LAST week I had planned a shopping trip to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway. I know I always nag about supporting local, however, there were a couple of shops we just don’t have in Taunton. I was also hoping to have a lovely trip out with my daughter and granddaughter.

The trip up was uneventful, and we had a lovely time. I managed to get everything I needed. We decided to head home after lunch so we could collect my grandson from school. We made our way to the motorway but before we reached the slip road we ground to a halt, a few emergency vehicles whizzed by with horns and lights.

At this point we thought we may be held up for half an hour or so. Not a huge problem. We joined the motorway and crawled along at 3 miles an hour. And then just completely stopped. We were going nowhere. My daughter checked her phone for traffic updates and said there had been three accidents on the M5, all between Bristol and Tiverton. All three lanes were stationery. I glanced across at another car and saw the chap driving was thumping his steering wheel and was very red in the face, he even sounded his horn. I made a judgement about him just being impatient and rude. For us, it wasn’t a huge problem, we were warm and dry, someone else would collect grandson so we knew we would just have to sit it out. We did have a potential ticking bomb in the back seat though…..a two year old toddler who was looking really bored. Luckily, she nodded off and slept almost the whole way home.

Traffic started to flow, but it wasn’t long before we ground to a halt again. This time there were lots of angry and stressed-out drivers around us. Instead of judging though, we thought how blessed we were not to be the ones involved in the accidents, not to be the police, ambulance and fire crews having to deal with the accident and victims.

How awful would it feel in other cars if you were bursting for the loo? What if a lady was in labour in one of the other cars? What if someone was visiting a relative in hospital or a hospice and was worried they wouldn’t make it in time?

We were directed off the M5 at Weston Super Mare along with thousands of other cars and we joined another long queue of traffic trying to get home. It was stop/start for another three hours. However, we made it home. We heard later that one of the people in the accident was never going home again. May they Rest In Peace.

So next time you find yourself in a stressful driving situation. Spare a thought for other people. Take a breath, play eye spy, listen to music, try and think happy thoughts! At the very least try not to feel angry and frustrated, even though you may be feeling this way! It is awful for your own health…. At a physical level, you may experience high blood pressure, a feeling of being on edge. So try to manage your stress levels. There are always people worse off than yourself.

See you again in two weeks! Until then – Stay Safe and Be Kind.

Trish Caller