HOV at Your Own Risk…

Traveling Central is always a nightmare.

Drivers are in a hurry, frustrated by the snare ups, the congested intersections, roadworks,

Distracted by their phones, convenient coffee-shops, the outlet mall…

Sometimes it’s safer to hop onto the HOV…

…unfortunately it is closed going south.

Since moving North of McKinney a trip downtown to visit our bird-keeping son and his wife has my whole body tensed to aching point.

Hubs and I try to make it worth our while and draw up a list of errands that usually justifies the stress of traveling the expressway.

The other day we were heading home, rush-afternoon was just beginning and the traffic on 75 was moving slowly…

so we found ourselves HOV-ing North, eliminating the inevitable bobbing and weaving.

Hubs is a vigilant driver and had noticed the clump of stop and go cars to the right of us and slowed down knowing the temptation to illegally jump the bollards and enter the HOV.

Sure enough a vehicle slowly eased its way into our lane about 3 car lengths ahead of us.

At 60 mph our advance was rapid.  Hubs did the only thing possible to avoid t-boning the offending car, applied his brakes while swerving left into the cement barrier.  I twisted my body away from the passenger door in anticipation of what was to come next, slammed on my imaginary brakes, and braced myself for impact.

He straightened up and plowed through an impossibly narrow space glancing off the incoming driver’s door and crushing its front end, ruining our two front wheels and crumpling my fender and headlamp.


We coasted to a halt grateful that there were no other cars behind us.

Mercifully I hadn’t been thrust forward in my seat belt, the air bags hadn’t deployed, no glass was shattered..

Apart from being dazed we were unharmed.

“Great driving,” I immediately said to Hubs, “I’m not being sarcastic,” I hastily added, “you did a super bit of defensive driving there and saved our lives.”

The passenger from the other car came and leaned her head in the driver’s side window,

“Are you hurt?” she asked me.

“No,” I said, “You?”

“No,” she said, “The Lord was with us.”

I could not get out of my side of the car to survey the damage


so called the police (my first ever dialing of an emergency number) and our insurance company.

A highway patrolman showed up, closely followed by the Plano police.

I was thankful our air-conditioning was still functioning as I waited for a tow truck.

Hubs gave statements and found out the driver of the 2017 Cadillac was an 83 year old man.

“He really didn’t want the Cadillac,” his wife told Hubs, “he wanted the BMW.”

I noticed the rubberneckers.

We were finally towed to one of the convenient coffee-shops just off the freeway to call for a rental car,


“Had he been younger he’d have peeled off instead of gingerly creeping into the traffic…” Hubs said sadly as we drank our Frappucinos, “that is our only car.”

We harbored a sinking feeling, based on the repair costs of Periwinkle’s recent run in with cows-in-the-night, that our fourteen year old Lexus would be written off.

A few days later we collected our possessions from the car.


An appraiser had been out and, according to our friendly mechanics, had initially written it off,

“Could you go out there and look again because I know my client doesn’t want a five year car payment?” asked Mike.

He came back with a lower number,

“We can repair it for that as long as when we get underneath there are no nasty surprises.”

Hubs and I breathed a sigh of relief at the news.

Car insurance is not the same as homeowners’.

No replacement value for us, we were looking at several thousand even for another gently used car.

We are praying that we will be given the opportunity to hang on to it for another few years, after all Daughts’ Lexus is seventeen years old and has 100,000 more miles on it than ours.

We’ll be thinking twice before hopping on the HOV in future.

We may become access road users!


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