Accidents - or Idiots on the Road

by Tina Holmboe 9th of October 2010 (archive)

It was a dark, windy autumn night … what? It was! Some times the atmosphere makes like Ɯberwald and obliges the narrative. Yesterday evening was just such a time …

These days Sweden get pretty dark pretty quickly, at when J and I left the apartment last night to go pick his mum up, twilight was well ’pon us. (And, for the record, had left again).

The trip is, by now, routine. First take the car out of the garage, and hope no–one has blocked the exit ’cause he’s «I’m just gonna … » something or other. Drive past the subway entrance, and into the 30 km/h zone next to the school. Pass the first, miniscule, roundabout with the plastic statue of a moose–camel (don’t ask. Just … don’t), and aim for the larger roundabout underneath the motorway.

We are due to take the first exit right, which means we’re barely inside the thing; this is good. It’s got two lanes, and people tend to drive there as if they found their license in a package of cornflakes. I say «as if» to avoid making a statement of fact on the matter.

As we near the roundabout, I slow, assess the situation, and find that, yes, after that lorry there’s a gap large enough for our Peugeot and then some. There’s a blob on the left, but it won’t reach us until we’re well onto the acceleration ramp. Or so I think.

Turns out that when I make my right turn, the fellow in the blob — now coming into focus as a reddish smallish stationwagonish thing – disagree. Volubly. His horn goes off, and keeps going off, for some four to five seconds. There’s nothing much I can do about it at the time, and the distance between him and me is such that I’m well into the on–ramp before he approaches from behind.

At which point he puts the pedal to the metal, and does a credible job of overtaking me on the left hand side. Keep in mind, we’re actually «in» or «on» the on–ramp at this time — and it ain’t a two lane affair. The inevitable happens; he rams into our left side at speed.

And keeps going. I brake and swerve right; still mindful of the fact that there ain’t much room to work with. And he keeps going still. At this point I step on it, and get close enough for J to read the number and make a note of it.

Pissed, we continue. J’s calling the police; a 16 minute phone queue for non–emergency cases. In the meantime we pass the fellow, on the motorway, giving us the finger.

The evening, meant to be spent with family drama, was spent on the local cop–shop instead. Very polite fellows, but I have some doubt as to the arrest–and–conviction of the idiot.

In the meantime we’ll arrange for our insurance company to go pester his insurance company. He might not lose his license, but he sure as heck is going to lose some money.