Wednesday, July 14, 2021

An Accident 4) Mental Re-construction

Hopefully this is my last accident posting as we nudge closer to a replacement car.  But I must relate the session Carol and I had with a retired police Inspector, who belongs to our church.  He called and offered to give us both a post-accident talk in order to help us face driving again.  From his long experience of dealing with people involved in accidents he has devised a way of providing a kind of mental reconstruction.  Actually, he mentioned that he had offered to help others but few had wanted help.

Well, we said 'Yes please'.  He arrived with a large notepad and wide felt-tip pen.  He began drawing road plans, including the crossroads where the van had smashed into us.  Painstakingly he began to point out the hazards in each scenario, emphasizing the need to 'cover the horn' , ever ready to use it as a warning, as well as braking to notify the driver behind.  The high levels of anticipation required as you drive everywhere. As he tore off each sheet to draw yet another possibility he kept reinforcing the danger of assumptions that creep in over the years.   Especially assumptions that there is no danger round the next corner.

It took me back to my driving lessons (also with a retired police chief) with the deliberate anticipation of the possible hazards in different situations.  Was it helpful?  Most definitely.  As I reflect on the moments before our crash I realize that having enjoyed a coffee at the Emmaus charity store, I was too relaxed driving along the hedge-lined road.  Yes, I had low levels of anticipation as I approached that cross-roads.

So going back to basics is to be recommended. I am a chastened driver.  

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