Saturday, 25 August 2007

Thought Provoking

I mentioned yesterday that we had set off early to go to Montpellier and, as we had hoped, there was little traffic.

Just after leaving, as we went through Hérépian, a pompier pulled out in front of us with flashing lights and we thought 'oh no..., problem on the road?'

Sure enough, just a few kilometres on, oncoming cars flashed their headlights at us and we slowed down, proceeding carefully. We came across the pompiers, a police car and an ambulance at the side of the road with a member of the public directing traffic past.

There was drizzle in the air and the roads were slippery, so we assumed someone had lost it on a bend - but could not see anything obvious.

As we passed, the pompiers were struggling down the steep bank with a stretcher - and amazingly I could just see the tops of the wheels of a vehicle upside down!

I commented on how lucky the driver had been that someone must have seen him (or her) leave the road because you would never have noticed the car down there, buried in all the undergrowth.

It was Richard that pointed out that it could have been down there all night - there is very little traffic on the roads outside 'rush hour' and the chances are that if they had 'lost it' during the night or even yesterday evening - they might not have been noticed until now.

If that was the case, it could well be now a fatal accident.

It brought home to us that driving in this area is more dangerous than you consider - in the South of England (where we come from) there are not many routes where an off-the-road vehicle would go unnoticed for long. In all of Richard's years as a Policeman, he only came across one such incident, and unfortunately it resulted in a fatality - shock and hypothermia are killers.

Keeping a mobile phone easily to hand whilst driving around here, is more important than I had considered before. Also, making sure someone knows to expect you and when - so that if you do not turn up, an alarm can be raised.

A thought provoking start to the day.

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