A Clear windshield is a $350 lesson in physics

I got a brand new windshield on Wednesday for my nearly-new 2014 Chevy Cruze.  Mind you, in the two years I  drove a  now 11 year-old car,  I never so much as chipped the windshield of the dented, faded-paint Ford while driving  it almost 45,000 miles.  In  42 years as a licensed driver, I have been fairly responsible (or just fortunate?).  A few cracked windshields and perhaps four major accidents in a million driving miles.  You see,  most of the time I drive paranoid – looking for the individual trying to kill me that day. In the picture here, my last car – I bought new and drove 150,000 miles –  over 7 years still  in excellent shape under the hood and body.  Then a gent in a GMC hit me at a stoplight going 50 plus MPH.   And that was how I came to drive the old Ford.

One Thursday evening two weeks ago,  I was almost home from work.  After a heavy rain all day, I was driving the Chevy on the freeway when a loud crack convinced me I had been shot at.   Road debris kicked up by a truck ahead of me (about a hundred feet) must have been responsible for shattering the windshield.  Driving with a cracked windshield taught me to look forward to my appointment. (How many cars get glass work? I may be in the wrong business!)

This morning I am looking up calculations for the safe-driving distance behind vehicles at various highway speeds.   I was too close by half the distance.  Safe is not what I think it is, rather it is what PHYSICS says it is.

And until I get complacent again,  I will be a safer driver.

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