I was thinking about my post that I was (am) going to write, and thought you'll be fed up with me writing depressing posts and talking about the accident.. but it's because the last couple of weeks have brought it all back to me, right to the front of my mind. Over the 5-6 months after the accident I was concentrating more on my health and getting better, and not really talking about it. But now all the legal stuff has started and I'm driving, my leg is looking after itself and it's my thoughts that are distracting me.
Somebody asked me the other day whether I'd had any counselling. I should have answered "No, I write a blog", because this feels like therapy to me.
How many times do you hear people say "It's restored my faith in humanity" when somebody does something good or thoughtful? It makes it sound like the person usually goes around thinking the worst of everybody. All Humanity was bad but now someone did something nice so all Humanity is good again. Although I have my share of cynicism (that was an example right there), in general I think I have quite a lot of faith in humanity, and I'm sure most of us do.
Well, I realised today while driving across the Forest with Django (40mph limit, hurrah!) on a long straight road watching people driving towards me: I have lost my trust in people on the road. I know that is a generalisation in the same way, but statistics and logic play little part in emotions. It's not as specific as being scared of white trucks or tree-lined roads. After 27 years of driving I have finally discovered that yes, it can happen to me; and yes it may be totally unpredictable.
Most of the time, we expect people to behave on the road in a predictable way, we are not constantly on Code Red looking for danger. Obviously people don't always behave predictably - otherwise there would be no traffic accidents - but as far as basic driving skills are concerned we expect them to drive in their lane, stop at junctions, etc.. The fact that Ms.E (the other driver) did something so apparently random has sent my expectations crashing. I was watching those cars driving towards me today, and if they moved two inches towards the white line, I was slowing down and creeping nearer to the edge of the road.
Linking here to a post by Alexia about some youngsters recently killed in a car crash, we are in charge of these machines that have the power to kill, yet we treat it so casually. It's our right to be on the road, in a hurry to get where we're going, driving too close, having fun on the bends, going to the pub and 'one drink will be fine', thinking about problems at work and not bothering to really pay attention.
Watch people driving while you are out (preferably while you are a passenger!). How many are actually looking at the road and other vehicles? how many are fiddling with something, or looking out of the window at the view, or at their passenger while they talk; on the phone, or checking a map or looking as though they are on another planet, or doing their make-up. [A woman followed me once, spending most of the time looking in her rearview mirror doing her entire make-up while driving. I pulled over and let her past because I was spending too much time looking at her in my rearview mirror, wondering when she was going to drive into the back of me.]
I'm not saying I've never done any of those things, of course I have. We all get complacent, especially after a good number of years of uneventful travelling, and our minds wander. And I've always enjoyed driving, the skill of it, the fluidity of getting the line on the bends just right. I miss that enjoyment of driving, I hope it comes back.
On Sunday, PC Phil is coming to see me to go through the inquest report. I am hoping that I will find out a reason for Ms E's drift across the road, that there was some evidence that sets it apart from Complete Randomness.