So Miss B and I left Bathurst this morning and I told her that with the forecast of rain we would likely come across a fatal road accident. As our trip home continued this prospect was reduced from a possibility to a definite. There was rain, drivers were being stupid and there was every reason someone would hit someone else.
I held back, took 10km/h off our speed and continued to comment on those ahead of us who were speeding/tailgating. The route from Bathurst to Canberra via Murrumbateman is one well travelled by us. We have been driving it since 2003 so are familiar with its twists and turns. It is sign-posted 100km/h for a reason...that is the safe speed limit. Plenty of vehicles drive faster and overtake and want to rush. Today we were alerted to an accident way before we arrived at the scene...country drivers will flash their headlights so you know there is either a radar trap or an accident ahead...about 20 minutes after the first indication we came across the accident. The SouthCare helicopter was landing, an ashen-faced police officer told us the road would be closed for hours...so we did a U-turn and took the next turn left.
It was probably entirely stupid of me to take the dirt road detour instead of back-tracking a few more kilometres to the bitumen, but even though it was raining I figured my early driver training on dirt roads would hold me in good stead. Miss B was a bit alarmed, but the lessons learned from driving on dirt (wet) roads returned....stay to the dry side, avoid the wet mud, you won't get bogged...half an hour later, we were where we should have been. Unfortunately, a beautiful soul had lost her life in the traffic accident that we had driven to avoid.
How can something so commonplace become a matter or cause of life and death? It just does. And it doesn't discriminate or judge. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time and make the split-second wrong judgment call (or someone approaching you does)...that's it, lights out. Tragic.