Human Nature?

Let me start off by saying, accidents happen. We all have our moments of distraction on the road. Add to that heightened tension due to weather conditions (even if said conditions don’t happen to be a factor at the time, but we’re giving the benefit of the doubt here), and the forces of human nature mixed with Mother Nature sometimes create catastrophic results.

Where am I going with this tangent, you ask? Just a preface to my recent run-in with a fellow motorist, is all. Well, his run-in with me, to be exact. At a red light. Behind a line of about 12 other vehicles. Clearly stopped. Not moving. No ice, no slush, no nothing on the road. Getting the picture? 

So, obviously, you can imagine my astonishment upon glancing in my rearview mirror – as I habitually do when on the roads – to see headlights approaching at what seemed too fast for an appropriate slowdown and stop maneuver. Sure enough, there it was, the impact, the sound of car metal crunching and cracking, along with the squeal of brakes. Lovely. Just lovely.

Luckily, another one of my driving habits is to leave a bit of room between the front of my car and the one in front of mine, saving me the added inconvenience of continuing the potential chain reaction of collisions. One minor crisis averted. 

All of this, mind you, and the light had yet to change to green. No sooner did I get my bearings, than the driver – a young, college-aged male with a knit hat – appeared at my driver’s side window to apologize profusely and ask if I was alright. I rolled down my window, clearly angry, and said, “Yeah, I’m fine, but my car sure isn’t.” He continued to apologize and suggested we pull out of the line of traffic and into the parking lot of an office building right alongside the road. Great idea.

As I pulled off to the shoulder and continued into the agreed-upon lot, the light changed. Wanting to be sure I was out of the entryway (and further harm’s way), I found a spot off to the side and waited. And waited. I watched the continuous stream of traffic drive by, with no sign of the guilty party. Gone. Took off. You must be kidding.

Hence the tangent. And the anger. And the feeling that, in spite of the fact that “accidents happen” from time to time and none of us is perfect, there is no excuse for not owning up to your actions after the fact. That’s just bad karma. So, to the other driver, I hope you can live with your decision to run from your mistake. May you never have the misfortune for someone to do precisely the same thing to you.


{Published: February 11th, 2015}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment