It happened again, yesterday. I was at a stoplight, in an unfamiliar route to the dojo; I got sidetracked and had to take an alternate way. I was not used to the stoplight’s changing patterns, and thought I was ready to go. (It did not change to green yet.) I slowly let off the brake, and realized my light was still red.
Correcting my mistake, I stopped. Then the stoplight turned green. I was slow to react, and did not go. Just then, I saw the car coming opposite me, making a broad turn in front of me. The look of terror on the older driver’s face reinforced what I just knew: He could not stop, and was running a red light. It was so obvious, I imagined, for a split second, that he had both hands in front of his face, bracing for the impending crash. He narrowly “threaded the needle”, driving past all stopped cars. He barely missed all stopped cars that had the right of way, on both sides of the divided street.
Had I accelerated at the correct interval, I would have had a head on collision. Would it have been a fatal crash? Thankfully, I did not have to find out.