PSA: Please look over your shoulder before changing lanes, particularly in congested fast-moving traffic! Also (and this applies to me as well), take the 2-second following rule seriously.
I still honestly have no idea how this wasn’t worse yesterday and am thankful to be alive. Let’s just say Jeep Wranglers may be built for ruggedness and toughness, but they were definitely not built for evasive maneuvers. Driving up to NY and Citi Field yesterday, I hadn’t even made it out of the DC area before disaster nearly struck.
Traffic on the beltway from NoVa was congested, but moving along at a good 65-70mph clip. I was about six miles from the exit to 95 north on the inner loop of the north side of the beltway. Traveling along in the 2nd to leftmost lane, a car in the lane to the right of me started changing lanes into me. Everyone was rather bunched up, so I couldn’t slam on the brakes for fear of being rear-ended, plus he was coming over fast and about to sideswipe me. I jerked the wheel to the left, having noted the leftmost lane was open next to me. I think I jerked too hard as the Jeep immediately started a kind of fishtail thing. I tried to counter back to the right, but I couldn’t recover. It just kept fish tailing. I think then I made the mistake of hitting the brakes, but that actually may have saved my life because rather than the tires sticking to the dry asphalt causing me to flip over as the Jeep tottered side to side, the wheels locked and I slid. Across all 4 lanes of the beltway while spinning 180 degrees. In congested traffic.
I honestly thought I was going to die. How could I veer across all lanes in that much traffic and not get plowed into by another car going 65 mph?! All I could think of was the fact that I didn’t say goodbye to my son before I left that afternoon because he was upstairs on his video game. I don’t know what the cars behind me saw, but apparently my wrestling with the fishtail gave everyone enough time to slow down and allow me clear passage to the inner shoulder, where thank goodness there was no barrier or guard rail. The Jeep came to a jarring halt facing oncoming traffic from the safety of the shoulder. I blinked and stared unbelievingly. A very nice lady pulled over to make sure I was ok (thank you!).
This is the 2nd time I’ve spun out on an interstate in the Jeep. I think it’s time to part ways with it. *sigh* Ever since, I’ve been pinching myself and terrified I’m living some Sixth Sense world where I’m really dead and just don’t know it yet!
Anyway, I did a tiny 3 point turn on the shoulder and continued on. Photos of last night’s game up shortly….