A Literacy of the Imagination

a deeper look at innovation through the lenses of media, technology, venture investment and hyperculture

Thank God for German Engineering... (#BMW #UltimateDrivingMachine)

There’s nothing like a freeway wreck to put life and product into more colorful perspective.

On my way down to work last Wednesday morning, I was decelerating at about 45 MPH behind a line of cars when a red truck suddenly came careening into me, first taking out my entire right side and busting out the passenger window, and then slamming into me once more, taking out the rear bumper and collapsing in the trunk. The truck was apparently hit by another SUV, and was sent spinning across three lanes before it got to me — what’s amazing is that it didn’t flip or take out any other cars along the way. The frightening part about the whole thing was the fact that the truck had actually pushed me sideways toward the line of cars in front of mine (while it continued to spin), and so the ability for me to course-correct the car ultimately saved my life, as I’m certain that I would have become a sardine had I not been able to do so. Another crucial factor was that the front air bags did not deploy despite some considerable jarring caused by a front panel that had come loose from the truck, allowing me to see and react accordingly — I was able to steer the car to safety on the outside emergency lane (next to the carpool lane), and away from traffic moving quickly all around us. And, despite being hit by a truck that was probably traveling 20-25 MPH faster than I was, my car’s computer system did not fail on me in this critical moment. Once the CHP arrived on the scene (mere minutes from the time of the crash), I was able to drive the car over to the right shoulder... There was no discernable damage to the suspension or the engine even thought the impact and subsequent stress on the alignment was substantial.

As for me, I have a sore neck and an apprehension about getting on the freeway again anytime soon, but other than that, I am just happy to be alive.

I am very grateful to BMW for creating what I can attest to as truly being the Ultimate Driving Machine. As for those of you who plan on commuting anywhere during the holidays, PLEASE BE CAREFUL out there... It’s scary on the road, and even the most conscientious and defensive drivers are at risk.