Always drive with safety glasses!

I started wearing glasses full-time in 2000. And readily I learned benefits of eyeglasses beyond the prospect of improved vision. You never know when you’ll wish you had worn protective glasses.

Experience is a poor (or rather, very expensive) teacher on this point. You only receive two chances, one eye and then the other. The safest course is to always wear glasses. Some instances, like hunting or target-shooting, or use of impact tools, are more obvious than others.

Low-hanging branches quickly showed me the protection of eyeglasses — Whack! The lens receives the snap of the limb and my eye only blinks. Cool, these things are keepers. Though, aside from bike-riding, I hadn’t thought of eye risks while driving.

Almost broke our concentration, this impact

It’s rough country out here. An hour into our drive along Highway 3 from Rock Creek toward Hope, B.C., a rifle-shot noise surprised us and the driver-side window shattered. A very large truck passed in the opposite direction. Debbie says she saw the fist-sized rock launch from the truck’s side toward our side-view mirror.

The rock missed our mirror. How fortunate our window was closed! The rock smacked the window and instantly broke in a section. We soon find a pull-out, stop, and inventory our damage.

Let’s see, the window’s snap-crackle-popping and pieces are yet flipping into the cab and down into the interior of the door. Tiny shards of glass are on the dash, the driver’s lap and seat, the floor mat, the armrest.

We open the doors, mine gingerly, and climb out. The rock (or escaping pieces of glass) have chipped the door paint in several places but the truck exterior is otherwise fine. I don a pair of leather gloves and carefully push the broken safety glass out onto the gravel.

Deb calls the insurance company to confirm, yes, this is far below our deductible and the glass cost might be approx $200. Then she calls a Chevy dealer just below the border to learn the lead time for this glass is 3-5 days.

We need to continue west, toward Vancouver, and will before long arrive in Osoyoos. We drive on with a window open. Hey, this can’t be too bad. Everyone drove windows open until 40 years ago, right?

Osoyoos has an auto glass shop but Darrell is out to a job. His son calls and tells us, yes, this requires a lead time. No news there. We have covered less than 60 miles in over two hours so far today. Miles to go before we stop.

But while we have signal, Deb phones ahead to Hope, B.C., where our Garmin has detected a Chevy dealership, Gardner’s. We get good news almost immediately. Gardner’s will order the glass, have it by 9 a.m. local time tomorrow, shall they look for us? Deal!

We easily find a really nice and small Provincial Park near Hope, and arrive promptly at 9 a.m. at Gardners. They’re ready for us and we’re out with a one-hour labor charge and a new (and matching) window.

This could have been much, much worse. No one is hurt, our truck isn’t damaged, we missed no deadlines, our trailer escaped damage.

We were heading toward a town, Hope, with a fine Chevy service department. The town is nice, really nice, with tennis courts, a center-city park, nice dining choices, a large grocery store, and several nearby Provincial Parks (with camping).

And, thanks to my glasses, nothing got in my eyes.

Glasses saved the day

Jim and Debbie
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©2007-2010 Dreamstreamr

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3 responses to “Always drive with safety glasses!

  1. Debbie,
    I enjoyed browsing your site and have added the blog and your site to my favorites. I look forward to checking back from time to time to see what you guys are doing. Love it! Robin Green

  2. Funny, but I’ve been driving a very long time and never really considered glasses as eye protection during an accident.

    • No, me either. I’ve heard strident recommendations to keep doors unlocked so EMT/Rescue can get into the car, and keep untethered stuff put away so it won’t go ballistic. But never thought about eye protection — but with air bags nowadays, a pair of polycarbonate glasses like I wear to play tennis (dark ones since we play tennis in abundantly sunny Mesa) might be good for your eyes.

      I don’t drive with safety glasses, despite this episode. And I’m really glad the side window was closed and repelled the rock.

      Jim

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