Yesterday I almost wrecked our bus. We were northbound on the interstate, in Southern Oklahoma. Up to this point our trip had been what most would consider a letter perfect trip, no problems, everything working as it is supposed to work (often a rare occurrence in the bus world). Traffic was heavy in most cases and in Okie City it got choked up for some reason? (too many people)
As we approached a critical turning point or junction in our trip, we were faced with the prospect of merging traffic, which was “supposed to yield to us” the faster moving traffic. Out of the corner of my eye, I see three cars heading in our direction, and I clearly remember thinking to myself, “there is going to be a problem here.”
Sure enough, the first two they skirt thru the yield sign and accelerate quickly to get out of our way, the third guy, the one with no brains, he decides to just blow off the sign and come out right in front of us. Now I am clearly in his view and I am bearing down on the exit and now him.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to get to the sticky part, where the rubber meets the road, you might say. Instead of using good defensive driving techniques I continue to bear down on this idiot, knowing full well, he is going to cause me problems. Knowing full well this is going to take a heavy application of braking power in order to miss him.
Clearly this is a mistake not only on HIS part but also on MINE.
At this point, we reach critical mass, on I am literally on top of this bozo and laying down a generous amount of air-horn and standing on the brakes. His wife turns and looks out the back of the pickup window and you can clearly see her saying something to the driver. (This is where I kind of chuckle to myself, because I can only imagine what it is she is saying … Mostly likely yelling GAWD IT IS THIS HUGE BUS HARVEY! Or something to that effect)
We are now some 4ft (maybe less) from sending this obvious bad driver a callous law breaker to the Promised Land, and we are not talking an Elvis Presley CD here. It got rather dicey for a second or two, and frankly, it could have went either way. Fortunately for all concerned, no paint swappin and no trip to the ER, just another close call on the road. (I am however not unscathed in this matter … The wife is now a little bit miffed at me for teaching our parrot profanity and I have to attune for that sin)
Dr. Phil has a saying, “Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?”
This could apply here very easily.
I was adamant in being right (I had the right-a-way and he should have yielded to me, the higher speed traffic) which was my apparent thinking at the time, and clearly WRONG. On the other hand, I could have put him into the abutment and been justified, but I do not believe this would have made me happy?
If I had wrecked the coach, I certainly would not have been at fault from a legal standpoint, but clearly would have been upset and disappointed in this case. It would have been far too easy to have taught this _______ a lesson he would not have forgotten. But in the end, who would have been the clear cut winner of this contest of wills?
They say in life, everything is for a reason, and you should learn from the experience. This morning, over a good cup of coffee and looking back on it, it was a combination of two things.
(1) An idiot who did not yield and possess good driving skills.
(2) Another idiot in a big bus who didn’t practice what he preaches all of the time … Looking ahead, and exercising good defensive driving practices.
Lucky for us … it worked out for both of us rather well and we walked away from it all. As for whether or not HE learned anything from it, well, that is debatable, but I know that I did. Guess all things work out for the common good, but often it sure gets irritating when you are on the receiving end of all of it.
Watch those right handers …