As I drove over the roundabout, I saw flashing blue lights going down the Coast Road underneath at quite some speed.
'Flashies,' said D. 'Wonder what's happened.'
I took the slip road onto the Coast Road. Just before I joined the road itself, I noticed that the blue lights had slowed considerably or stopped and that a couple of cars not far ahead, while still moving, had their hazard lights on. 'Something's wrong,' I said. I could see cars coming up fast in my mirror so I switched my hazard lights on too and they slowed down. I stayed in the inside lane and kept my speed to about 30mph (the limit there is 70).
Before we got to the incident, I became aware of a car in the outside lane going at at least 70mph, probably more like 80 or 85.
In the dark.
Towards the back of the stationary police car.
It realised there was something going on just in time and braked, just about managing to get into my lane in front of me and carrying on.
The policeman was out of the car anyway and running towards some stationary cars ahead.
As we passed the police car, we saw a fox - a HUGE fox - lying in the road. A car at right angles to the road, its bonnet caved in. Two men standing on the side of the road, not looking as shaken as I would've had it been me. Another car, further forward; I'm not sure if that was involved or if it just stopped because it'd seen the accident.
It didn't look to have been too bad an accident, considering. It could have been a lot worse, if it hadn't been Sunday night. At rush hour, that would have been a multiple-car pile up (stopping distances don't seem to exist while driving to work on the Coast Road on a weekday morning).
But I can't help but wonder. If you're driving along a dual carriageway in the dark - and a police car passes you at speed - and then there are blue lights, not moving, in front of you - and all the cars around have their hazard warning lights on -
at what point DON'T you think 'hmmm, maybe something's wrong. Maybe I'd better slow down.'
If he'd slowed five seconds later, he wouldn't have stopped in time.
He might have swerved into me.
I'm not saying I'm a great driver; I'm not. Sometimes I'm impatient. Sometimes I'm careless. Everyone is. But I always make an effort to be a safe driver. I watch the road well ahead for possible risks. I use my hazard lights to warn other drivers of possible dangers. If I'm not sure what's going on, I slow down.
Some days I really bug D by telling him cars ahead are slowing down or have stopped. But I'd rather tell him when he might not have noticed than risk us having a crash.
I'm glad we're both OK and that the situation didn't get any worse. I was scared for a minute there.