Saturday, March 1, 2008

A little common sense, people

Friday's rain/snow mix proved very inhospitable to folks who were out and about on our highways and byways. There were wrecks aplenty, the police scanner buzzing with reports of cars over hills and into telephone poles. Yet for many on our local roads, inclement weather is no reason for concern. They continue to drive as if the roads were dry as a bone. Aggressive drivers are bad enough in perfect weather, but when the idiots fail to recognize, or care, that conditions are less than optimal and continue to drive like jackasses, they're putting the rest of us in danger. I had one such boob following me as I went to work on Friday. The speed limit on the road in question was 45 mph, and I was cutting through the ice and slush about 5 mph below that. The guy behind me apparently wasn't happy about that, because he was driving so close to my back bumper that it looked as if I was towing his vehicle. When a passing zone presented itself, he roared around me, well above the speed limit, and damn near wrecked himself when he got back into the right lane. I had a brief, secret wish that he would slide into the ditch so I could wave at him as I motored by. Alas, he and his car were unscathed. And, I'm ashamed to report, most of the people who drive like this in the foul weather are men. (The women are too busy talking on their cell phones to drive aggressively.) It's the lowest form of common sense that when the roads are bad, drivers should proceed with caution. It would probably cut in half the number of accidents if drivers traveling in ice and snow would follow this one simple rule: DON'T BE A DUMBASS!!!

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen.

March 1, 2008 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

Why do these articles always discuss somebody else's poor driving? Why in conversations about bad driving, the bad driver was always the other driver?

Is it always "the other guy" who is at fault? How many "other guys" are there that drive the same roads as the rest of us?

March 1, 2008 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Well, when I am driving cautiously and responsibly, and some idiot flies around me traveling well above the speed limit and nearly wrecks himself on an ice- and slush-covered road, I'd say it WAS the other guy who was the bad driver, at least in this instance. Roger, I have to assume that if you've been driving for a lot of years, you've had times when other people's recklessness or carelessness nearly got you into an accident. And in those cases, again, it was the other guy who was at fault. I'm also sure that you and I have made mistakes behind the wheel and had other people calling US all kinds of bad names. Thanks for contributing to the blog.

March 1, 2008 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I was driving to work one morning several years ago, and there had been a bit of the dreaded "wintry mix" that had fallen overnight. This resulted in a fine sheen of black ice on the highway on which I was traveling. As I approached fifty miles per hour, I felt the car react to the slippery conditions beneath it. I eased off the accelerator and leveled off at a relatively safe 35 mph.

I remained in the center lane of a three-lane highway, thus giving me an "out" on either side. As I drove, clueless drivers zipped by me at what I thought were alarming speeds, some as fast as the posted 65 mph speed limit. As I drove, I saw a car turned the opposite way in a ditch. I saw a pickup truck smashed against a bridge abutment, and the matching cap for the bed of the truck was some fifty feet away on the OTHER side of the road.

The lineup of disabled vehicles continued to increase as I drove along at 35, amazed that people were still driving by me like they were on the way to a meeting and were going to miss their stop at Starbucks.

I counted 23 vehicles on the side of the road by the time I got to work. What I don't understand is WHY WHY WHY do people continue to drive at a posted speed limit when they are obviously seeing the effects of bad road conditions? Sure, I was late to work, but I managed to get through my commute with my car intact and without a towing bill.

I'll avoid the inevitable comments about SUV drivers in bad weather, but I'd like to sum this up by saying that if everyone just paid attention to the obvious, things would be much safer. There was a reason there were 23 cars that had slid off the road that morning. It could have happened to anyone, even me, but at least I took some precautions. I've had my share of mishaps in bad weather, but I learned from them. I guess I'm just saying that people should use some common sense. If ten people touch a hot plate and get burned, chances are the eleventh person is going to experience the same thing.

March 2, 2008 at 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many of the morons were driving SUVs or 4-wheel-drive vehicles? These types of vehicles wrongly contribute to a sense of invulnerability among drivers.

March 2, 2008 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

Brant -- Yes, my questions were a bit rhetorical. And, yes, I have been "the other guy" from time to time when making a boneheaded move.

More questions: When is the last time somebody explained an accident to you , when "it was my fault?" Usually, every accident is the fault of somebody -- no, not always, but usually. But, I never hear somebody say, "yea, I drove through the stop sign," "yea, I had a blood alcohol level of 0.24, and I drove into the other car?" Accidents always seem to be somebody else's fault when usually they are the fault of one party or the other. Maybe when somebody knows they are at fault, they just never discuss their accident. Or, when a near-accident happens on a slippery road, they never share that near-accident.

It is all part of being unwilling to accept much responsibility for our own actions. Nobody is immune, some are more prone that others. The scale continues to slide in the "not my responsibility" direction, however.

March 3, 2008 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

You're right about that, Roger. It's amazing the lengths people will go to to avoid taking responsibility for their misdeeds. When I was an irresponsible teenager, I got a DUI, and it never occurred to me to hire a lawyer and fight it. The policeman and the courts were doing their jobs in punishing me for my disregard of the law. I went to court on the appointed date, pleaded guilty and took my medicine.

March 3, 2008 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

Oh I don't know, the last accident I was in, there was no doubt it was my fault. I just plain didn't see the guy. There was no arguement. We exchanged numbers and went on our merry ways. Well, almost merry.

March 3, 2008 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Monique Ringling said...

I caused an accident once and luckily the police saw it happen. I was making a turn out of a narrow alley and didn't want to curb-check so I swung-out too far and my front bumper connected with another vehicle. The police were behind that vehicle. I pulled over, got out of my car and walked over to the other car. I asked if they were ok and starting apologizing. I stated it was my fault and the police officer overheard me and pulled me aside and told me to never do that. He suggested that the only one you should tell it's your fault is the police because of the sue-happy people out there. He said it's fine to apologize but leave it at that. It turned out that the police office felt the vehicle was driving in the center of the road and it wasn't my fault. The other driver wasn't real happy.

March 5, 2008 at 8:17 AM  

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