James R. Schmidt, Jr., BSME, Collision Reconstruction Engineering Analyst
He was on a routine drive home just before midnight on a Saturday night. Traveling westbound, he stopped at a red light at a T-intersection. The light changed to yellow … one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand, four-one thousand, then to red for the roadway running north/south, at which he was stopped … one-one thousand, two-one thousand… Then, the light changed to green, and he proceeded into the intersection to turn left. One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand, four-one th… From his left, a speeding car ran the red light, and plowed his vehicle on the driver’s side. That can’t be good, can it? Miraculously, he survived, without a scratch. How do I know? How is this possible?
Well, I am the “he” that I write about; and, I survived without a scratch, as the crash never actually happened. Two weeks earlier, I was at that same intersection, at that same time of night on a routine drive home. Two weeks earlier, the light changed to green, and I proceeded into the intersection to turn left, and I did, in fact, turn left. No incident occurred. Nothing to speak of even. Fast forward two weeks later when I was at that intersection again and the light turned green. I started to proceed, but then stopped abruptly – almost as soon as I had started, as I saw the speeding car coming from my left, not stopping. After the speeding car blew through the intersection, I proceeded to make my left turn and continued home, uneventfully. But don’t think for a moment that I didn’t realize how lucky I was. I thanked my “lucky stars” for keeping me safe that night.