I'm still shaking

This morning I almost went straight into the side of another car on a bend.

I drive Jacinta into work and on my way back via Sunday’s Well I got a strong smell of petrol on the quay. It was raining with water pooling at the side of the road and the tell-tale rainbow of the petrol on the road was everywhere. It hadn’t been there a few minutes earlier and traffic was backed up going out of the city. The wrong way considering it’s the morning and we had been stuck for 15 minutes going in ten minutes previously.

Driving up a hill that’s been plastered with petrol is no fun. Other cars were getting stuck, we were stopped and people were getting impatient. I heard the beeping of a horn from somewhere behind me. We weren’t going anywhere and my view was blocked by the van in front of me. Finally the car in trouble started off again so I let go of the hand brake and pressed the accelerator. Nothing, I barely moved. In desperation I slammed on the hand brake again and took a breath checking my rear view mirror to see how much space I had. I tried again, the speedometer said 20mph but the car was barely moving. I heard an awful whining sound and slowly the car inched forward. Finally the tires gripped the road and slowly I made my way up around the corner. The road was clear ahead of me and I had another obstacle.

There’s a steep hill up and over Sunday’s Well and too late I saw the rainbow hues on that bend but I was committed. Slowly I advanced forward, turning the wheel with the corner but to my horror the car kept going forward, right towards a car. I stopped quickly. Thankfully the brakes held, switched off the ignition and hit the flashers before jumping out in case something had happened to my steering. No, the wheels were turned left but had been skidding on the slick petrol film on the road. I got in and abandoned my attempt to go up the hill, instead taking the longer route down the North Mall and up Blarney Street. At the top of that street were the signs of petrol again but it’s level ground and the road is more porous and didn’t present a problem.

I’m only now calm and not shaking. It gave me an awful scare and I’ll be heading into town a different way this afternoon. The Gardai were called and they had received a few calls already. I passed a Garda van on the way home so hopefully they were on the way down to direct traffic and help people.

I’m glad I’m home.

6 thoughts on “I'm still shaking

  1. I had something similar happen one day in Antrim, although I was heading for a ditch rather than another car. It’s a horrible feeling to know that the car is not doing what you’re telling it to do via the steering wheel. I was still shaking a couple of hours later too.

  2. A near-miss can be quite scary, glad to hear you made it away from there ok! Traffic is chaotic with the rain at the moment so petrol on the ground is the last thing you need in this kinda situation!

  3. Thank goodness you’re okay. I live on a small island where it rains buckets all winter long. Island topography is challenging and the roads are like roller coaster tracks with many blind corners. I’ve twice come through close call vehicle situations that left me shaking ans weak.

    Last year when there was a gas spill all over the road in front of our place. Well, I slid my van into our driveway “sideways” between two very old trees both our 100 feet tall. It was a very close call. My heart was thumping so loudly in my ears that I felt faint and queasy.

    My husband quickly poured two giant bags of cat litter on the spill and saved some folks from having collisions or going out of control on this very busy and dangerously hooked corner. Our neighbours brought more cat litter to spread out too and when the highways department came they told us we did exactly the right thing. A bag of cat litter can provide instant absorbency for spills and can also provide traction on slippery wet pavement and even on ice. I now cart around large bag of cat litter in my vehicle every winter.

  4. Glad you made it out of this one. You can thank the lord for that one. I also had a similar experience and made it out alive but my car on the other had didn’t do too well but I’m happy to hear you’re ok! That’s the most important part here….

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