RETURNING to the Coast at the weekend was nearly my last trip on the Bruce Hwy.
Mid-afternoon on Saturday I avoided a head-on.
I had just reached the upgraded stretch of the highway at Traveston when an oncoming northbound vehicle veered off the highway and ploughed into the metal cable divider.
Poles were flung into the air as the vehicle drove up the divider.
The metal cable, meanwhile, flexed and restricted the vehicle from crossing into my path.
Luckily, I had space in the left lane to flee.
I pulled on the wheel and threw my head down beneath the level of the dashboard, waiting for impact.
There was a loud crack and thump as my car's bonnet and windscreen was hit by debris.
My fear was something larger could go through the windscreen or the vehicle could push through the cable.
Bouncing back up to an upright position, I felt relief.
I was fortunate. Before the Bruce Hwy was upgraded at that location, what happened Saturday afternoon would have been a head-on collision.
These metal rope dividers save lives. Between 2005 and 2010, the metal rope divider at Federal was struck 28 times, saving an unknown number of lives.
The Gympie Times routinely reports on Bruce Hwy fatalities and major crashes, demanding a total fix for the entire stretch.
This is predictably met with claims drivers are responsible, not the highway.
And they are partly right. Driver error is to blame for crashes, as crashes don't take place unless someone does something wrong.
However, on our newly upgraded highway between Traveston and Pomona, there is margin for error.
There are safety devices installed, north and south lane separation and room to move in the event something happens.
All of these factors came into play to spare my life at the weekend.
The Bruce Hwy in its current state between Gympie and Traveston, single-laned and congested, removes nearly all margin for error.
We need to get serious and complete the Bruce Hwy upgrade.