Parkway Panic – What Would You Do?
As you can see from the picture above, my morning did not start well today. But I do take some comfort in the fact that it could have been much worse. A lot worse.
As I was coming to work down the Garden State Parkway, right before the Toms River toll plaza, surrounded by heavy traffic on all sides, I suddenly saw a blur out of the corner of my eye. The next thing I knew, I heard a loud, sickening crash as my car was jolted.
As I wondered what the heck had just happened, I saw that my windshield was completely shattered.
My best guess is that some piece of road debris was kicked up by a vehicle and honed in on my glass.
I kept moving while taking stock of the situation. I didn't want to panic and slam on my brakes, which would have undoubtedly caused a crash with other vehicles, and thankfully I didn't instinctively swerve, which also would have absolutely caused a multi-vehicle accident.
Thankfully, I was only about 100 yards from the Toms River State Police Barracks, so I put my hazard lights on and pulled off the highway into the lot.
I didn't want to call 911 since there weren't any injuries and it wasn't a true emergency, so I called #77, the aggressive driver hotline, to at least get in touch with police.
A State Trooper arrived shortly and helped me evaluate the situation. He was friendly, professional, and sympathetic. I felt a little awkward having pulled into the Barracks, but he assured me that I did the right thing by getting off the highway immediately. Not only for the safety of other drivers, but to take a few moments to calm my nerves.
Unfortunately, since the culprit was most likely road debris, there isn't a whole lot that I can do besides swallow my car insurance deductible and get my windshield replaced.
As much of a bad situation as it was, I do take some comfort in the fact that it could have gone a number of different ways, and most of them are not good.
Have you ever had a situation like this happen to you? What did you do? Tell us in the comments!