A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

A collision. Almost.

Posted by Pepper on December 7, 2011

What do you do when the light at the signal turns from green to yellow when you’re driving? Do you accelerate so that you make it out before the light turns red? Or do you stop the moment you see yellow and then watch it turn red. What I do usually depends on how close or far away I am from the intersection. If you’re the kind who always stops on yellow, no matter where you are, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.

So anyway, I was driving back home yesterday. The light at the signal ahead was green. And then it turned yellow. The car in front of me accelerated. I wasn’t too far from the intersection. I knew I could comfortably make it while it was still yellow. So I accelerated as well. I don’t  know why the driver ahead had a sudden change of mind. But after some drastic speeding, she decided she didn’t want to go while it was yellow and braked very, very suddenly. Which meant, I had to brake very, very suddenly too, despite the high velocity my car was moving forward in. As a result, I *nearly* rear ended her car. I say nearly, because thankfully, I didn’t really do it. I sat there feeling thankful the brakes were powerful enough to make the car stop in such a short time despite the initial speed. I thought it ended there, but no sir.

From the car ahead, out came this black girl, who couldn’t have been more than a teen. She stormed towards my car. I was prepared to present her with an apology, although it wasn’t entirely my fault. Before I could even open my mouth, she glared at me menacingly and said “Get outta the car, bitch”. Uff, I thought. I will have to deal with this grouchy teen who was probably in a crabby mood because she just got dumped by her boyfriend. I calmly told her I will pull over and then we could talk, instead of screaming in the middle of the road.

She grudgingly pulled over and then promptly started shooting expletives my way with what seemed like a missile. “Blind bat”, ” fucking bitch”, “pesky slut”, “airhead”, it wouldn’t end. The way she was going, I expected her to pull out her revolver any minute. Surprisingly, I was unperturbed.  These kids are so ill mannered, is all I thought. I let her rattle on for a while.

And then she asked me for my insurance details. Wha? I was beyond taken aback. There was no way I was going to pull out my insurance details and hand them over to her when my car hadn’t even touched hers. What do you want my insurance details for, I asked her. She told me some story about some stone flying up in the air and denting her car when my car came to a sudden stop like that. I laughed and told her she could have come up with something better. And no, she wasn’t going to get any insurance details from me. She glared at me with fixed eyes. Perhaps she hoped her eyes would emit some destructive radiation that would pass through me and kill me. She used more foul language, presented me with some more expletives and then drove away.

Me? I only pitied her as I walked back to my car. The poor kid seems really messed up. Although I did wish I had rammed into her car. I would rather take abuses for something I have done.


82 Responses to “A collision. Almost.”

  1. Mohit said

    Ha ha , I can imagine the situation.The rebel-girl was really in a bad mood.I think it was really your fault.You should have been the one screaming at her for applying brakes suddenly.In such cases the one who start the aggression first gets an upper hand by default.

    Anyway always make it a habit to stop when you see a yellow bulb unless you are halfway towards the other part of intersection.

    • Pepper said

      Eh.. don’t give me such sane advice :P. I don’t stop at yellow unless I am really far behind the intersection. Neither does Mint. We’re not ideal drivers I guess 😀

  2. I am seriously impressed !

    A Big Respectful salute Pepper – for that patience and maturity in such a situation.

    To be honest, I would have turned red ( either with anger or embarrassment or both) when subjected to such expletives. Would have surely stuttered while I thought how to respond 😛

    You acted so grown up ( while I realize I have so much of that to do 😦

    As for your first question – a go on yellow happens to me ONLY if I’m in a hurry AND if none are ahead of me. If not, I silently slow down and wait for it to turn red.

  3. Scribby said

    holy cow 😉 what a poor kid that!!! Uttering something like this without a fault is atrocious behavior!!! pity pity pity on her and Hugs to you sweetie to have handled it quiet well though I was expecting you would brash her right there!

    any way but this way of handling it is also cool 🙂 and thank god that no car rear ended you when you applied sudden breaks!

  4. bikram said

    I understand bad experience …
    Lrt me come I will do it for u bam into the car..

  5. This story made me MAD!

    I think it’s an easy way to make money out of insurance in such cases. Good on you to keep calm and not lose your mind. I think you did the right thing by NOT giving away your insurance details.

    That apart, I guess all of us do that – accelerate or not depending on the distance from the light. And once you’ve made up your mind, stick to it. Because there are several others deciding their actions on yours!

    Stay safe, babe.

  6. Smitha said

    You know what, some people try this to get you to hit them. And then they will claim insurance. I think this one must be cross because you managed to avoid a collision 🙂 In the US, people used to warn us to try and not drive behind really old,sad cars, because some of them brake hard, and if we crash into them, then we are liable – because we hit them from behind 😦 Thank god you stopped in time.

    • Pepper said

      Oh right! I didn’t think of this possibility. And now that I think of it, she did have a very old, battered car.
      I know, had I hit her car, the fault would have been mine, no matter what she did 😦 “Keep safe distance and don’t follow too closely” is the first point in the rulebook here.

