Those were the exact thoughts running through my mind as I was rear-ended. It happened while on my way home, on one of Southern California’s more notorious freeway interchanges. Two lanes become one, with another stream of traffic merging just beyond that point. It’s usually a mess. That night, a driver made an aggressive merge three cars up, causing a panic-braking chain reaction. I was maintaining a safe following distance to the car in front of me, saw the move as it was happening, and braked early. Unfortunately, the driver of the Nissan Pathfinder behind me wasn’t as alert. The next thing I knew, I was sliding down the road at about 25 mph.