You Panic, Instead of Steering Out of Trouble--Another Example.

Several years ago while driving down a steep four-lane access mountain road leaving a ski resort in Colorado, I encountered a cross street.  As the cross street was only two lanes, I thought that it was controlled by a stop sign, but it was not.  The intersection was controlled by a red light high above the road.

As I was on the downhill I didn't see it.  Unfortunately the light was red in my direction, so the two cars on the side street from the left started coming out.  When either my wife or daughter said that I had the red light, the first car was directly in front of me.

At this time I had about less than 100 feet on a steep downhill, snow-covered, slippery road.  If I had jammed on my brakes, (read panic), I would have skidded into the right side of the first car.  At this point I'm assuming that the second car saw that I wasn't stopping, so he must have slowed down a bit and never got up to the medium divider on the highway.

Instead of jamming on my brakes I steered around the danger.  Taking my foot off of the gas pedal I put a slight pressure on the brake pedal.  Not enough to stop the wheels from turning.  This gave me steering control.  The front car continued to move giving me a little more space behind it, so I was able to steer my car a few feet onto the roadway between the median divider and then back onto the passing lane avoiding the first car by approximately 2 to 6 inches.  I was traveling at about 40 mph and never slowed down throughout the ordeal.

That was the second time my mind went into slow motion allowing me the time to figure out what to do.  When your mind goes into slow-motion you actually see what is about to happen, so you just do it.

After the incident, my daughter said, "I knew that you wouldn't let anything bad happen to us."

I wish that I had that much confidence in myself sometimes.


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