Shaking my life...literally

This evening, I'll be off to the local chapter of SIGCHI, spending a couple of hours listening to someone talking about DSL technology. A welcome change to the past several months of events.

My life as it stand nows, has been literally shaking me up!

Yesterday, on my way to a squash game around noon-time, I had a pretty bad mishap on the road. I was rounding a curving road (going left) while accelerating. In first gear, I felt my car wheelhop a bit. So to rectify this, I shifted into second where I accelerated more. By this time, I am near 60km/h and shift into 3rd gear. a second afterwards, I feel the front tires slide a little bit, so I ease off the gas. But as I hit the apex of the turn, the rear of my car loses grip and I begin to fishtail to the right. I correct the steering immediately as fast as the WRC Rally-car drivers. The rear of the car then swings the other way into oncoming traffic!

Ford F-150 pickup truck!!!

I recorrected the steering just in time and miss hitting it by a mere inches! But I fishtail even worse a few times, after three or four vehicles going the opposite direction pass by. At one point, I had thought I almost had the car stabilized, only to lose it again instantly.

My car screeches sideway across the road onto the other side. At this point, I was certain that my front-end would be totalled! Luckily there was no traffic. The rear of the car swung so hard due to steering overcorrection and the slippery road surface, that the passenger-side rear wheel hits the curb hard and swings me around the other way, mounting over the curb into the air. My front-end then hits a wire fence, stopping my chaotic momentum and landing on some grass.

Still and silent, I see the engine light appear on the guage cluster. The engine had stalled after the hit. I then get out of the car, only to find a few scratches and a broken front lip of my body kit. Restarting the engine, I slowly reverse and drive away onto the gym to my squash game.

As I entered the parking lot, I could here the flip-flopping of my rear tire. It had nearly come off the rim. No use in fixing it at that time - so I found a parking spot. Later, I found out that I was actually driving on three wheels. That was why my front alignment seemed "off".

Of course, I experienced most of the shock afterwards, still in disbelief - this occurred to me while I was playing the squash game. When I told my friend what had happened, he was surprised to still find me able to come for the game. BTW, I lost.

After the game, we changed the tire and I headed towards my next destination - meeting my friends to China Garden. I tell them the news as well, and they were also shocked that I was so calm and casual about the whole ordeal.

So after lunch, it was only natural to show them the damages on the car. Minimal, which was good. The ugly part was showing them the wheel - all wet and salted and the tire deformed almost to a disasterous point.

I then brought one of my friends to see the site where it all occurred. Tire marks were strewn all over the place. By the looks of it, I was lucky to have survived and not get hurt.

The irony/coincidence of it all, was that, the night before this happened, I was on my Playstation 2 playing Colin McRae Rally 2.0. I was practicing in the Sweden snow course. I probably would not have done as well in real-life had I not practiced the night before. (The physics engine in this game was deadly accurate!)

So now, I am driving a rental car, a 2002 Ford Taurus, waiting for my car to be fixed.

The only good part to all of this:
I really felt like a rally-car driver!