One of the things that drives my lovely wife crazy is how lax I am about keeping my windshield view clear while driving. I finally got around to replacing my windshield wipers, which took a severe beating from the drive from Deseret to Estacado when we made the move down in the middle of last year. Also at issue is that I choose to wipe my windshield manually rather than use the wiper speeds (or even intermittent wiping) and I am not as diligent about wiping the windshield as she would like.

One would think that this issue would be of particular importance to me, because in 1982 it almost cost my father his life.

A house down the road from our was having its roof replaced. They kept a large, yellow bin on the road. Generally speaking there are almost no cars parked on our street because it’s banned from 2-6am due in part so that the police can more easily track down escapees from the juvie hall right down the way and due in part to a somewhat aggressive HOA. The roofers got a variance and thus parked their bin on the road.

Dad got up that June morning – we remember it to be June because that’s when the sun shines directly into a driver’s eyes on the way out of the neighborhood – and left for work as usual. The windshield was unusually dirty and with the glare from the sun made vision very difficult. As he was turning on the windshield sprays to clear his view, he got just enough vision to see that he was about to run straight into the large yellow bin. He swerved and narrowly averted near-certain death.

The roofers were very generous, considering that Dad never evaded responsibility. They paid the insurance deductible, paid Dad’s nominal health costs, and moved the bin off the street. Ahhh, the power of a feared lawsuit.

Category: Ghostland, Road

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4 Responses to The Day I Almost Lost My Father

  1. Peter says:

    It probably wasn’t just the dirty windshield that contributed to the crash, but also the fact that your dad wasn’t expecting anything to be in his way. If he’d been driving on a less-familiar roadway with an equally dirty windshield he’d would have been more watchful and the incident wouldn’t have happened.

    Is that picture from the actual crash?

  2. trumwill says:

    It probably wasn’t just the dirty windshield that contributed to the crash

    That’s likely accurate.

    Is that picture from the actual crash?

    Yeah. I typically run real pictures through filters, but uploaded the wrong picture, it seems, or didn’t save the filtering.

  3. Peter says:

    [it was the real picture]

    It’s very, very fortunate that there was no front-seat passenger.

  4. trumwill says:

    Yeah, those are my father’s thoughts on the subject exactly! It’s possible that a passenger would have seen through the dirt and sun and given a heads up, but if not anyone in the passenger’s seat would almost certainly have died.

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