Posted:Okay, last monday. Departure day to Thailand. Didn't catch much sleep, fully awake on caffeine, but still orientated and focussed - I thought.
Nothing packed, nothing sorted (as so often). I get a rental van to tow my two axis, solid aluminum, beautyful trailer for it's winter-quarter. The fast gets furious as a guy parked right behind it - illegally on my time, nerves and strengths expense...
Sweating, I connect it to the van, plug in the power, check it, get in the van and take off. Beautiful and sunny skies, no cloud in sight. Still plenty of time. First traffic light and underpass, second traffic light - I'm taking it easy, 40k's an hour, not more. The journey will later take me one hour out of town, on the autobahn.
Suddenly - I'm no longer sure what was first - I feel a freak motion in the van, hear a screeetch, look into the rear mirror and just observe the trailer, how it's no longer connected to the van, the automatic brake kicks in and it crashes into the next, parked car...
The cars side didn't look that good anymore, my trailer had only it's aluminum mudguard missing... The phone number of the owner on the car, called him - he already heard the noise, looked outside through the window only at the other - undamaged side...... nice one, Tom.
To cut a long story short. I clearly remember how I connected the trailer and that I thought to myself: "Make sure, it's properly connected!" I thought I had
Now the damage will be paid by the insurance, but imagining how fing lucky I've been... No traffic behind me; no person inside the parked car; a parked car, not a cyclist or pedestrian; and ways before going on the Autobahn with at least 80k's/h ----- unimaginable. This is the fabric nightmares and life long self-accusations are woven from.
My learning experience: Whatever the clock tells me - always double-check. Always double check and make sure that the machine I am operating is functioning properly. Do as much as possible - not as necessary. Never operate a vehicle when not in the proper condition. May it be tiredness or anything else. This - to me - was a(nother) wakeup call.
If you had freak accident experiences where you have been lucky lucky lucky (or not that lucky) - where a little inattentiveness almost caused a catastrophy - pls share it.
I am intending to educate myself even more about those little things in life, the little things that I do every day and then simply forget about them... but there is no excuse for being a threat to fellow brother and sister citizens.
My grandparents were on the recieving end of one of these kind of accidents not so long back. they were driving on the motorway behind a lorry carrying porta-loo's, and one of them fell off the back of the lorry, crate and all, and hit theyr car, totally wrote off the car and narrowly missed them! very narrowly! But they are fine now, they got everything sorted, but unfortunatly it did put my nan off driving! But on the upside they now have a very nice little red sports car instead of their old one! lol
Posted:My ex once had a near miss on the motorway. Some prat dropped a brick of a bridge and it went through his windscreen, straight through the car and out of the back window, missing him by about a foot. He was *very* freaked out about it.
I ride a motorbike, so I get near misses pretty much every day, mostly from people who pull out in front of me (or into the side of me) without looking properly.
Posted: this is exactly why i hate people on the road with caravans or small trialers
as son as i see a person with a caravan, or small trailer i back off big time!!!!
when i did my scaffolding apprenticship a had to darve a tractor wit a 20 foot trailer wieghiging in at 5 tonnes. reversing it into some crazy gaps, some of these muppets just get a tow hitch fitted thinking they can handle a load when they can't!!!
Posted:@kash: this sucker is lucky that I didn't watch him doing it... There are LOADS of friggin ppl who throw stones from bridges. Their parents have not taught them to deal with their incredible frustration and anger.
@ravehead: See I have this trailer for over a year now, I am driving 5 and 7 tonne trucks regularly (my camper had about 5t's) and a motorcycle. I do have an idea about the hazards that are involved in operating such vehicles. This was a once-in-a-lifetime event and I am so happy that it went this way. But you're completely right: it only takes a "once-in-a-lifetime event " to kill someone, or to wipe out an entire family...
What I always wonder about are those suckers, who clearly underestimate the impact a truck can have and how limited the drivers are, the velocity and kinetic energy a vessel that size has. Guess how often ppl just passed the back of my truck, while I reversed it, cut lanes right in front of me - when approaching a red traffic light, simply reducing the distance in which I have to come to a full stop by 50%...
I's suggest EVERYBODY who learns to drive a car AT LEAST ONCE should ride a motorcycle and a truck in traffic, to have a clue what it means and what we're dealing with here.
Posted:i've ridden motorcycles in heavy traffic, used to ride on in all weathers for about 4 years and one thing i always made sure i did was give trucks and lorrys a wide birth as having a scrape with either in ANY vehicle usualy results in you loosing the battle