What’s Your Closest Near-Death Experience On The Road?

Illustration for article titled What’s Your Closest Near-Death Experience On The Road?

Today we got Jason’s Guide to Driving In India Without Dying. It reminded us of close calls we’ve head ourselves.


Roads across the world are inherently dangerous places. Everyone is zooming around in multi-ton steel boxes with limited visibility. Crashes happen even in the best of times, but then drivers sometimes make questionable choices behind the wheel. Reader iMeanIt has his own experience driving in India, and saw one of the more questionable overtaking maneuvers we’ve ever heard of.

I lived in India (Nilgiri Hills area) back in the 80's and it's good to know that things have changed...a bit.  There are still cows to occupy the roads and I am always mesmerized by the passing ability.  I remember countless times seeing people standing in the road, a cow walking, a bicyclist passing the cow, a motorcycle passing the cyclist, a rickshaw passing the motorcycle, a bus passing the rickshaw and us passing the bus.  All of this in about 2 lanes of patched up road.


All of my accidents have been my own damn fault, so I’ve never had the displeasure of seeing another car coming at me in my lane or anything like that. What’s the closest call you’ve had behind the wheel?

Photo Credit: Matteo Castelli

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David Tracy

I'm lucky to be here, frankly. 

At the time, I was living in Leavenworth, Kansas. I was a senior in highschool. It was early in the morning (about 2am) and I was on my way back from my girlfriend's house, which was in the country. My mom had called me a few times while I was at my girlfriend's house and I hadn't answered, so I knew I was running late. I was probably doing about 70 mph down a country road- the speed limit was 55, so I wasn't really speeding that much. Anway, all of a sudden, I see some eyes in the road: but it's not a deer, it's just a possum. I love animals, but not to the point where I'd be willing to endanger myself, so I just jerked the wheel a little bit- not a lot. The thing is, at 70mph, a little jerk of the steering wheel will seriously bend you out of shape. I then LOST ALL CONTROL of my 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Even though the car has quite a front weight bias, and it had a full-time 4wd system, the rear end completely broke loose. I oversteered into the oncoming lane (which was empty, thank goodness), and swerved back into the right lane. I must have swerved back and fourth 2 or 3 times between the very edges of the road (at 70mph, may I remind you), but, thanks to my idiocy in my youth, I was pretty damned good at controlling oversteer (I drifted the hell out of that ZJ). This time, though, was insanely close. I barely got control of the car. Seeing as there were trees and ditches on either side of the road, I knew I would have been done for. Not sure I ever did tell my mom. She'd have killed me.