I recently found myself in a situation where what seemed like one thing was actually another.
I was driving with my son one Sunday morning when I was cut off by a truck which then sped off away from me. I later caught up to the truck which was stopped at a green light. At this point I could see the driver playing with something in the truck and it seemed like he just wasn’t paying attention.
There were two lanes so I chose the other one and went around him. A few hundred feet down the road I realized he was now tailgating me, backing off and then getting very close, and it seemed very aggressive and as I stated I had my son with me so I was worried about his safety.
After making a corner I felt I had enough distance between me and the other truck so I decided to pull into a gas station. As I was slowing down and watching the truck to make sure it was going to stop, I watched it accelerate into me at the last couple of feet.
At this point I lost my temper, got out of my car and started yelling and screaming at the other driver for tailgating and ramming my car.
He said he was going to leave the scene and I grabbed the window of his door and it exploded in my hands. Turns out his truck was running out of propane and it was stalling and surging, explaining the stop at the green light and the backing off and getting close to me.
When we both came to a stop to turn into the gas station, that is where he was also heading when his truck surged and accelerated into the back of my car. So by me assuming he was an aggressive and dangerous driver that was mad that I passed him when he wasn’t paying attention, when actually he was just paying too much attention to his poorly running truck, I made a small accident into a huge deal and I became the dangerous and aggressive one.
So what did I learn? Not to jump to conclusions so quickly and make assumptions on what other people are thinking. I hope that maybe if one person reads this and finds themselves in a similar situation they will stop and take a deep breath before they jump to a conclusion they might regret, like I did.
This letter was written as a condition of a settlement reached with the help of the Comox Valley community Justice Centre.