wtf?

Becca Anderson blathers about...stuff. Or something.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Close Call.

This morning, I got out of bed with plenty of time to shower, make myself look semi-presentable, and get out the door to make it to class on time. PLENTY of time. Traffic is really shitty on Monday mornings, so I gave myself 45 minutes to make the usually-20 minute drive to IIT. Within a minute of getting into my car, I heard the traffic reporter say, "Lake Shore Drive is an hour from Hollywood to Monroe." To non-Chicagoans: that trip should take 20-25 minutes with zero traffic. Tops.

Ugh.

So I turned around and decided to try to take surface streets. I ended up zig-zagging around until I finally got on Lake Shore just south of the reported accident site at North Avenue. At 9:05, which is 5 minutes after my class actually started. But whatever. I was already going to be late, no sense in freaking out about it now.

So I'm zipping right along, maybe doing about 50 miles per hour (speed limit is 45, which no one ever follows. It's like an interstate, people), singing along to my "Women of Rock" CD. I was on the bridge going over the Chicago River (just past the Grand Ave exit), in the 2nd-from-left lane. As in, the one next to the far-left lane. Anyway, coming up over the bridge, I decide to change lanes. As I was pulling to the left, I saw a faded orange cone right in my path, between the two lanes. I swerved back to the right, and the back end of my car skidded around to the left. Did I mention that it rained last night, and the road was still wet?

At this point, I was on auto-pilot. I was turning the wheel in whatever way made the most sense to me at the time, but thinking back, I'm pretty sure I was turning in the direction of the skid, like you're supposed to. So where we left off, my front end was facing right (west), then I spun around facing left, then I spun around AGAIN (this is more swervy skidding than spinning in circles) so that I was facing back to the right (west). At this point I saw a green sedan go right in front of me, inches from my front end. I went across 2 more lanes of traffic before I came to a stop about four feet from the Jersey wall separating the traffic from, you know, the complete lack of road and river below.

Then I looked to my right, and saw the two lanes of traffic I was still blocking coming right at me. Everyone was able to stop in time, and the man in the far-right lane just looked incredibly calm. That helped me, for sure.

After two false starts, I was able to get my car running, and pulled over onto the shoulder. I put on the emergency brake and flashers and just sat there for a few. I was shaking, and realized immediately how very, very lucky I was. I crossed myself and thanked whoever out there was looking out for me. Seriously, it is a miracle that I avoided all of the traffic that was around me.

After a minute, I put on my left turn signal, let off the emergency brake, and eased back out into traffic. After all, I had a class to attend. For which I was still 25 minutes late.

1 Comments:

  • At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OMG--do you think you could stress me out anymore? Thank goodness you are OK--I know that you don't think you drive fast, but perhaps drive slower on rainy days. Spend a few extra bucks and get those cinder blocks I discussed with you yesterday. Please, please be careful. Love, Mom

     

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