Thursday, September 23, 2010

Every second counts

In so many aspects of our lives and work, timing is everything.

Yesterday I had to drive down to League City for a legal matter. I left about 12:15 and headed down Heights Boulevard toward I-10. When I got to the freeway I took a right on the feeder and then a left onto Yale - if I'm heading south on I-45 I would much rather get to the Gulf Freeway via Memorial Drive than deal with the interchange just north of downtown.

As I was cruising down Waugh I saw a truck pull out into traffic just before the outbound ramp to Memorial. The driver either didn't realize he should've come down Waugh, or he just didn't care, because he pulled out right in front of me. I jammed on the brakes and eased the wheel to the right and held on hoping I would avoid the collision. Luckily we both came to a stop before colliding.

I was furious about what had just happened. But, after I had calmed down, I thought about the situation and realized how much timing matters. A couple of seconds earlier and I'm on down the road, a second or two later and we collide, or vice versa.

Leaving a bar five minutes earlier or five minutes later can mean the difference between getting home and getting arrested for drunk driving. Getting through an intersection or being stopped at a light can be the difference between an officer seeing them drive or passing by in the night.

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