Michaela Merz

TCS – the fast pragmatic help which let us down

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586266_web_R_by_Dominik Pöpping_pixelio.deI don’t really like driving. For me the car is a means in order to get from one point to another. If the price allows, I will for sure be one of the first ones, who buys an automatically steered car.

I am pretty sure that afterwards these automats will spread very fast. Because the insurance premiums for men-steered cars will rise into the sky and will economically force people to stop driving themselves.

Finally human failure is the weak link in traffic. Perhaps in the future there will be such motor vehicle parks, where one can live out one’s need for driving oneself. Perhaps I will tell my grandchildren in 20 years how it was when all cars were driven by humans.

With my little one, I was driving by car to my mother. That’s more than 600 km over mostly German motorway. I invest in security and my car has more or less everything which modern technology offers in order to increase security. Everything went well and we were about 40 km from my mother’s house. Then there was a loud noise and the car started to behave like a boat on a lake with big waves. It lurched right and left and we were lucky that the road was completely empty and we did not touch anyone or anything. I had been driving pretty fast, at about 180 km/h, but apart from holding the steering wheel and breaking I could not do much. My guardian angel was on duty and thus I managed to stop at the breakdown line and satisfy myself that the tyre was ruptured.

Then the waiting began. I thought that I am well and reliably ensured and that help would be nearby but it was not like that. All lines of my insurance were busy that Saturday evening and I found myself in a waiting loop. By then I had localized my position, implemented securing measures, found the next exit and sat my junior on the hillside above the street. But on the breakdown line it became scary. The cars speeding by created waves, which gave the parked car every time a good shaking. As soon as it gets dark, it really gets dangerous, I thought. I sat into the car and slowly drove on the breakdown lane to the motorway exit 2 km away. I thought that the tyre would make it without much ado.

It took three hours until the tow car came. Help on-site on Saturday evening was impossible. With luck I would get my car back perhaps on Tuesday. All that was rather sobering. It turned out that fast pragmatic help like a change of tyres is wishful thinking far away from reality. I called my childhood friend who lives next to my mother and asked her to pick us up together with our belongings.

We arrived healthy with almost four hours delay at my mother’s place. That was the only thing that counted. My trust in technology and fast first aid was badly shattered. And perhaps it is good like this, probably I will never again drive at 180 km/h if someone else is sitting in my car. To endanger oneself if a tyre bursts at such speed is one thing, but to endanger someone else? Never!!!

Bildquelle: Dominik Pöpping / pixelio.de

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