Home > My Life Musings > Saved by the Subconscious

Saved by the Subconscious

I, like most, have had my fair share of road problems. Little accidents, near misses, breaking down, driving over bits of wood in the carriageway and so on. Hell, last year I nearly drove over Bambi!

Yesterday’s incident, however, was quite weird. I mean, you see this sort of thing happening on the TV, but…

There I was, driving down the A30 dual carriageway at 75mph 70mph on my way home from work. Traffic was extremely light. Not far from my slip-road (very close to where I nearly squashed Bambi, funnily enough) I saw a van up ahead and decided to pull in behind it rather than shoot around it.

It was only going at 50mph so obviously I was pretty annoyed (I started to wish I’d just overtaken), but impatient as I was, I kept a decent distance behind. This turned out to be a good thing.

The back of the van suddenly lurched downwards, there was a huge cloud of smoke and the wheel flew off! Straight towards me! What happened next had nothing to do with me.

Me: Wow, his wheel just fell off!

Subconscious: Hit the brakes, check the fast lane is clear.

Me: I can’t believe his wheel just fell off! Random.

Subconscious: Change down from fifth to second gear for manoeuvring power.

Me:Β Look at all the sparks! Pretty.

Subconscious: Estimate speed and trajectory of randomly bouncing wheel.

Me: He’s leaving a big scrape mark on the road.

Subconscious: Initiate emergency swerve… now!

Thanks, subconscious! At least one of us was on the ball.

I largely avoided the wheel, which glanced off my left rear wheel arch. It was a bit of wheel-on-wheel action.

Wheel On Wheel

My poor car! It’s ruined! Not really.
It’s practically in bits! But it’s not though.

In case you’re wondering, it’s that little black smudge.

Anyhoo, I called the police non-emergency number and they sent out a unit to take a look – the van was partially blocking the slow lane and who knows where the tyre went?

When I left home an hour later I saw flashing lights on the other side of the road – some poor police officer was still stuck there keeping everyone safe while waiting for a recovery vehicle. I assume they needed a flat-bed – I guess they could put the wheel back on, but it’s already fallen off once!

Maybe the driver will get done for driving an unroadworthy vehicle. What a shame.

  1. merbear74
    December 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Wow…as serious as this was, I was laughing at the conversation…Ooo, pretty! I am glad you are okay! How damn random was that?


    • December 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      It could have been serious but wasn’t (thanks mainly to travelling at such a low speed), so that’s OK πŸ™‚
      For some reason it struck me as even more random than the Bambi incident (deer standing in middle of road). My conscious mind really did go off somewhere else in shocked surprise!


  2. December 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I’m really glad nothing bad happened.
    Subconscious it’s useful at times.
    Reading the post feels like one of the Final Destination movies.


    • December 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      Yes, while the conscious mind rambles off somewhere, the subconscious gets on with what has to be done.
      Final Destination? You mean I’ve cheated death and now I need to be on the lookout for shadows in photos and whatnot? Yeeks 😦 . I’m staying clear of roller coasters and subways for a bit πŸ™‚


  3. December 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Yessiree … Commuting can be an adventure πŸ™‚ A daily adventure. No need to go to some foreign port … just drive your car back and forth to work, is all πŸ™‚


    • December 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      And soon I might be commuting even further – double the distance, double the fun πŸ™‚


  4. December 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Damn… that’s a lot worse than when I had a semi truck blow out a tire in front of me at 75 mph back in September! I tend to drive mostly in autopilot anyway due to my wandering mind, so I’d like to think my subconscious would be up to a challenge like this….


    • December 17, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      You don’t tend to expect whole wheels to come flying off in real life! I have a sneaking suspicion that the vehicle was not entirely up to scratch.
      I think “driver’s instinct” generally does the braking-swerving thing so we don’t have to πŸ™‚


  5. December 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Lol, but I’m glad you’re okay!


    • December 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      I’m glad I’m OK too, Goldfish. Thanks πŸ™‚


  6. December 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    It’s amazing that nothing worse happened Draliman – thank goodness everyone was okay!
    Your subconscious vs conscious play by play was so funny! It’s literally how it feels in those moments ~ thank goodness for the subconscious!!! πŸ˜€ You handled it like a super hero!


    • December 18, 2013 at 6:28 am

      Yes, it could have been a lot worse especially if it had happened at high speed and if the traffic had been heavier, leaving no room to swerve.
      It all comes down to instincts and stuff you do so often you don’t notice I guess – I remember switching on the hazard lights as I don’t use those much, but I don’t remember changing down to second gear (of course I change gear hundreds of times every journey so it’s just automatic).
      It was only when I got home that I realised how bad it could have been – that’s when I noticed my hands were shaking.


  7. December 18, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Wow, since you are ok what a fun commute. Enjoyed your brain dialogue.
    I’ve had dual dialogue and never knew how to explain it to others without sounding crazy. Thank you for showing me how to explain it.
    Sorry about the smug on your new car, hope that rubs out.


    • December 18, 2013 at 8:02 am

      Now you can explain it while only sounding a tiny bit crazy πŸ™‚
      I went outside yesterday with a bit of kitchen roll and removed the offending smudge. Now there’s one clean spot on my dirty car (which I only just washed – the roads are very dirty at this time of the year)!


  8. December 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Sometimes fate takes over!


    • December 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Will the wheel bounce to the left – or to the right? πŸ™‚


      • December 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm

        As long as it goes in the correct direction . . .


  9. Helena Hann-Basquiat
    December 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Glad you’re okay, darling! I’m always fascinated by the various levels of the mind — and glad to know I’m not the only one whose brain works this way!!! It’s like you become the co-pilot and your subconscious just kicks in the basic training.


    • December 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      It was a bit of a shock! It seemed like it was happening in slow-motion (like people say) but given that I’d slowed right down to around 25mph and was still catching up with the wheel, it probably actually was in slow-motion πŸ™‚ . Even at that speed, a head-on collision would have damaged the car, mind.
      I like the way I can rely on my subconscious to get on with the little things like saving my life while I get on with the important things like listening to the car stereo.


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