Close Calls

Posted by

I’ve had two near accidents recently and neither was my fault. In the first, the light had turned green and I was driving through the intersection when I heard this car slam on the brakes because I guess he decided that red lights didn’t apply to him. (Or her I suppose since I didn’t see them) In the second, I was in a roundabout where I had the right of way and was coming around when a lady with a clear YIELD sign decided she needed to go right away. Another slamming of brakes so nothing bad happened.

I’m certainly hoping that the “third time is a charm” isn’t in play here.

Now I’m at an age where it is easy to look back and say everything was better in the past. (It was but I’m not saying that). And, to be fair, the only accident I’ve had was over thirty years ago when I decided to stop at a red light and the guy behind me decided he wasn’t going to stop. But it certainly feels like there are far too many bad/distracted drivers on the road these days.

There is a traffic light near our house that actually has a short time period where all the lights are red. It is probably just a second but there is a clear delay between when the light changes to red on one side and the green light comes on on the other. I don’t know if that was intentional or just some mistiming when they were installed but we’ve been there enough times to see people fly through the red light that maybe it serves a purpose.

It feels like too many people are just putting themselves in situations where they are counting on the other drivers to react to them and keep them out of harm’s way. This morning, I was out running an errand and a guy with a pick up and a trailer pulls out from a driveway right in front of me. Now, the road I was on had two lanes and the other lane was clear so maybe he just assumed I could get over and get out of his way. Although I may be giving him too much credit.

Stuff like this happens all the time. We do have right turn on red but it doesn’t mean the car turning right has the right of way. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve come up on an intersection just to see someone come to the red light, slow down a bit and then proceed to turn in front of me. If I have to slow down to avoid you, then you’ve made a bad decision and you are just lucky that I’m not one of the many distracted drivers out there.

I was taught defensive driving which now means to just assume that everyone around you is an idiot and is going to make bad decisions. See someone coming up to a stop sign. Just assume they are going to roll right through it. Light turns green. Take a second or two to make sure nobody is speeding through the red light. Shouldn’t have to do this because people should be obeying the signs and lights but more and more often, it just seems like people treat those things as optional.

In the case of the guy with the truck this morning, was it really worth it? There was nobody behind me. All you had to do was wait maybe 20 seconds and then you’d be fine. Do we live in such stressful times that people feel like they can’t afford to wait 20 seconds. Or does 20 seconds now seem like a lifetime given how short attention spans are these days.

And this is why I really hate having to drive anywhere these days.

True, but it would be better if the bad drivers learned to become good drivers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.