I’m sure you’ve probably seen someone who was, shall we say, not paying attention while driving. Go ahead, share your stories… what have you seen distracted drivers doing on the road?
Well, I’ve seen…
– Girls put on make-up while going 130kph…
– A dad juggling two bad tempered toddlers, while zig-zagging from left through right
– A cab driver who was busy using google maps to find the route (while he was driving and I was sitting next him)…
– A busdriver yelling at his wife / girlfriend on his mobile phone…
Well that’s about it ;-)
(Long, but worth the read if you wanna compare your bad days)
I wake up one morning to take the kids to the sitters. I notice that my bicycle was stolen that night.
I go to work and have one hell of a morning with the computers at work.
I get a call about noon saying that the wife needs to go to the doctors because she’s not feeling all that well. I let the manager know I’m going for lunch, take the wife to the doctors office, sit in the waiting room for 2 hours, then after a 10 minute discussion, its suggested we go to the hospital.
To the car we go. As I back up out of my parking spot, I turn the wheel to the right, pull out, stop, look down at the gear shift to put it into Drive, look up, get ready to turn the wheel to the left, then just see out of the corner of my eye a driver on the opposite side of the parking lot put on his reverse light and begins to move. I can’t move at this point as I’m already nearly bumper to bumper with a car behind me. I watch him step on the gas, all the while fumbling with what looks to be his phone, and he runs right into me. Now my car makes weird noises when turning left. Low speed impact. Didn’t take out the head lamp fortunately.
I take photos with my cell phone of the two cars mating, have other people cussing and swearing at me, telling us that we need to move the cars, the cops aren’t going to do anything, yaddya, yadda. I also take pics of the guys drivers license, insurance info, and papers we wrote up and signed about what was already wrong with my vehicle.
We exchange our information, and the wife and I go to the hospital. I drop her off and go back to work.
I resume having a miserable day with the computers. I receive a call later that day that the wife is going to be staying in the hospital for a few days, so I have to take care of the kids, and get her stuff for her stay.
A few weeks later, my cell phone is lost. No backups of the photos taken of the accident, no photos of who this guy was. Damage is all mine to take care of.
After spending $800 (Incl req’d accessories) on a new cell phone due to my provider screwing me over with a $500 bill if I cancel the contract, I realized that I had the PIN of the old cell phone still stored on my computer. For a few weeks in hopes to get at least the pics back, I randomly poke it with “Are you there?” messages. I receive a reply, and obtain a name.
I go to the police who say they can’t do much.
I sit and wait a couple of days to figure out what I’m going to do.
Wife wants to go to the library, so I take her. She forgot her phone, so I gave her mine, and told her what the password is and specifically say just to push the keys. No shifts, no ctrls, no nothing. Just push the keys. I pick her up a few hours later, she tells me the phone has been reset because the password I gave her was wrong. 3 months of text history and new contacts gone. As is the name of the person who has my phone.
I restore a 3 month old backup to the phone. Fortunately I have the old PIN still laying around. I state that the phone was stolen, and that there is a reward for its return. No answer and still no name.
In my neighborhood, two years ago:
Five teenage girls, all about to graduate from high school, go on to college, etc., out on the road in an SUV.
All KILLED in a head on collision with a large truck.
They had crossed the center line, into the path of the oncoming truck. Police investigation revealed that someone in the vehicle was texting at the time of the collision.
hmm.. I am not paying attention to what other driver’s are doing.. cuz I am driving! LOL, oh I dunno… texting and eating a clumsy sandwich are probably the worst I’ve seen. Besides, some idiots can drive like fools without ANY distractions…
Alright, this one comes courtesy of one of my aunts. It’s crazy, but she swears she’s not making this up.
So she’s on the freeway in her SUV which, due to its height, gives her a good view of what others are doing in their cars. Up on her left comes this really nice classic convertible car that she can tell someone’s put a lot of work into. The guy pulls alongside her. She happens to look over and sees that he’s uhh…getting a little frisky with himself while driving. He sees that she sees him and she drives off, guessing that the guy will be embarrassed he was caught and just go away.
A few minutes later, this car catches up to her, and HE’S DOING IT AGAIN, looking right at her! So, to get her point across, she rolls down the window and throws a big thing of very greasy french fries into his leather interior and drives away.
My trouble has always been with four way stops. Seems that no one but myself and two other people are every paying attention. Inevitable there is always one person who runs right through without even realizing they’ve run through a stop. Alternately, when a traffic light is out of commission and it’s to be treated like a four way stop- no one knows this but me. :-(
I’ve personally only had one ‘distracted driver’ moment and it nearly killed me. I was driving home late one night from band practice which always tires me out, and in a moment of idiocy left my music bag (which contains stuff like lyrics, a mic, water etc. so it’s fairly heavy) on the front passenger seat next to me. Entering a road at a lower limit than my current speed. I slowed and the bag fell forwards off the seat.
My tired brain said ‘whoops, grab it!’ and I looked down-left (uk :P) and snatched it with my left hand, taking my eye off the road for about a nanosecond. When I lookd back, the headlights are showing me grass verge.
THUMP! up the verge, over the grass and as I struggle to keep the damn thing straight I see a streetlight pole go past to the right of me. Remember we Brits drive on the left. THUMP! again back to the tarmac and my journey continues with me shaken but not slain.
The kicker? I’ve driven that route many times since and kept an eye out for where my near-death happened. In the whole trip, there’s only one place where I could have fit onto the verge and not hit a pole. Something was clearly watching me that night- fortunately it wasn’t the police :)