Thanks to the curve
We were driving down the Atlantic City Expressway in heavy, but fast-moving traffic. We were in the inside lane, and it suddenly sounded like a helicopter was dive-bombing us. It’s Jersey, so, you know, anything’s possible. Then our minivan (filled with our four children) started shimmying bad, and we started fishtailing.
So, we began our monumental task of getting from the inside lane to the outside shoulder of the Expressway. By that point, the tire had completely blown off the car, and we were riding on the rim. Where we stopped was on a curve, with a guardrail, so we were unable to get far enough off the road to feel safe. In fact, we were just barely off the driving lane, and approaching traffic couldn’t see us with much warning, thanks to the curve.
Of course, the tire that was blown was on the driver’s side. I didn’t know if I should take my kids out of our crash target – that’s what I felt that our van was – and take them into the litter-filled woods near the Expressway, or if I should leave them buckled up in the van, braced for impact.
In typical Jersey-driver fashion, not a single driver moved into a non-adjacent lane as a courtesy. No, if anything, it seemed they drove as close as they could to our disabled van as my poor husband was lying on the roadway switching out the tire. I was literally planning for my emergency response for if he got plowed over by a semi.
We – and by we, I mean my husband – put the donut on, which had never before been used and had about 10 pounds of pressure. With a big sigh of relief, we limped our way out of there.
It was one of the scariest half-hours of my life, but we survived! So, we’re able to laugh.