I would like to thank God, Subaru, Goodyear, and Starbucks

For pretty much saving my life 20 minutes ago. I was on the 405 South near Cerritos, meditating on religion, when I realized cars don’t usually make U-turns on the 405. It looked like the car attempting this was not very successful. Then I noticed a pickup in front of me in my lane, only it’s perpendicular to the dotted white lines – SWERVE LEFT. The U-turn car is now in the left lane – STAY RIGHT. Another car has turned itself around in the right shoulder and – CRASH – CLANG – it knocks over a freeway street lamp – THOSE FUCKERS ARE BIG – into my lane – SWERVE LEFT. And old, dark blue pickup, rear end smashed in, drives on in front of me. Did it cause the accident? An uninsured motorist? Drunk driver? Innocent victim? I have no idea.

“Is it safe?”
“Yes, it’s safe, it’s very safe, it’s so safe you wouldn’t believe it.”

Ordeal over, I call 911. All operators busy, everyone else beat me to it.

So I’d like to thank God for interrupting my conversation with Him, and keeping me cool through everything. In my mind, at least, I was Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity. But without Franka Potente riding shotgun, sadly.

I’d like to thank Subaru for making the Impreza WRX capable of swerving around the random obstacles materializing in front of me while going 65+ MPH. It’s like one of those BMW commercials, except BMW can suck my balls.

I’d like to thank Goodyear, and it’s fine Eagle F1 GS-D3 tires, which did not complain as I broke, accelerated, and swerved around various cars and freeway paraphernalia.

I’d like to thank Starbucks for keeping it’s Hollywood and Highland location open to 12:30am (although 1am would be more appropriate at that location on a Saturday night), and it’s fine Caramel Macchiato beverage, for keeping me alert.


5 thoughts on “I would like to thank God, Subaru, Goodyear, and Starbucks”

  1. Woot! Glad all ended well.

    I saw a truck do that once on the freeway. He swerved to avoid hitting a damn dog and ended up in a spin. Only pure luck kept about 30 of us from all ending up in a big flaming pile. Sadly, I didn’t have a nice car, so my only option was slamming on the brakes and gently swerving around the mess with all the other cars around me. If one of us had been on a cell phone it would have likely not gone so well.

  2. Wow. Truly a life-changing event. Or not.

    I had a similar auto event in my senior year in college. By all rights, I should have been killed on the Route 110 entrance ramp to the Long Island Expressway. Along with my sister, who was my passenger. God must have had other plans since I am here to tell the tale. But in my young immaturity I did not even think about what had just happened. I made that leap years later, then much older and still immature.

    Spinning cars tend to loom large in these type of accidents. And I had a frozen roadway, to boot. I only had the good, old-fashioned, heavy-duty metal bulk of my Buick Apollo to protect me. And obviously, God was in the moment.

    By the Way, your article does not have a timestamp, so I don’t know where to base the “20 minutes later” moment. Is there something wrong with my browser??

  3. Forgot that the timestamps are gone, the incident I described in the post took place around 2am.

    That was actually my *fourth* front row view to a spinout:

    1. Driving home from RPI (NY Thruway) in the snow, a car in front of me in the left lane begins a slow motion clockwise spinout. Of course it’s only slow motion left to right, we’re still all moving down the freeway at 65MPH. It ends up off the road, on a 45 degree embankment. My passenger and I just looked at each other. “Wow, that sucks.” There was no way I was going to risk a spinout myself by stopping for them. And it *really* sucks for them, because this was before anyone had a cellphone.

    BTW, my Nissan Sentra performed superbly in the snow. Way better than the Pontiac Bonneville, which during snow driving, genuinely felt like a boat in the water (and at 17′, it was only 2′ shorter than our Renken motorboat).

    2. Driving down CA 110S, a car spins out while going through a tunnel (or an overpass). Lots of cool sparks.

    3. Driving on 405N, Cadillac has what appears to be a blowout and spins out. It somehow gets its ass end up on the jersey barrier, which was quite the sight at 50MPH. It finished the spin, landing in the left lane facing traffic. I had the same luck as Masterchief, in that we all broke fast without rear ending each other. The sound of the screeching tires and the smoke from the blowout gave us a little warning at least, and luckily it was in daylight.

    Looking back, each incident is more dangerous than the last! It’s a bad trend. I’m going to need a more nimble car 🙂

  4. We really need to move to the Automated Roadway as quickly as possible. It’s certainly been a science-fiction staple: movies like “Minority Report” “AI” and “Logan’s Run” made good use of them. I think there is a town in Japan where a test roadway (about a mile or so) has been deployed. Within this area, your car is monitored for speed, location and behavior. With a little software, you could actually get your car to drive itself. Having groups of cars band together would save gas by cutting down on drag. And you could spend your time reading or watching videos while your car takes you to your destination.

    Of course, the down side is that you are constantly monitored. The Government Conspiracy could follow your movements while on the road. Unless you implement privacy safeguards into the system, of course. Too bad we are not spending as much money on this as we are in finding better ways to blow up our fellow humans.

  5. Well, I’m glad you’re ok and that you took those stunt driving courses. They really paid off! 😉 Actually, there should be some kind of related test specifically for LA drivers on the topic of dealing with dangerous drivers. Maybe just a small, closed stunt course with cones and cardboard cutouts of stupid pedestrians. You know, the kind that just walk out into the street with their head to the ground. Just a total leap of faith on their part. There seems to be a large population of them here.

    I’ve had some close calls myself with having to stop short because of cars breaking down in the carpool lane and people freaking out over it. I’m always amazed that I seem to come to a screeching halt just before coming into a collision. That’s happened twice for me on the 405 and the 101 freeways.

    And now they’re trying to widen the 405 freeway to free up congestion, estimating about 15 mins saved for each passenger. Though, a lot of people are losing their homes because of it. Schwarzenegger had this to say about it:

    Governor Signs Legislation to Use Design-Build to Speed Construction of Interstate 405 Improvements

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