Date registered: May 2006
Vehicle: 2000 W202 Mercedes-Benz C250 Turbodiesel
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Something similar happened to me a few months back.
There's a large traffic light intersection on the road leading to my part-time workplace, with a slipway with a yield sign for traffic turning left, which I have to take.
It was a Sunday afternoon, so there wasn't too much traffic on the road. I drove behind a 2000-something 3-series BMW which also turned left. It's a very wide bend, so you can easily take it at about 50 mph when there's no traffic that you have to merge with. Obviously you have to look back to check for oncoming traffic, which I did. A mini-bus taxi approached rather slowly, so I didn't expect the BMW to stop at the yield sign, thinking that it would take the gap before it, and me taking the gap as well.
Not so! As I turned my head back to the road in front of me, the BMW was stopped dead in its tracks at the yield sign, the taxi still far from passing it by. Now, I was probably doing 37 mph when I noticed the stationary BMW, but probably less than three car lengths behind it.
It's phenomenal how one's brain simply takes over in these situations. Within a split second after I noticed the BMW, my foot was pressing the brake pedal through the floor. I realised afterwards that this was not the correct procedure to follow in such an emergency, but as I said, my unconscious mind took over.
I was convinced, in that brief moment, that I was going to hit the BMW's rear-end at quite a high speed. But sure enough, with smoke billowing from all four tires, my car managed to stop in time, with only a foot or two to spare, though. I could see that the occupants of the BMW had a nasty fright, judging by there hand gestures and rapid head movements.
It's in times like these that I can see the advantages of technology such as ABS brakes. This was the first time that I had such a near-collision encounter where I had no control of my actions at all - it's truly scary! In a less dangerous situation, I would never react in the manner that I did that day. I think it's in these types of situations that the electronic wizardry saves the day.
Be that as it may, my 22-year old Benz managed to rise to the occation and quite literally saved my butt that day. I'm quite impressed with the braking abilities of the W123.
F R A N S
2000 Mercedes-Benz C250 Turbodiesel
Last edited by frans-c; 05-31-2007 at 09:44 PM.