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Fonze

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  1. Just for you Bzzrak, another driving story: "Fonze and the 8-Car Pileup"

     

    This was perhaps 6 years ago; my mom was still alive, I was working overnight and attending a University during the day, commuting about 25 miles each way down the interstate. Pretty close to the same spot I got my newest yellow paper from, except going the opposite direction this happened.

     

    I was on my way home from school, no cars near me, about halfway through my 40-48 hour day (work overnight, school during day, back to work overnight, rinse, repeat) driving down the interstate. The time was about 4 PM-ish, so still fairly close to the middle of the day with the sun high in the sky. A clear day; perfect driving conditions.

     

    There are signs that show if there is a backup on the way to the tunnel which read thay there was a couple-mile one up ahead, but it took a little longer to reach it than it seemed (maybe this is what got the other drivers). Well finally I came to the top of a shallow hill and I saw a ton of cars way up ahead; I get closer, see that they are not only not moving very fast, but not moving at all. So I begin to slow down, about a football field away from them at this point and I look in my rearview mirror to check on any cars back there. There were cars back there, and a good amount (all stuck behind a 2-car wall... ugh) but they were also about a football field away. I continue to slow down until eventually stopping, without hitting the car in front of me, and of course the whole time I'm glancing in my rearview because both I like to know what other cars (especially the moving ones) are doing around me and also I'm just kinda paranoid like that. Well as I come to a stop, finally I'm starting to think "hey, these people don't look much like they're slowing down..." After stopping I continued to watch as something I never would have imagined, nor could I ever make up unfolded both in front of my eyes and all around me.

     

    "No, those cars are definitely not slowing down," I thought as the gap between us shortened to a dangerous distance, then to a trivial distance. I was in the left lane of a 2-lane highway. The car directly behind me swerved to the right into the other lane, hitting a car and then t-boning the car in front of me. Somehow during everything (this part I didn't see) a truck lost control in the right lane and hit the side guard rail head-on. Perhaps the chain-reaction on the right side hit him at some point, but I was glancing back and forth to what was happening in front of me and the cars still coming up, so I missed just what happened to the truck. The car behind the car behind me (yeah get used to this, it's a long chain) swerved into the ditch to the left. The car behind them stopped behind me. The car behind them swerved into the ditch and hit the other car over there. To finalize the insanity of it all, the car that actually managed to stop behind me without hitting me also took it in the backside from the next car in the chain of stupid (which may be a bit callous to say, but let's be honest here, sure the hill was only shallow, but how could the cars behind the cars in front have not seen the giant wall of cars stopped up ahead? Lol. Never mind the whole 'follow distance' thing). Somehow, by some unbelievable stroke of luck, my car remained untouched throughout it all.

     

    I sat around for a while with everybody, listening to them talk about who to assign blame to; my story didn't really match up with theirs but by the same token it all happened so fast and from so many angles that I couldn't have confidently defended my story to a group of people looking to push blame off of themselves. One thing that was weird though is that most of them told their story as if I wasn't even present, with the car that wound up behind me stating that she stopped behind the car that got t-boned... (as if my car wasn't directly in-between the two) It's whatever though, I explained what I saw to the motorist assistance guy and he recommended I just leave before the officer asked me for a statement and I got called to court to testify randomly for the next 6 months. Tired, confused, irritated, and thankful, I got the Hell out of there.

    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. Decay

      Decay

      Though note that's not necessarily accomplished by speeding, also practices. Gotta have the finger on the pulse of traffic and take opportunities for advancement when presented. Having a feel for what lanes will get you the furthest fastest is more valuable than speed.

    3. Ichor

      Ichor

      Might as well...

       

      This happened way back when I first got my driver's license. In fact, this was my first time driving solo on the night that I did get it.

       

      Trying to think of where to go for the first drive out, I decided on donuts. Krispy Kreme donuts to be precise. It was a couple of miles away and it was relatively late at night, so there was little traffic. Oh yeah, there was also a massive storm right about to pass over. I started out and made it about halfway before it started raining. "No problem", I thought. "This lig-uhhh-HEAVY rain won't be a big d-umm-MONSOON...won't be a big deal...yeah." I keep going and HELLO WIND! Rain coming down in waves, street flooding in places, wind, and the always fun lightning.

       

      I make it to the Krispy Kreme and run in, get the donuts, and run out, making sure not to get them wet in the short distance back to the car. I leave to go back home. Red light. Any second now...and...POWER FAILURE! Just for a second, the power goes out, resetting the stoplight cycle (grumble grumble), The light changes and I make my way down the half-flooded road. A wild stalled car appears! I move into the right lane...and another red light. Oh hey, that's a lovely shrub there on the side of the road, not ten feet from the car. It would be a shame if LIGHTNING were to hit it! Stoplight changes to green seconds later and I take off in a hurry, leaving a sparking, smoldering shrub behind.

       

      After that, the road had flooded so much that there was no way to tell where the road ended and the curb began, or even where the center of the road was. I made my best guess, not really helping that there was someone else, also just as crazy to be out during this time, right next to me vying for what we seemed to agree was the center of the road. But he eventually turned off somewhere and I made it home with some really good donuts. Still warm too.

    4. Fonze

      Fonze

      Very true Decay, especially about having a finger on the pulse and figuring which lane will take you there faster right now and how long you have until the lanes switch speeds, as they kinda slink along independently in traffic.

       

      Ichor: that's a crazy first night out; haha! You're lucky you were even able to see the road from the sounds of it and of course very thankfully you didn't wind up in a deep puddle / pothole / flooded low-spot.

       

      Still, for some good donuts, it sounds worth the risk; good man :)

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