A long time ago I learned this lesson extremely well.
I was driving my car up to an intersection that I did not have the right-of-way at. As I pulled up, I looked to the right, then to the left and having seen nothing I started to pull across the intersection. As I did, I glanced again to my right and saw large man on a large motorcycle seemingly inches away from my right fender. I slammed on my brakes and he swerved out-of-the-way and completing his left turn without incident. Shaken, I continued on my way and glanced in my rearview mirror only to see the motorcycle turning around and coming after me.
I was wrong, and I knew it. The man on a motorcycle was wearing a black leather jacket, black helmet, and was sitting on top of a black motorcycle. It was somewhat understandable that I didn’t see him, But it was still my fault.
What I did next, might seem a little risky and counterintuitive. I pulled over onto the shoulder and got out of my car, just as the biker pulled up. He would clearly angry. He also probably thought I was going to give him a hard time. What I did there was throw up my hands up and say how very sorry I was, that it was clearly my fault, and was he all right?
He was totally caught off guard. He stammered a little and then said “you just better be more careful in the future“, then turned his bike around and went on his way.
I have no way of knowing what would have transpired had I not stopped, but it turned a potentially bad situation into a very valuable life lesson.
When you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.