Friday, November 13, 2009

Welcome, Margaret Tanner


More than twenty years ago, I was involved in a serious accident when a fully laden semi trailer ran into the back of my car, virtually demolishing it. How I survived was a miracle, how I was able to walk away with just a few bruises was even more miraculous. Even the emergency workers who arrived on the scene couldn’t believe it. My car was crushed, the semi-trailer jack-knifed and ended upside down, and the driver had to climb out the window, but all I could blubber about was losing one of my shoes. Since that time, though, I only drive when I absolutely have to, and even then I hate it.

Everyone knows me – the lady who sits on or just below the speed limit. The one who gets tail-gated and abused by impatient road users who ignore speed signs.

I always leave a reasonable distance between my car and the one in front of me, only to be out-maneuvered by someone else squeezing into the gap. When the skies open up and the rain buckets down, giving the road surface the texture of an ice-skating rink, I reduce speed, while others roar past leaving fountains of water in their wake.

There are those who abuse me for stopping a few feet from a railway crossing when in a long line of traffic, instead of waiting in the middle of the tracks. Everyone knows the cars in front will move before the train comes. Perish the thought that when the lights do change, someone might stall and hold up the flow, so I’m left like a sitting duck at the mercy of the boom gates crashing on to my roof, or the 5.08 express train, running me into the ground. Selfish individual that I am – don’t I realize everyone else is in a hurry.

Why do I get upset when some maniac passes me on the wrong side of the road? After all I can easily slam on my brakes, and let them in front of me when the third lane they have created peters out. Tough luck if the truck almost sitting an inch away from my bumper bar can’t stop, but a few precious seconds gained, a few extra vehicles passed, means a lot when a driver is in a hurry. Don’t I realize how busy everyone is?

The lights are green in the distance; they change to amber when I am meters away. How can a woman be so stupid? All you have to do is accelerate, as long as your front wheels are at the intersection when the lights turn red, it’ll be o.k. The tooting driver behind me is obviously running late, and there are no police cars around.

One might be moved to ask what all the fuss is about. Everyone knows you have to take risks on the road, show the machine you’re driving who the boss is, intimidate other road users so they know how tough you are. After all, you’ll never have an accident because you’re such an expert driver.

A metamorphosis seems to come over many people when they climb behind the wheel. Their well-mannered, easygoing ways evaporate. They become ruthless predators, waiting to pounce on some unsuspecting victim, whose only crime is that they try to obey all the road laws.

Have you people who use your vehicles as speed chariots ever felt the gut-wrenching sensation of real fear? Do you know what it is like having to traverse the highway every morning and evening, along the same stretch of road where a truck slammed into the rear of your vehicle, completely demolishing it?

But I am alive and I give thanks for that.


Margaret lives in Australia and is a multi-published author with The Wild Rose Press and Whiskey Creek Press.

On board the convict ship taking them to the penal colony of Australia, Maryanne Watson and Jake Smith meet and fall in love, but Jake hides a terrible secret that will take him to the gallows if it ever comes out.


Ginger Simpson said...

Margaret and I shared our remembrances of being involved in severe auto accidents and surviving with only a few scrapes. Amazing, that we are both still here, writing, and loving life.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ginger,
Thanks for inviting me to Dishin'It Out.
Exactly, it was a miracle that we were able to walk away, there are many who have not been so fortunate.

Cheryl Wright said...

Hi Margaret, I am shocked.... that you have a license! We've known each other for how many years now(?) and I had no idea you could drive.

I was in a serious car accident about 38 years ago, and received head and neck injuries. I still suffer from those injuries, so I'm also a careful - and cautious - driver.

I get so cross at maniac drivers who want everyone else to act as stupidly as they do.

It should be mandatory for people applying for a driver's license to visit injured patients who have been in car accidents. It just might change their attitudes.

Or not...


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Cheryl,
Thanks for dropping by. As you say we have known each other for years, and I don't remember you telling me that you had been in a road accident, we'll have to share our experiences next time we meet.

MargaretM said...

Hi Margaret, What a frightening thing to have happen to you and thankfully you're okay and writing wonderful books. Cheers, Margaret

MargaretM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mona Risk said...

Margaret, thanks God you are alive. My daughter was involved in a very similar accident and we couldn't believe she got out of it only with a back problem.

Linda Swift said...

Hi Margaret. What a chilling story. And you are a walking miracle, thanks be to God. My own daughter was run down while standing on the sidewalk by a driver high on drugs and I tended her long recuperation so I can appreciate your good fortune. But she, with a steel plate in one kneecap and a rod in leg from hip to knee is fine now. God had plans for both of you and spared you to carry them out. Linda

Susan Macatee said...

What a story, Margaret! I don't blame you one bit for wanting to avoid driving. I'm one of those cautious drivers too and I don't especially like driving either. Just do it when I must.

I've never been in an accident as a driver or gotten a ticket, but I have been involved in an accident as a passenger and have also seen enough of them to know it's better to take it easy on the road.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Austrailia has the same jerk drivers we have here in the US. When I get what you'd call "road rage" it's usually at those jerks that are tailgating me and acting like they own the road in their big 4 trucks or SUV's--especially in a snow storm. I then laugh when I see them in the ditch a few miles later on and always say, "4 wh. drive does not make you God."

Keep driving safe everyone and so glad you're here, Margaret! And everyone else who's survived their bad accidents.

Ilona Fridl said...

Oh, my heavens, Margaret, were you lucky! I guess stupid drivers aren't confined to the USA. Thought I come to support my fellow Vintage Rose.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ilona, Stacey Joy, Susan, Mona and Linda,
Thank you so much for dropping by, I appreciate it. I think there is a world wide plaque, bombastic, selfish and inconsiderate drivers.
I am truly lucky to be alive, all the emergency crews and the police couldn't believe that I walked away with only bruises.
So, someone was certainly looking out for me.
Margaret M. thanks for dropping by too. Catch up with you at MRWG today.

Maggie Toussaint said...

I'm so glad you survived that terrible accident, Margaret!

Gail Symmonds said...

Serious accidents like this can leave a lasting scar on the memory, Margaret. Nothing wrong with being cautious. We are now at that fase of our lives with our son sixteen and learning to drive. Defensive driving is something we are teaching him.

I'm so glad you walked away from the crash, Margaret, or I never would have met you! Makes you think doesn't it.

Safe driving everyone.

Gail :)

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Gail and Maggie,
Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate it.


Cate Masters said...

Oh my goodness, Margaret, what a terrible fright you must have had! Fate obviously had other plans for you. I'm one who believes when your number's up, it doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing.
I love to drive, I think because my mother never did and we lived out in the country, so driving allowed me to escape! Commuting is rarely a fun exercise, I agree. Have you tried listening to books on CD? It might provide a pleasant diversion, or at least block out other rude drivers!

Cate Masters said...

Btw, I meant to say I love that cover! It's fantastic. Best of luck with the release!

Serena said...

Hi Margaret,
What a terrible, horrific thing. I can't imagine how frightening it would be to experience, and I don't want to know! I'm glad you're here to tell the tale.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Serena,
Thanks for dropping by. I was certianly lucky.


Elizabeth said...

Hi Margaret,

I'm another one who's so glad you survived, both for your own sake and your wonderful stories. A frightening tale, well told.

Thank you

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