Sunday, 19 June 2016

Crash on the busiest bridge of DC

We do get influenced by the way western countries do things and their fashion and their language. But sometimes I feel like we don’t really try to learn good things from them. Me being in USA for 8-9 years, made me realize that it’s not what we see from India. America has more to offer than glamour if we keep our mind open and bring home the good. I am in India now but I still remember that accident which I had on the busiest bridge in Washington during the commute hour. Traffic is similar everywhere in the world during the commute hours. I was living in Virginia which is pretty close to the Capital Washington.


Once I planned to go to New Jersey to visit my friend and packed my bags and headed towards the freeway which goes through Washington. In my excitement I totally forgot that it’s a working day and the time was also somewhat commute time. Well I packed my easel and started driving my car towards Washington with Jagjit singh’s  gazals on full volume. After only few minutes of travel I reached to the busiest bridge in America over Potomac river which connects Virginia to Washington.


I was driving on 65-70 per mile which is a general speed posted on most of the routs there. Bridge was full with cars bumper to bumper. Everyone was in a hurry to get to the metro station or to the office on time. All of a sudden cars in front of me slowed down drastically. I had to put the brakes really hard but did it in time. But the driver behind me was not really aware of this change and forgot to put the brakes and bumped into my car and in turn I bumped into a car in front of me, that car in front of it and that car in front of that. In all 4 cars were hit. All of a sudden the flow of traffic came to halt in the middle of that bridge. People started honking out of frustration. I thought its gonna be a long process as we have in India, people shouting, the drivers involved in accident will be abusing each other, then police will come taking its own sweet time.


But to my surprise, even before I got out of my car, cops were there all over the place and started clearing the traffic as soon as they arrived at the scene by telling us to move our cars to the side. I was really impressed by the time of response. It is said the time of response in America is 2 mins for cops or for any emergency service as well as fire fighters. And I saw it happening and could not believe my eyes.

It was like being in a Hollywood movie, lights and cops and a helicopter and drama. I was actually loving it, I should admit. Well so finally a cop started talking to me and he clearly asked me to stay in the car. He asked me if I was okay and also asked all included in the accidents to exchange their insurance information. All was calmly done. When the cop asked me to leave after the formalities, I was a bit muddled so asked him how to go back. He very nicely led my car in his police car and dropped me to a recognized freeway so I could continue from there on my own.I never had in any accidental situation which was so smooth.


It was one of a kind experience and we should also learn a thing from them. Not all western things are bad. Being in USA for almost 9 years taught me this one thing for sure, everyone and every place have something good to offer, we should focus on the good rather than the bad.  

Neelam solanki

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