Phill finds out that life has a way of teaching us little lessons, using the Management Fleet Volkswagen Golf and the rear bumper of an Audi A8.[Not a valid template]
Life has a tendency to teach important lessons from time to time. My last such lesson in driving came a number of years ago, where I carelessly misjudged the bonnet length of a Renault Fluence and scraped it on a bollard. It served as a wake up call to pay more attention when manoeuvring, and since then I’ve had no more issues.
Well, until the day before I write this piece, anyway. I was preparing to set off for a weekend in Abu Dhabi, with a car full of friends and luggage. “Away we go!” I announced, putting the car into reverse to back out of my parking space. “Beep,” spake the parking sensors. “Beep beep beep,” they continued, before concluding “beepbeepbeepbeep.” Curious, I thought to myself, why are the parking sensors beeping when there’s nothing behind m…
Somehow between my getting into the car and reversing, an Audi A8 had parked behind me. Not in a space, I hasten to add, just randomly stopped in the road. And although I thought I’d checked my mirrors, clearly I hadn’t checked well enough and went bumbling into his rear. It’s the temporary lack of concentration that I’d berated myself for in the Fluence and thought I’d trained out of my everyday driving psyche.
Thankfully the speed of the impact was so low that, having got out and apologised profusely to the owner/driver of the A8, there didn’t appear to be any damage. A rub with a cloth showed no breaks in the paint of either car, no dents in the bumpers, nothing. It seems, somehow, that I’d gotten away with it.
Nevertheless, it’s another wake up call as to how quickly concentration can lapse behind the wheel. I take pride in my driving record, now slightly tarnished, but I’m glad that this latest reminder of how important it is to focus came at low speeds, with no damage and no danger to human life. If you happen to be in Dubai over the next few months and see a ponderously reversing Golf, its driver furiously checking every mirror repeatedly, it’s probably me.
|Inline 4cyl / 1395cc
|138bhp @ 4500rpm
|184lb ft @ 1500-3500rpm
|Seven-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG)
|McPherson struts with lower wishbones / anti-roll bars front and rear / ESP / TSC / electromechanical servotronic steering with speed-dependent power assistance
|Four-link suspension with separate spring shock absorber arrangement / anti-roll bars front and rear / ESP / TSC / electromechanical servotronic steering with speed-dependent power assistance
|Disc brakes front and rear, front discs ventilated / ABS / EBPD / dual brake assist / 288mm (front) / 272mm (rear)
|6 1/2 J x 16
|205/55 R16 front and rear