    • Yup, Smithu really threw the light on what was her intention. It happens all the time and is quiet common at red lights where there isn’t much traffic, so that no one is there as a witness. She must have hit the car while taking out of a parking lot, or while fighting with her bf and wants someone to blame it on…so that her parents will not scold her?

  7. You have the patience of a saint. I would have just driven off showing her the finger. 😐

    Some kids are so foul-mouthed! It makes me wonder if they are using those words on you that were used on them.

    I remember years ago, when i was a teenager, I was traveling in a BEST with Amma. In the crowd, I accidentally stepped on a girl’s foot and quickly said sorry. In turn she said ‘bitch’. Amma signalled me to keep quiet and I did, but I was upset for a long time about it, about the fact that I took it meekly.

    From then on, I devised ways to give right back with words that aren’t necessarily offensive but shows some morons their place. Like you did by asking her to have come up with something better. 🙂

    • That said, I am glad it wasn’t a collision and that u are ok 🙂

    • Pepper said

      I really need to devise ways to give right back with words that aren’t offensive but show some morons their place too. Most of the times I cannot think of an appropriate response at the right time. I think of some killer replies at a later time, and that makes me feel even more miserable because the moment is lost and I can’t go back in time to deliver my awesome lines. Sigh.

  8. Gayatri said

    What is wrong with some people?!? Good on you for keeping your cool and not giving her your insurance details. Crazy bitch was looking for an easy buck.

  9. I am so sorry to hear it happened..What you did is absolutely right..Its better not to react for incidents like this, it makes messier..

    • Pepper said

      I know. If I only I could remain so calm at all times. I am usually sane and calm outside, and at home, I am the bitch who barks at Mint more than I should 😀

  10. Mahes said

    Oh My, pepper. The teen sounds way too messed up. I don’t know how you remained calm, kudos to you. Glad to hear nothing major happened. Take care.

  11. Geet said

    OMG, good that you handled it well! You should have slapped her and shown ur medical insurance as well haha!! Just because we don’t belong to the place they think they can do whatever they want..!!

  12. CA said

    What a calm and composed way of handling the situation ! Kudos … I guess the girl in question applied the brakes on purpose to see if she could make some quick bucks…

  13. popbiscuit said

    Firstly, hats off of maintaining your calm with the silly girl. I would have surely blown my top if I had a teenager screaming at me for something I hadn’t done.

    I personally think most teenage drivers are a menace. Wish they would raise the minimum driving age…see brats at 15 now with a learner’s permit on the road.

  14. RK said

    Oh-oh peppy! Hugs! You should have simply dialed 911 or atleast mentioned to her once she started bad mouthing. Fault or no fault nobody can simply treat another person that way! Karma really comes back to her….

    • Pepper said

      I know. I should have dialed 911 and told the guys about the maniac who was abusing me. All my life I have wanted to dial 911 to feel the thrill that comes with it! 😀 I missed the golden opportunity.

  15. R's Mom said

    Falls at Pepper’s feet


    1) You actually hit the brakes on time..amazing
    2) you were patient with that girl! Are you sure you are not a mother to a 3 year old!
    3) You were strong enough to resist giving her the papers..if someone shouted at me like that, I would be shitting through my pants and giving her my car itself!

    Hugs darling!

  16. Have been reading your blog for sometime now. Love it 🙂

    I appreciate you for maintaining your calm throughout! Really!

  17. An old timer who shut her blog said

    Jeez the kind of words they use! Makes me want to wash their mouth with dettol. And yes, she was sure looking for an easy buck. I’m impressed you had your calm and didn’t give out insurance details. You have a presence of mind. I usually get shocked and surprised that I don’t react at all when something unexpected happens.

  18. RS said

    Man! Hats off to you – you didnt loose your cool OR get scared with the langauge and attitude of that girl!

    And yeah- mostly hubby and I are both like you-depending on the confidence level of IF we can cross the signal or not we either speed up or slow down…

  19. DI said

    I agree to whoever says u handled it maturely! I doubt I could have done that!

  20. Whoa you impress me lady with the way you stayed calm. I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have said anything in such a situation but my face would have definitely swollen like this smiley hearing her 👿

    I am glad you didn’t hit her and get urself into trouble 🙂 I too speed up on a yellow light only if I know I can make it and only if there is no car ahead of me!

  21. Ashwathy said

    Oh wow!! I think you handled that very well….hats off to you!! 🙂 When one person is aggressive, it sometimes helps to have the other person maintain his/her cool and laugh it off. It may infuriate the other person for not being able to evoke a reaction out of the other person but there isn’t much you can do beyond that, right?
    And yes the girl seems like she was having a very bad day. But that doesn’t mean you abuse ppl left and right in public!!! WTF was she thinking 😯 Your recount of the incident made me want to give that girl one tight slap. Or wait, if she was bigger and broader than me, I wouldn’t try that! :mrgreen:

  22. Vidya said

    creeps really! how did you manage to keep your cool?! I’d have said something as nasty! or i’d have rammed into her vehicle. it helps that i don’t drive :))

  23. Smita said

    I am quite amazed with the way you held your cool. Had I been in ur place I wud have given her back though that wouldn’t have solved anything. But seriously how u managed to keep cool?

