Monday, 27 June 2011
They have this weird road rule in NZ that says if two cars coming from opposite directions turn into the same street, the car turning left, hence just around the corner, must give way to the other car, the one that's crossing one lane. The problem with this rule is that foreigners aren't used to it.
We were driving back from town and were just about to turn left from the main road into the car park, when a van came from the opposite direction and was about to do the same, so Dominik stopped on the curbside to let the van go first. However, the guy didn't realize it until several seconds later, and when he finally made a move, he forgot to check for oncoming traffic...
As soon as the van got into motion, a big SUV popped into my peripheral vision and I had just the time to think "there are two cars on a collision course, they're gonna crash...". Two seconds later, the SUV smashed into the van's side at maybe 100 km/h, tipped it over and pushed it for a couple of metres.
Then a bunch of people ran out of the hostel and the usual post-accident stuff broke loose. The SUV driver promptly called the police, the van's driver was trapped inside, unable to open the door, until I suggested to roll down the window, a few guys from the pub helped him get out, and then they waited for the police. On a positive note, nobody got hurt, although the woman driving the SUV was apparently pregnant. Then I went to have a shower and forgot about everything.