Which of course is to say, I did miss...
The driver of the blue BMW X1 - didn't catch the gender - seemed to think that just because the left and centre southbound lanes of Yonge Street just north of Finch yesterday afternoon were clogged, that the right-hand lane wouldn't have anyone in it.
Not sure how one would come to that conclusion; presumably (s)he also didn't realize that this is the Jim-only lane.
In any event, (s)he decided just to roar on through with a left turn, directly in front of me.
I wasn't going that fast - you always have to assume other drivers are idiots.
This one didn't disappoint.
I didn't even have time to lay on the horn. Just nailed the brakes as hard as I could, and tried to steer to the right to avoid the collision.
The Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) on the brand-new new Hyundai Santa Fe XL I had just picked up went into action, pulsing as quickly as possible to maintain optimum stopping distance, and to allow a degree of steering - ABS is as much, possibly more, a steering system as a braking system.
The BMW driver eventually saw me, and did stop. But the Hyundai was still heading right for its nose, tires chirping as the brakes pulsed.
Just before we hit, I let off on the brakes. This allowed the front wheels to bite a bit more than the ABS was allowing, and the Hyundai just managed to dodge around the Bimmer.
If either car had had one more coat of paint, the near-hit (i.e., a miss) would have become a near-miss (i.e., a hit).
This 'lock/steer/release' technique is something we used to teach in the old Labatt's Road Scholarship program, which predated universal adoption of ABS. We know that locked brakes are usually the quickest way to stop, given few people can apply the theoretically-perfect 'threshold' braking accurately enough in an emergency.
But we also know that if the tires are locked, they can't steer.
So if a crash looks imminent, 'lock/steer/release' says to lock 'em up to slow the car down as much as possible, apply some steering lock anyway even if it doesn't help while the tires are sliding, then when the collision seems unavoidable, release the brakes.
With luck, the tires will regain cornering traction, and you'll avoid the crash.
Just like it did for me this time.
It takes some practice, which you should do on a snowy parking lot when winter returns (assuming it ever leaves...).
Even with ABS, as in this case, this technique has saved me a couple of times. It's a worthwile trick to have in your kit bag in case of emergency.
I bet the driver of that blue BMW has no idea how close it was...