Exciting Times On the Bayshore Freeway by
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(15 Stories)

Prompted By Close Calls

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My close call was about five years ago. My physicians have always kept close watch on my health since the US Army removed my spleen when I was four years old. My physician wanted to do a special test that could not be locally, so it was off to San Francisco early one morning. All was going well as my girlfriend and I drove up the San Francisco Peninsula on the Bayshore Freeway around 50 miles per hour.  Traffic was heavy, and ahead of us was a large bus transporting workers to Google (also known locally as a Google bus). In the right lane next the bus was a Mazda Miata. The bus signaled that it wanted to move to the right lane, but did not see the Miata. My mind said “this could be exciting”. And indeed, it was as the bus moved into the right lane, clobbering the Miata. Next thing I saw was a spinning Miata coming at me as I am going 50 miles per hour, and my girlfriend was screaming louder than I have ever heard before. The Miata hit my right front fender, bounced off and then hit the BMW slightly behind me in the right lane. The Miata, BMW and I got off at the next exit and parked. Meanwhile, the bus drove on like nothing has happen.

My accident with a Google bus.

The California Highway Patrol arrived, took an accident report, and very fortunately, no one was hurt. Since there were no injuries, there was no investigation and the perpetrator of the accident was never found. I even went to the Google offices, but they were no help.

In retrospect, all my driving skills and luck worked perfectly. Shortly after, I traded in my Garmin navigator with a new model with a camera that records the last thirty minutes of driving. The other lesson was to always anticipate the idiotic moves that drivers can make.

Profile photo of Joe Lowry Joe Lowry
I was a child that moved so often, (8 elementary/middle schools) and finally went to to high school in Arroyo Grande California. I ended up at San Jose State University graduating in Chemistry, minor in Biology. Got married, and had two sons. Unfortunately, my wife passed 35 years later. I worked initially in the pharmaceutical industry. After being down-sized, I ended up in the aerospace field, working on satellites. I still live in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Characterizations: well written

Comments

  1. Whew is right, that WAS a close call! I was the screaming girlfriend in a similar situation and my boyfriend was more angry at me for screaming than he was at the driver at fault. So I learned a lesson, too: screaming just makes it harder for the driver to focus on the task at hand…staying alive! Glad your story had a happy albeit somewhat frustrating ending.

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    Those are good lessons indeed, Joe. So glad no one was hurt. It’s upsetting that the perpetrator got away and Google took no responsibility. I saw many of those buses on a recent trip to CA. I’m sure Google, with all of its technological expertise, could have figured out which bus and driver caused the accident.

  3. Mister Ed says:

    Scary story, well told. Makes me want to get one of those cameras as well!

  4. Suzy says:

    That was a close call! Amazing that no one was hurt! And how disappointing that Google wasn’t willing to do anything about it, when their driver was at fault. I didn’t know about the camera that records the last 30 minutes of driving – it sounds like something we all should have.

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    You were lucky with that close call. We call what you did “defensive driving”. Good for going to Google to try to find the culprit. Sorry that didn’t work out. The others were also lucky that no one was hurt. That little Miata could have just crumpled like a bug! Thanks for sharing this story.

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