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Monday, November 15, 2004

Bad Drivers, Take Two

I have a really bad feeling about the ability of drivers lately. I’ve already posted one rant about this very topic. As if to prove me correct, I was in an accident a couple of nights ago.

I had stopped at a red light at a very busy intersection, but had left enough room for an RV to pull out of a gas station in front of me. The entrance/exit to this station has one of those triangular shaped dividers that basically say no left turns.

Just as I lifted my hand to motion the RV to go, I was jolted as if I had been hit directly in the side. At first, I didn’t even see the vehicle. Then I realized an SUV coming towards me had attempted to make a left turn behind me and clipped my bumper.

We pulled into the gas station to inspect the damage. I feel bad for the lady that was driving. She was visibly shaken and her husband and teenage kids that were with her didn’t seem to know what to say. I was nice about it as we exchanged information. She wasn’t denying fault and I’m sure there will be no problem getting my car fixed as she is insured and obviously has enough money to drive a nice SUV. It only appears to be my bumper cover and a tail light cover that were damaged. I will have the frame inspected, of course.

I’m not as upset as I thought I would have been. After all, the lady made an illegal left turn (although with no signs, that may not be enforceable), and she was so impatient that she didn’t wait long enough for me to pass before turning behind me. I don’t remember any cars coming up behind me either.

I realize we all make mistakes, but what bugs me about this is that I see people do this sort of thing all the time. We’d all be a lot safer if people would learn to obey the laws and not get so impatient. I was very relieved my family was not in the car with me. My one-month-old could have been severely injured with that kind of jolt to her neck.

So, take a deep breath and remember, the extra few seconds you’ll save by driving poorly is not worth the possible consequences.

» Posted by Queue at 09:46 AM (ET)
Category: Journal Queue, Rant


But it’s the very fact that the laws even exist that explain why there’ll always be people who won’t obey them.

There is a no U-turn sign about half-way between my apartment entrance and the main highway—right where the side entrance to the CompUSA is located. It’s there for good reason. Invariably, when someone attempts a -U-turn there, unless they’re driving a tiny pudmobile that can turn on a dime, they accomplish two things besides getting turned: 1) they generally can’t quite get all the way around without the front of their car reaching the rail on the opposite side of the road, forcing them to back up a little ways, then keep going, often causing cars coming the other way to have to slow down and/or wait for them, and 2) they often initiate the U-turn with little warning and frequently get rear-ended by the person following. Cops do occasionally camp out near the highway to watch for this behavior and simply flag the cars over to the side after they’ve made the U-turn and approach the highway, but they’re certainly not there 24 hours a day—nor do I expect them to be.

By the way, I have sort of an opposite story, too—of people who obey the laws a little bit too closely. Yes, I said _too_ closely. A sign with an arrow pointing down to the white line at an intersection and with a message reading, “Stop here on red,” _is not_ the same thing as a sign that reads, “No right turn on red.” I have asked cops. I know this. Don’t make a line of 6-7 cars behind you wait to make that right turn while the main highway was virtually empty just because you want street signs to say more than they really do!

» Posted by Lee Bennett
November 15, 2004 11:45 PM

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