The Blue Smoke Express

August 16, 2001

On my way back to Ikea last Saturday to pick up dishes for the apartment, I was almost in the middle of a multicar incident. In front of me, there was a Cadillac, and behind him was an older Mustang who was following a little too close. I was following the two-second rule behind the Mustang, and an Acura was following the two-second rule behind me. Four cars; I'm number three.

Anyway, the Caddy slams on his brakes and the ABS does its thing. The Mustang stands on his brakes, but since the car is old and doesn't have ABS, he locks 'em up. The squealin' and smokin' begins, and he veers into the right lane which was (luckily) empty. I come to a stop not quite a car-length behind the Caddy. So if the Mustang had hit the Caddy, I'd have hit him. And the Acura behind me stopped a couple inches behind my bumper. If the Mustang had hit the Cadillac and I'd hit the Mustang, the Acura would've hit me.

Technically, me and the Acura would have at least shared some of the fault (I think) even though we were following at a proper distance. The problem would have come if the Mustang had stopped short because of an impact with the Cadillac. I'm not exactly sure how that would work, now that I think about it.

August 15, 2001August 17, 2001