Anaheim Angel

Tonight as I was driving home from Disneyland, I came to an overpass that had a left-turn lane near the top; one car was already sitting in it, waiting at the red arrow.

To the right of that lane were three or four lanes of traffic, all with a green light staring back at us. I was in the first lane to the right of that left-turn lane when I realized that the car ahead of me had suddenly come to a quick stop. His signal was on, and he had created his own left-turn lane next to the other car. My horn got a workout.

The guy either thought he was in a legitimate left-turn lane, or just figured people would go around him and that he’d do whatever he wanted — but I almost hit him. The Happiest Place on Earth was about to become the backdrop for my death.

I was able to quickly go around and avoid other cars that were also dutifully obeying the green light and coming up fast. The driver realized his error — or finally just decided it wasn’t worth being rear-ended while blatantly making up his own lanes — and ended up following the rest of us up the overpass.

I’ve heard it said that most accidents happen within a few miles from your home, because apparently that’s when you’re most comfortable and familiar with the streets; your guard is down. I live three miles from Disneyland, and this almost came true for me tonight. Fortunately (for once) I have a lead foot and had enough distance between me and the pack of cars behind me that, while nerve-wracking to have to jump into someone else’s lane to keep from hitting someone in my own, I am thankful for my dad’s patience so many years ago when he taught me to drive. I am thankful for my fellow motorists who teach me the importance of defensive driving on a near-daily basis, and for my little guardian angel who made sure that — even though I was exhausted from a long day that began at the dealership early this morning — I wasn’t so exhausted that I wouldn’t be able to make it home in one piece.

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