Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mind the sheep in the middle of the road!

We nearly had an accident on the way up to the north coast on Sunday afternoon. My wife was driving, and half way between Ballymoney and Coleraine she commented on the lovely lambs in the fields to the side of the road.

What I saw in the distance was a small animal in the middle of our side of the road ... getting progressively larger. It was a lamb that escaped from a van at the side of the road, and was making a foolish bid for freedom. Running fast into the traffic - the wrong way up the middle of our lane.

What I also saw was the fact that our car wasn't slowing down yet.

"Mind the sheep in the middle of the road!" I exclaimed.

Sharp brake, skid, regained control, and managed to swerve past a lamb that continued to gallop up the road while my wife regained her composure.

Moral of the story: (1) don't be distracted by the romantic images all around when there is a life and death issue straight in front of you; (2) the stopping distance of a well loaded small car traveling at 60 mph on a wet day is probably the length of an oil tanker.

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