Most of us have probably been in a fender bender once or twice in our lives. Not necessarily a major crash, but maybe something that added a couple of scrapes and bruises to your front or rear bumper. Those stories don’t usually make for the most engaging dinner-table conversation, but something else does: Stories of the time you almost crashed.
Today, we want to hear about your near-misses. The time you managed to slam on your brakes before someone ran a red light, or when you artfully dodged a piece of road debris with a last-second lane change on your Gixxer. If your lightning-quick reflexes have saved you from having to buff scratches out of your quarter panels, now’s your chance to brag.
Being from the Northeast, most of my near-misses have involved wildlife. Deer, turkeys, small birds that I never saw long enough to identify by color and beak shape, all have come near enough to my car to terrify — but none so close as to graze its sheet metal.
The closest was likely a mammal of some sort in the back woods of Western New York. To this day, I have no idea what it was — bigger than a squirrel but smaller than a beaver, perhaps a raccoon or rabbit. One fateful night in August years ago, as I drove from Rochester down to Ithaca, the little guy dashed out in front of my Subaru under cover of darkness. I applied the full force of Hawk pads on slotted rotors, felt the seat belt dig into my shoulder as the force of momentum pressed me forward in my seat while the brakes held my station wagon back, and bought the little animal barely enough time to escape. Had I been on snow tires, things likely wouldn’t have gone so well.
That’s my big near miss, but what’s yours? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll collect some of our favorites tomorrow afternoon.