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When journalists crash cars

1 year ago

Writer:

Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder

Date:

8 April 2021

Breaching the adhesive capabilities of the four tyres, involuntarily exceeding the boundaries of the highway and consequently interfacing with a hedgerow, telegraph pole, dry stone wall or another vehicle. Otherwise known as crashing. It’s pretty much an inevitability in this game – drive 1000 miles a week in dozens of different cars each year and often with lots of power beneath your right foot and, eventually, you’ll bend something.

The trick is to avoid making a habit of it, to learn from your mistake and to confess to it right away and in full. Unless you reckon you can fib your way out of it. More of which in a moment… Most car reviewers are sensible enough to realise that crashing with any regularity is good neither for one’s reputation or health, and so while there might be a degree of unavoidability about it, such incidents are actually quite few and far between. You can tell that’s true because when somebody does have an accident word of it will spread through the industry like wildfire, the details being embellished with each retelling. That wouldn’t be the case if we were all flinging cars at the scenery week in, week out.

Mostly these collisions are relatively innocuous things, but I’ve heard stories of cars being flipped, of wheels torn off and even of precautionary overnight hospital stays. But I have never heard of anyone in this line of work while I’ve been among them seriously hurting themselves or anybody else, and I dearly hope that remains the case.

I hope, too, that in writing this now I’m not tempting fate, but so far my crash tally runs only to two. And one of those is debatable… The first involved the brand new BMW M135i I was driving several years ago, a Welsh hillside road that was comfortably two cars wide but not marked as such (there was no white line down the middle) and a Vauxhall Astra. I was coming up the hill and the very instant I turned into the blind right-hander I saw the Astra, positioned inexplicably well into my side of the road. With nowhere to go and no time to stop, I knew we’d collide.

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