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.