The Recovering Farmer

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Accidents Do Happen

Over the course of the last two years I have heard various stories from people who have had motor vehicle accidents. Notice the official term? Motor vehicle accident. Used to be called fender benders. I often wondered how so many people were experiencing these mishaps. Sometimes it is a slight lapse in judgement. Remember the bus from a few weeks ago? Other times it may be someone else’s mistake. And don’t get me wrong. They can be serious. They can be catastrophic. And they can be life changing.

At one point this week, as I was navigating traffic in Winnipeg, I made a comment about some of the drivers. My son was quick to point out that this was still better than Brandon. Okay, not to diss anyone from Brandon, let me explain. I used to commiserate about traffic in that fine city. I suspect I have written about it previously. My complaint being it is slow. In all lanes, going in both directions. You do not get anywhere in a hurry. I actually had a conversation with a Brandon city police officer. They were in complete agreement. Brandon traffic is slow. In Winnipeg nobody moves slowly. It is as if all of us are running late. Going in all directions. Quite often in the mornings I will see people driving in rush hour traffic with frost all over their windows. One small circle cleared through which they may or may not see things happening in front of them. But it does not slow them down. Everybody seems to think they have to get there first.

I did get into an accident this week. Okay, let me rephrase that. I did not get into an accident. Someone hit me. Still not clear how it happened. Perhaps it’s the trauma. Temporary loss of memory. I have heard of that happening. Or it might have been the fact that, as typical mornings go, I was zoned out. Thinking of the day ahead. Looking forward to my Tim Horton’s. All I remember is that without warning, it happened. Not sure whether I heard the crunch first or felt the hit. Again, in situations like that details become fuzzy. The life I never had flashed before my eyes.

Some time ago I was challenged by a colleague to view rush hour traffic as being a dance. When someone cuts in front of you, means you have a new partner. Obviously, as a good Mennonite, this creates issues for me. Dancing and changing partners? I won’t go there because most of you would question the “good Mennonite” part. What I have learned is that whether I drive aggressively or take the relaxed approach I get to my destination in the same time. And if I am relaxed about it the rest of my day goes much better.

Back to my accident. After the initial shock wore off I realized that I would survive. It could have been worse. Much worse. You see, I was in a line up at a Tim Horton’s drive through when it happened. No damage to the vehicle aside from the salt and grime covering my car. I suppose you could call that slow dancing. Not sure I enjoyed that but it did make me chuckle. Particularly the response of the other driver. I can well imagine how sheepish I would feel if I had been that driver. Oh well. Accidents do happen. Someone suggested this morning that we should practice peaceful driving. That means giving yourself enough time to get there on time. Makes sense to me. Make it a good one.

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