I long time ago when I worked in the inner city of Brisbane I had a very unnerving experience. I had been visiting the head of the Alcohol and Drug services at the Princess Alexander Hospital in South Brisbane. We had been discussing a potential research project and as I drove back to work my head was busy regurgitating a very interesting conversation about early intervention in the A&E.

It was wet and windy and it was that time of the afternoon when the roads are starting to congest. I had my radio blaring as I came close to one of the busiest intersections in town. We’re talking a four way intersection with traffic lights and three lanes in each of the intersecting roads. As I approached the intersection to turn right the traffic light turned amber and for one split second I thought I might continue through the lights. But, I decided to slow down and stop on the red light.

Split second decision paid off?

K’n oath #fark

In a surreal two seconds a council bus aquaplaned across the intersection – at least 10 metres of sideways bus sliding – and came to a stop some two feet in front of the bonnet of my car.

There was a huge bus in front of my car, people 😞

A well placed power pole had stopped the bus from careening any further.

A few seconds later the door of the bus opened and a woman came running out of the bus in a very distressed state – maybe crying, maybe screaming. The bus had a crumpled front end but the driver appeared OK.

I sat at those traffic lights for at least two changes of the lights and then drove around the bus and back to work. My heart was pounding and I felt like I was stuck in a bad dream. I was in shock and didn’t even think to stop and wait for the police.

This is how I remember that incident. A good friend of mine always used to say he could rely on the unreliability of memory and I agree. I am bound to have some of the details wrong but I do know that it was a close shave.

If I had turned right on the amber light I would have most definitely T-boned the bus; and as we know the bus is most often the winner when up against a car in the crashing arena.

horror movie –
an aquaplaning bus
fills the screen


Note: Have you had a close shave? Have a good think about that and I will get back to you with an idea – maybe a Close Shave Week along the lines of Citrus Fiesta and Penguin Week.