Posted by: chlost | April 7, 2012

Watch your back

Nearly was rear-ended on Thursday while driving to work.

Nearly was clipped on the back corner bumper this morning on the freeway.

As I will be doing a lot of driving tomorrow, I can only wonder about what might happen the third time. These things always seem to happen in threes. I know that is just a superstition, but I worry nonetheless.  I hope it will just be another close call the third time.

This is something that I think about quite a bit when I am in a car. Perhaps it is because it happens rather frequently in our family.  I have been hit from behind by a woman looking into her purse while driving 35 mph. She did not see me in front of her, stopped while waiting to turn left. My turn signal was on. She never saw me until she hit me, and she didn’t touch her brakes.

My oldest son was rear-ended at a freeway fruit check (between San Diego and LA) and his car was sandwiched in between two other vehicles. I think there were 8 vehicles in the accident, a chain reaction. My son’s car burst into flames just after a guy with a knife was able to cut my son out of his seat belt. Luckily, my son doesn’t remember most of it. Unfortunately, his friend who was sitting in the passenger seat does remember.

Merle was rear-ended by a car many years ago. He could see it coming and laid down on the front seat to avoid the whiplash injury.

Son and Daughter-in-law were rear-ended when they hit a car in front of them. All three little girls were in the car. The airbags went off, filling the inside of the car with smoke. D-i-l cannot smell and thought the smoke meant the car was on fire. Her car door would not open, so she frantically crawled out of the window to get the crying, scared little girls out of their car seats and the vehicle.  Son had to calm all of them while waiting for the police to arrive. Granddaughter learned about police that day. The officer was very good to her.

So, I have a nearly constant fear of being hit from the rear as I drive. Or, more accurately, as I stop the car. Is that irrational? Perhaps.

All I know is that I routinely look in my rearview mirror as I come to a stop in an intersection. My instinct is to give a little yelp as I see a vehicle approach quickly behind the car. Merle complains that he often is not prepared for the yelp and has to figure out whether it is a result of something he deems very important (an imminent accident) or irrelevant (a bee in the car).

After 35 years together, we are still working out a passenger seat signal system which is satisfactory to both of us and also takes into account freeway driving speeds of 75 mph.

Luckily it was me driving today and my mom in the passenger seat. My little yelp did not need to be deciphered by anyone else. Mom was totally oblivious to the whole thing.

The next time, if Merle is driving and I let out a yelp, he’d better assume that it isn’t a bee.



  1. I always drive with the idea that everyone on the road is crazier than me and that, my friend, keeps me vigilant!

  2. I’m so with you on this. I was rear ended 4 years ago, sitting at a red light waiting to turn left. The fool was going about 50 and never hit his brakes. I still watch behind me and don’t breath again until there are at least 2 other cars behind me. I also refuse to drive anything smaller than my truck.

    As far as the near misses this past week, I chalk it up to the full moon Friday afternoon … the effects are usually in play 48 hours before, through 48 hours after. Here’s hoping those most afflicted are no where near you tomorrow!

  3. I was rear-ended (I was a teen, and a friend was driving) once and had only whiplash, but the car was totaled. I worry about it now when someone gets too close. Especially an 18-wheeler, which is what hit us.

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