    As far as Yellow light thing is concerned, ahem! until it is red I have the right to cross the signal 😉

  24. scorpria said

    hats off to your patience and sense, girl! I’d not have perhaps taken it so kindly 😀

    “The way she was going, I expected her to pull out her revolver any minute.” ROFL. Loved that!!

  25. Dhivya said

    I hope you are ok and nothing physically happened. Please Always STOP at a yellow light. Better to be safe than sorry and this comes from someone who has had a road accident here in the US like 10 years ago and still has issues ( however it did not involve my driving nor a yellow light). But I say this simply because of the speed in which we drive here. Better safe than sorry baby.

    Actually I was quite surprised that you dint say much to her and just let her cuss you. As I was reading I was fully expecting you to write that you called some cop or even called 911 but I never thought you would just let her yell and then just leave… And you remained so calm during all that !!!! Umm.. So many layers to you 🙂 I need to learn that .

    Glad nothing happened to you.

    • Pepper said

      You’re so right Dhivya. Being safe is always better than being sorry. I usually play it very safe and cross the intersection at yellow only if my car is very close. This time too, I wasn’t far from the intersection, but I should have probably slowed down anyway, especially because there was a car ahead.

      We’re all made up of so many layers, isn’t it? I scream and rant and criticise on my blog, but in person I shut up most of the time. Maybe I would have reacted if what she said bothered me, but surprisingly, it didn’t 🙂

  26. Sands said

    Am glad you are safe and managed to not rear end her car. There are lots of crazies out there. All we can do is try and stay out of their way 🙂

  27. Good girl Pepper! see what i mean about maturity!

  28. Deepa said

    My suggestion is that never ever get out of your car. Roll your windows just a teeny bit. You never know if they are armed or not.

  29. Tanishka said

    How did you manage to stay calm for so long… The gal was really messed up….

  30. As someone already said above, people do use this method to get money off insurance. My rule of thumb is, I generally dont speed to cross the intersection if there is a car in front of me. Because you really dont know what the driver in front will do. But otherwise, if the signal turns yellow and I am already at high speed, I just go with it and cross the intersection.
    And you did handle the situation quite calmly. I think I would have lost my head if she had bad-mouthed me and I would have refused to even get to the side of the road, because there really is nothing to discuss as your car didnt even touch hers. I do think though, such people need to be shown their place. And, I dont even feel sad for her. 😐

  31. Preethi said

    I am really impressed at how you handled the situation. I would have cracked up and given her the papers she was demanding.

    That girl sounds like a total nut case. Drive safe Pepper.

    • Pepper said

      I would have given her my insurance details right away too, if I had touched her car. But her story didn’t make any sense to me. I am glad I stood my ground.

  32. This pepper girl is growing up and is wise beyond her years *wipes eyes in a nostalgic sort of way*

  33. Bubblegum said

    Actually…….Hmmm ummmm….The teenager.. I cant imagine her.. I have heard a lot about such things…But I feel clap for your patience! I would have slapped her 😛

  34. its funny how people react sometimes , hats off to u for keeping your calm

  35. swapna said

    Well, (sheepish grin here) I am one of those who panicks when I see a yellow light, Do I go or not go , or brake or speed ,decisions decisions.
    I usually am never indecisive (even when it comes to big decisions),but for this one aspect ,I keep wavering so much, that it drives my husband nuts ,and raises my anxiety levels too. What can I say, my brain just goes in to slow motion mode when I see a yellow light.
    So I mostly just slow down at every possible intersection ,especially since the intersections here in the midwest are sooo long, and it takes you a few seconds to cross them.
    Just typing all this , I can feel my heart beating faster 🙂 , and I have been driving here for the past 6 years 😦
    Though hats off to you,for being so well composed, if I had someone spewing bad words ,I could have probably called 911 ,or just sped away if I knew that I had’nt hit the other car , I know I’m a chicken.
    Though I do agree with the others, the young lady just wanted someone to pay for her battered car ,and so picked a fight with you.

    • Pepper said

      Haha. I totally get you. I *suck* at making decisions of any kind. And whether to go on yellow or not is a painful decision for me too. The thing is, although I take a while to decide, once I make up my mind, I stick to it. That is all that matters na. 🙂
      This incident has scarred me a little now. So I might just slow down every time I see yellow.
      And honestly, I thought of speeding away too, but then I remembered what grave consequences there are for fleeing from the scene of crime. I know I didn’t really commit any crime, but I thought speeding away might worsen my case.

  36. Deboshree said

    Gosh. Model behaviour from you Pepper. 😀 It can really be a task being patient when kids today are on their model behaviour.

  37. Oh, that sounds like such a bad experience! 😦
    Kudos to you for handling it so well! 🙂

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