Ed at work commutes every day from Marion, and he was almost in this wreck. His was one of the northbound cars that "managed to avoid" the semi that crossed the median, and he was pretty shaken up all day. Hearing about a close call is almost like seeing the accident, and it yanks you out of your complacency. Driving day after day, we tend not to think about the reality, which is that a horrible disaster is always just a blink away.
I lived in Marion for a couple of years and also commuted on 1-69, but in the other direction, to Ball State and back. Driving the same stretch all the time can be pretty hypnotic. Once in a while, I’d get off at the Muncie exit and realize I had no memory of the last half hour — I’d been on automatic pilot — and it would scare me witless. One thing I try to do now — which I highly recommend — is vary my driving patterns to and from work. There are three main ways I can go to and from work, and I seldom take the same way more than three days in a row. We like to think that any bad crash we’re in will be from someone else’s mistake, but the truth is we have to guard against our own inattentiveness, too.