I was driving home from the city. I wasn’t really paying attention. I wasn’t doing anything else ,but my mind was elsewhere. I realized I had been in the far right exit lane the entire time and it’d soon be turning into an “exit only” lane, so it was time to move over. I glanced over my shoulder, checking my blind spot. I peeked into my mirrors and looked back one more time to be sure, then, signal on, I started switching lanes. Suddenly an asshole in some sort of red sedan flies into my lane, speeds up, and nearly hits me, causing me to swerve back into my lane to avoid him.
Of course, I’m cursing, and now I’m pissed. The driver is a middle aged man, probably showing off for the blonde who is half his age and is perched in the passenger seat, giggling. I still have plenty of time before I’m forced to exit, so I decide right then and there if I want my revenge, I’ll just get really close to his bumper. He’s already ridiculously close to the car in front of him, in an effort to get it to speed up, why not give him a taste of his own medicine?
I speed up and as I’m approaching his car, I see cars much farther up ahead swerving. Brake lights. I slam on my breaks and stay away from his bumper. This guy is going to slam his car into the one in front of him and if I’m not careful, I could be collateral damage. I try to scan the emergency lane ahead to see what the swerving was about and if there was an accident. Right as I look back, we are approaching where the first cars has begun to swerve. I see him run it over in his car and now, although my car is a few car lengths behind, this twisted metal bumper is hurtling itself towards my windshield. It’s bouncing of the pavement of the freeway, flipping end over end, as it flies at me.
I can feel my eyes widening in fear, and I begin to panic.
Do I swerve left and avoid the bumper hitting my person, but run the risk of it going through the passenger side? Although it’s empty, it will still cause detrimental damage and there’s no assurance I’ll be okay. There are also other cars to my left, any of which I could collide with.
Do I swerve right? I’d be bringing myself into the direct line of the flying shrapnel, but I might be able to make it into the emergency lane without problem. But should I not swerve far enough over, I’ll have lined myself up perfectly with the bumper, and it is definitely over.
These thoughts ran through my head at four times the speed the bumper was approaching. It felt like minutes, but was probably under seconds. I swerved to the right, screaming the entire time. The bumper hit the front of my car and cartwheeled over it. It nicked my front bumper and roof, but missed both the windshield and rear window.
I felt like I was going to throw up. There was so much adrenaline pulsing through my body I forgot about the idiot driver and the random piece of metal and everything that had just happened. My mind began to go back to a series of movies I love: Final Destination. I just had a moment straight out of their script. Had that bumper made it into my car, killing me, it would have caused a major accident. It would have been a freak accident, and I avoided it. I was so proud of myself. I wasn’t mad or afraid or upset, but proud. Proud that I had cheated death. Proud that I had come up with the right solution. Proud that I was still alive.