When I was 23 I bought my first car. (Before that I had a car that I shared with Mary and David). It was a red 2.0 litre Toyota Corona. It had a "Cool Box" built into the dash. The cool box was a little fridge thing that fitted a 6-pack in it and ran off the air conditioner. I loved that car so much. I did all sorts of work on it (my flatmate was a mechanic). I filled it with bog and made it all shiny. It was my pride and joy and I drove it like an idiot. My boyfriend at the time was convinced that I was going to die in that car.
He wasn't far wrong.
One Saturday morning I was heading up the Ngauranga Gorge in Wellington, on my way to a job (I was a freelance architect at the time). It was raining incredibly hard. In fact, it was hailing. I probably wasn't exactly driving to the conditions. I found myself in the middle of a 5-car pile-up. It was messy. I hit my head on the steering wheel and tore both the tendons that attach my thumbs to my hands. The car was a complete write off. It broke my heart. To add insult to injury, I was charged with careless driving.
Anyway, you'd think I'd learn from that mistake. I haven't really. I drive slightly more sensibly, but I don't think I'd pass a defensive driving course. I have issues with the speed limit. I know people that are worse, but that's not really the point. I have a friend that keeps slamming his foot on an imaginary brake when he is in my car. (He can talk – he drives like a maniac).
Last night the weather was really bad. I was driving home from Youthline and it was raining so hard that there was barely any visibility at all. It was dark as well, causing all the lights to reflect off the road, and all the road markings to blend into one. As a result of the crash, I am pretty scared in those kind of conditions. Last night was worse than usual.
I am a really impatient driver. I have no tolerance for people that drive below the speed limit or are unsure. I hate it when people talk on the phone while driving. It is just frustrating. Last night there was a guy in front of me doing about 40kph. I was getting really annoyed.
It occurred to me when I got home that if that guy was in front of me that rainy Saturday in Wellington, I would never have had the accident.