What. The hell. Did I do.
December 15, 2012 1:51 PM Subscribe
Driving home this afternoon, I spun my car 360 degrees. I have no idea what happened. Please help me figure out what it was so that it never, ever, dear god ever happens again.
posted by AthenaPolias to travel & transportation (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I had just dropped a friend off at the airport. I was driving around a slight curve, accelerating gently, and going 38mph. I know this because I checked my speed before shifting; for whatever reason, the less-than-conscious part of my brain that governs shifting thought I was in second and needed to get to third, when I was, in fact, in fourth (I must have seen my gear stick out of the corner of my eye). I shifted into third and hadn't yet pulled my foot off the clutch when I heard the engine rev slightly and I realized I was in the wrong gear. I rapidly put the car into fourth and that's when I felt a slight jerk and then I was spinning. I was already steering into the skid so I just waited the spin out, and the car stopped at nearly a full 360 degree turn.
There are no factors in this scenario I haven't driven in and through a million times before. Some factors must have doubled or tripled up, but this is beyond my expertise.
Other factors: the road was damp but not wet - it wasn't raining so much as mildly sprinkling (I had my wipers on the lowest setting and even that was a bit much). It's decidedly above freezing here (Siri said 48, now that I'm home my local weather says 52), so no black ice. My car is a standard transmission (obviously), the car is in overall good condition, and my tires are a little more than a year old. Nothing is wrong with the road where I lost control. I've driven this spot countless times; it's a very normal, gentle curve - much like an entrance/exit ramp designed for ca. 40mph traffic. I've also, like every manual driver, hit the wrong gear many times and never had any issue other than excessive or insufficient revving. I pulled over afterward to calm down, and also checked all four tires while doing so; I could see no outward sign that anything had happened or would cause anything to happen.
Can someone tell me what happened, or may have happened, so I can ensure this never happens again? I'm thoroughly freaked out, partially from very nearly being in a bad accident, but more so because I don't know what happened and can't be sure it won't happen again. Also, my car is about 18,000 miles before its next service, but I'm happy to take it to my mechanic now, especially considering I've got a 12 hour drive coming up for the holidays.
Sweet baby jesus.