshield. The grill on the Mazda smashed the dirty grease on the rear axle on the Pontiac. A little more than the 25mph school speed limit, Ya think? No skid marks. The girl said she never saw any of the line of cars or the light.
Funny thing about my mother. The Fates are funny. Cars she was driving got slammed into way more than the odds would commonly allow. Six or seven times I think, and she never drove a lot. However it was never her fault. She was always stopped at required stops. Usually behind other cars, in lines of traffic, red lights, stop signs, even a railroad crossing with flashing lights and wigwag. She was hit in that Pontiac I think three different times.
My dad used to caution about watching out for other drivers and how some people will "fix their gaze" onto something and head straight for it. That is what happened to Gilbert V I F and his Cadillac.
My dad used to punctuate his advise with the tale of growing up near Elko Nevada near the middle of nowhere. People would be driving at night, realize the oncoming car quit weaving and would begin steering toward the ditch at their right. The collision would often occur a hundred or more feet out in the alkaline flats, the oncoming car having followed them out there.
I recall reading of you and your Cadillac a couple years ago. I am glad you finally got it back. How is the car now that it has been rebuilt? Do you enjoy it now like you used to? Hopefully, the saving of the car did not cost you personally too much?
A longtime very good friend of mine had an antique car hit badly years ago (the car was legally parked in front of his home). His car had recently had the restoration finished, however the insurance value had not been raised yet to reflect that change in value. The car that hit it was claimed as stolen (amazingly, phoned in about twenty minutes after the accident). The driver was never found. The local police screwed up the investigation (the keys left in the running car disappeared). My friend paid a lot of money out of his pocket in order to save the car.
Always, everyone, drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
A bit different. Years ago I pulled off at an off ramp that went uphill and had a traffic light at the top. I pulled up behind a car with three young girls waiting at the light> I stopped a short ways behind her. As I watched I noticed her car slowly moving backwards. At first I thought it was my car creeping and pressed harder on the brake. Nope, it was her car backing up while her and her friends were actively yakking it up. She bumped into me and proceeded to give me hell for running into her. I not so politely told her to pay attention to her driving. She threatened to call the cops and I told her to go right ahead as I had a witness. She got really pi$$ed and took off. No damage done so I let it go.
Wayne, I had the Caddy insured with Hagerty for $50,000 agreed value. Their appraiser agreed it was a total. But the damage was all to the frame, rear end, wheels, fenders, springs, flywheel, crankshaft, and other mechanical bits, The front end and most of the body had little or no damage, because the impact ripped the frame out from under the wooden body. Like pulling a tablecloth off a table so fast that most of the dishes stay put. Anyway, the adjuster said the wholesale value of the wreck was only $4,500 (!), so I wasted no time buying the bones back for that. Steve Bono in Bouckville, NY did a superb job rebuilding the car. It took a senior in 2011. After the usual debugging, it did the New London-New Brighton that year, the Lansing-Dearborn this year, and several other tours. Plus, I alternate between it and my '13T in going for a chug every chance I get.
Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ
My wife has been rear ended 5 times while stopped in the same car since 2001 all in 180,000 miles. Stopped dead, once while parked.
Read this, and tell your family and others.
Last week I heard this from an X CHP officer.
He said almost all wrong-way freeway drivers hit an on coming car while in the fast lane. The far left lane. He had been to about 10.
Here is the theory; a drunk knows when he's drunk. If he gets on the freeway going the wrong way he's usually pretty drunk so he stays in his right lane, which is really the left or the high speed lane.
Often times it is at night and he has neglected to turn on his lights so the car he rams head-on into never saw him coming.
Now then. the moral of the story is that if you are not following a set of tail lights at night you'd best get out of the left lane because you will not see a car coming at you with it's lights off.
I knew a guy years ago who's non drinker wife had taken a glass of wine at a wedding at Phoenix.
She entered the freeway in the off ramp.
The HighWay Patrol officer told her husband that he had met her going the wrong way and had plenty of room to turn around and chase her.
He said he got turned around just in time to see her VW bug and the Impala she hit jump about 10 feet in the air. All were killed, needless to say.
That's a good reminder Aaron. I've practiced staying out of the fast lane at night for more that 20 years.
An old woman frantically calls her husband on his celfone. She knows he is probably on the freeway at about this time. "Henry, watch out! There's a wrong way driver on the freeway!"
"Hell, honey, there's dozens of 'em!"
Moral of the story: Keep right except when passing.
I don't even use the far left lane to pass unless it's in the daytime or I see tail lights ahead of me.
A few months ago my wife, my two grandsons, and I were driving home at around 9:30 PM. We were on a local expressway (not a freeway) that divided by an island, has three lanes in each direction and a 50 MPH speed limit. We were in the #1 (fast) lane. Suddenly I realized that a car traveling in the opposite direction was in my lane. I flashed my lights furiously without response. I was afraid to dive to the right because I was afraid he'd do the same. At the last second, a point at which I believed we were going to collide head on, I swerved to my right and went around him. He just kept going without any indication acknowledging our near miss.
Later, I considered that it was:
1. A drunk who probably made a left onto the expressway too tight and ended up on the wrong side of the divider.
2. Kids having some really stupid "fun".
3. A confused driver who probably just made a left onto the expressway too tight and ended up on the wrong side of the divider.
I never considered the possibility that from his (or her) point of view he was in the #3 (slow) lane and probably thought it was me on the wrong side of the road. It could somewhat explain the incident.
I'll probably never know what the actual cause of that incident was, but it's very interesting to read thoughts and experiences from all of you. Thank's for starting the thread, Bob.
I was driving along in my T on a country road just exploring for the fun of driving. I decided to turn around and began to slow for a left turn into a driveway when the youngster behind me gunned it and passed me on the left just as I was starting to turn my wheel. I nearly had a scuff on the paint it was so close. And I have brake lights and turn signals.
Back when I was commuting in an old Porsche on the back roads between DeKalb and Rockford, Ill, I learned from the farmers. Before slowing down for a left turn, and there is no oncoming traffic, pull into the opposing lane so you can't be passed on the left, and the overtaking cars can keep on truckin'. It works.
I do that when turning left off a busy two-lane onto our decrepit private street that is often unnoticed by the hurried.
That's my neighbor who drags me out for a hike and park bench pushups every morning.