Thursday, 16 December 2010

I have been - really quite lucky

I was on the M1 in South Yorkshire yesterday, on my way to a meeting in Leeds when my car was struck by a piece of wood which quite literally fell off the back of a lorry.  The wood (a 3-foot length of 2x2 inch) came adrift from a poorly secured load on a vehicle I was overtaking.  It struck the front of my car, smashing the number plate, dislodging the grille and denting the leading edge of the bonnet (that's 'hood' for those of you in the North American colonies) before scraping the panel and disappearing off to my left. 
I have marked the damaged areas in the photo below.
I left the motorway at the next exit and stopped with a view to noting the company name on the truck as it passed.  As luck would have it, the driver also stopped - aware that his load was moving about but oblivious to the part which had come adrift.  The matter is now in the hands of my insurers...

If I shut my eyes I can still see that piece of wood apparently filling the windscreen.


Greek_Geek said...

Ah, the precious moments of terror when something that shouldn't be there hurtles towards your windscreen. In my case many years ago it was a donkey (didn't miss him unfortunately). I feel for you and I'm very happy that all that got dents and bruises was the car (cheaper and easier to fix that the driver).


Tim Gow said...

Thanks. Much as I love my car I'm glad it took the hit rather than me. Happily the M1 is relatively donkey-free (famous last words) but I've had several near-misses involving deer on Scottish roads.

Paul´s Bods said...

That was lucky!!! I once had a big pebble, that had fallen off an overhead motorway bridge, bounce directly towards me. As it hit the windscreen it made a huge BANG. It only made a tiny hole in the glass but a gig one in my bank account :-(
Glad nothing worse happened. I hope the driver gets a B*****G for his lack of care.
Oh, and in france I hit a low flying goose which got most of it´self stuck in the bumper!

Tim Gow said...

Paul's Bods
My cars have been hit by various things over the years - one of the scariest near-misses was a large lorry wheel on the M40. That would have hurt.

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


I am glad to hear that you emerged from the incident with no physical damage, although I suspect that the image of the flying 2 x 2 will stay with you for a bit.

I hope that you reported the matter to the police, as driving with an unsafe or incorrectly secured load is more than just dangerous; it strikes me as being criminally negligent.

Have a good Christmas,

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

Thanks. I did ring the Police to report the incident, not least because the wood was presumably still on the carriageway. I also wanted the Police to log it in case the company which owns the truck tries to shirk liability.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Glad to hear that you are still in one piece for Xams

Ross Mac said...

Yikes! A few years ago I watched a sheet of ice fly off a poorly cleaned truck as it passed me. Had just enough tile to register the image, tap the brakes and briefly close my eyes at impact. TG for modern windscreens, it was a web of fracture lines but held together.

Wouldn't want to volunteer to test its defense value against a slab of wood!


Paul said...

I think you were very lucky mate. I trust you had a few stiff drinks afterwards along with a cigarette.

Tim Gow said...

Geordie, Ross & Paul
Thanks for the kind words. Given the amount of stuff falling off trucks and leaping out of bushes and taking into account the mileage I've done over the last 28 years (500,000+), I think I (and the 20+ cars I've run) have a pretty good record of survival. The Saab (in particular) is full of safety features but I'm quite happy for them to remain untested by me!