I'm one of them. It's actually a habit for me. I hate the middle lanes on highways because I feel like cars from both sides are always hugging the line (when they may not even be), and the far right (slow lane) you have to deal with slow drivers (obviously) and oncoming merging traffic.
So the left lane always feels the safest to me. Until yesterday that is.
I was driving along on my way home and going the normal 65-70 mph with the flow of traffic. All of a sudden the parkway comes to a complete stop. I'm talking people slamming on their breaks in every lane. I'm so thankful I had enough room in front of me that when I slammed (so hard) down on my breaks, I didn't hit the person in front of me...but I was literally an inch away. Unfortunately the person behind me wasn't so lucky. I never felt such a jolt in my life. He came at me so hard, he just was going too fast to stop in time. So there I was on the left lane during rush hour traffic in an accident, no where to go. My car has the bluetooth over the radio system so I was so flustered I couldn't even figure out how to dial 911, so I was frantically searching for my phone in my purse. I couldn't find it so I figured I'd get out and check on the guy if he was okay. His airbag came out and his whole front end was completely smashed, probably it was totaled. The fender was off, it was smoking, there was liquid coming out and the horn was blowing for about 15 minutes. I asked him if he was okay and all he could say to me was "What happened!" with this idiotic tone. Now I fully and completely understand he was probably half dazed from being hit in the face with an airbag. I've never gone through that so I cannot say that he wasn't okay or he was. I'm sure if that happened to me it would knock me out, but that kind of answer just pissed me off and made me even more upset than I already was. He was holding his head, slugging his feet walking around and personally it looked to be a little more dramatic than it should have been.
Finally the fire department, EMS, and the State Troopers came. EMS cleared him and he didn't need to be taken away via ambulance. They took my statement and then his. He looked pissed when he was telling the trooper what was going on, I saw his arms flailing all around. (I was watching this through my rear view window and side windows). I was just getting more and more upset because I felt personally neglected the entire time. Only 1 man came over to me (fire fighter) to see how I was. I was fine, today I'm slightly sore but it's nothing to document. Three separate people looked at my car and told me it was driveable. FYI, it wasn't. The muffler, exhaust, and pipes were all bent underneath and dragging on the ground. I didn't get a tow at the scene but about 75 minutes later about 5 miles south of where the accident was. It was such a horrible experience.
So now, to make this wordy post shorter, I am without car, don't know the damage to the car (will find out Monday) and so upset. I've had my new car for a total of just shy of 2 months. I am thankful I was driving the SUV vs my old car....it would have been completely smashed in the back if I was in it.
Life lesson: Slow down and don't be in a rush (although I wasn't necessarily in a rush)...and always leave extra room in front of you for situations like these. I'm glad I did.
And remember, a car can always be fixed.
Happy Friday and thank god it's the weekend.