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general

Scary

Fury’s Ferry Road is pretty busy. There’s construction now to expand it from two to four lanes, but for now everyone is cramped into the two. There’s no center lane for turning or anything, so when people have to turn left off the road, it’s very inconvenient for everyone behind them.

I try to be sensitive to this, and so I take my left turn as quickly as possible. If I’m on approach and I see an opening, I’ll barrel into it rather than wait for another one.

This is probably not the best idea after a rain.

Today, as I swung in, I felt the right rear of the car begin to slide out to the right. This is the point at which you’re supposed to correct by steering into the turn. I actually don’t remember what I did…I think I just stopped doing anything, held the wheel steady, took my feet off the gas and brake, and just waited to see what would happen. Then, as I hydroplaned into a complete 180 in the parking lot entrance, I was able to brake a little. My right front tire bounced up onto the curb, and I stopped.

The whole time, I kept saying, “Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.” Not as if my car was a horse; these were expressions of shock, a la Keanu Reeves.

It was over in something like five seconds. I put it in reverse, backed off the curb, and crawled the rest of the way down Blackburn Drive to our building. When I finally parked, I got out and inspected the tire. It wasn’t making any noise, and it looked fine. I kicked it and it seemed stiff. I don’t think it was damaged, but it was probably weakened.

This is the same wheel that went up on a curb in Atlanta once…I’d been visiting Charles and was on my way back to I-75 and was in a hurry, so I didn’t notice that traffic was stopped in front of me until I was almost on top of it. I braked hard and flung the wheel to the right to keep out of oncoming traffic, and when I went up on the curb then my tire went flat instantly. Obviously, this tire was replaced when I got home. (My car is old, so its spare is an actual tire. So it wasn’t too bad for me to drive 400 miles on…)

In any case, the replacement tire is the one that just went up a curb. I hope it lasts, because it would be really wasteful otherwise. My left front tire went flat just the other day and I had to replace it. I don’t feel like replacing another tire yet. And when I do, I’d rather it be one of the two back ones, which are older.

As you can see, I’m a pretty pragmatic person. My hands were only shaking a little as I carried my purse and my bowl of oatmeal into the office.