There are certain sounds that hit when we're helpless to do anything except pray. Among them are the sounds of screeching tires directly behind you. It happened to me twice today. Both times--once going to work, the other coming home--I was stopped in traffic, not able to go anywhere. Both times I had a split second to look up at the rear-view mirror and gasp.
Both times the drivers swerved just in time to avoid me and go into the next lane. Accidents averted.
I thought about this for a while...there wasn't much I could have done, save for brace for impact. I'm sure most all of us have done it...you're driving, the brakelights in front of you instantly shine their warnings to all behind them...and for whatever reason you pick them up a hair late. You slam your foot (maybe even both feet) down onto the break pedal, hoping to be able to stop your vehicle in time. You swerve into the next lane--hopefully it's the emergency lane--and narrowly avoid disaster. You practically give yourself a heart attack...and you probably gave the person in front of you one, too.