We were getting ready for bed last night when the call came in. MVA. Single vehicle MVA. You’d be surprised how many of those we get in this area, being on the intersection of two secondary highways. It’s the ‘secondary’ bit that makes the difference – people always think they can speed and won’t get caught.
These guys…barreling along the road when a deer runs out in front of them. Hit the brakes and spun the wheel. NOT a good idea. Once you hit the brakes, you don’t have as much control over the vehicle. Yanking on the wheel? Inviting the vehicle to decide where it wants to go.
This one chose the ditch, in a roll. Car with a canvas roof, which was ripped right off as the vehicle spun, not around but over.
One of the guys inside said he felt the dirt on his head when it happened. The other guy was ejected.
You hear about an accident like that, and it’s easy enough to understand how it happens. You’re tearing along the highway after dark. All of a sudden an animal runs out in front of you. Not everybody reacts with calm, calculated logic. Hitting the brakes is the obvious thing to do. A lot of people don’t realize pulling hard on the wheel when you’ve hit the brakes can be a bad combination. The two guys in that car? They’re lucky to both be alive.
And then there are people who’re just stupid. Surely you’ve heard by now, about the woman who decided to give her dog driving lessons.
I mean, some people are stupid, but this really takes the cake. Should anyone who actually thinks it’s okay to give their dog driving lessons be allowed to have a license themselves? Doesn’t the very act of putting your dog behind the wheel demonstrate your two random brain cells don’t connect often? I mean, I’m sorry. I love dogs. But thinking one has the intelligence needed to drive?
It can be really easy to identify idiots, once they’re behind the wheel of a car. The only problem is, they often have a sufficiently large vehicle that can be used to kill people.
The other day, author Eileen Cook mentioned the road trip relationship test on her blog. I had to smile. On our third date Kevin and I did a full day trip, out of the city. But it was about a month later, when we drove to Vancouver to visit my friends that a whole new side of his shiny personality emerged.
His pissed off at how stupid people drive personality. What were some of those golden lines? If I were that old I’d drive everywhere fast because I’d be afraid of dying en route. I know, I know, but it is kind of funny. It’s not getting any greener! Who hasn’t wanted to shout that at somebody who’s sitting there at a green light, staring off into space? Then they clue in, just in time to get through the light themselves and keep everyone else waiting.
And you don’t want to hear either of us talk about bicyclists in the downtown core. Really. I’ll make enemies. Oh, come on. Go green and all that, but get a brain while you’re at it! What burns me about these bike couriers is that they don’t follow any rules of the road. They’re a car when it suits them, a pedestrian when it’s to their advantage, and go completely rogue when they feel like it. They have no rules.
Kevin got hit by a bicyclist once. Guy whipped into a parking lot and hit the front of Kevin’s car. And you know what? The bicyclist tried to blame Kevin for hitting him, but witnesses came forward and the bicyclist got charged.
I was hit by a bicyclist once myself. I was running up a footpath at night, to my house. It was dark, and this was British Columbia, on the coast, so when I say it was dark I mean BC pacific dark, not Alberta semi-dark. I didn’t see the bicyclist whipping down (no bike light) until it was almost too late. We both had a split second to make a decision – I moved right, he moved left. Since we were heading in opposite directions, that means he ran right into me. I was lucky enough that my head hit the grass and I was still knocked unconscious.
I’ve also been hit by a car while riding a bicycle. I’m hopelessly accident-prone, although that incident wasn’t my fault either. I was on the side of the road, which was the law. By law I was entitled to one full lane in passing – Ontario in the 70s. This guy, it was his 80th birthday and he’d just gone to town to pick up a cake and thought he’d try to get by with his boat anyway, despite the oncoming traffic. He hit me. I don’t remember what I hit in the process – something after flipping through the air, because I had to have stitches in my head.
And I’ve already shared the story about our accident in Tunisia.
So, I’ve had my share of accidents on vehicles, or with vehicles. And you know, I think that’s what it is that brings out so much rage for people when they’re driving, when they see people doing stupid things.
It’s an anger sometimes born of fear.
Everyone I knew was chomping at the bit, anxious to get their license when they turned 16. I didn’t get my license until I was almost 20. Oh, I had my learner’s when I was 16 and I even drove a few times, but I was always keenly aware of the fact that I had the power in my hands to take lives. I’ve always had a heightened sense of responsibility that way. I could never just take on that privilege with the casual attitude almost everyone else did, like driving was their entitlement.
I know there are people who aren’t going to like me for saying it, but that’s one of the things that irks me about some drivers with the ‘baby on board’ signs in the back. It shouldn’t matter. People shouldn’t ever need to be told to treat any vehicle on the road any differently, because everyone should be driving with due care and attention… Right? And I’ve got to say that I think this woman got off lightly. I think they should have charged her for child endangerment as well, but I’m not going to get started or this will be a full-blown rant. But for crying out loud, if you’re in an accident what do you think will happen? Your baby is going to go flying out the window. Don’t people think?
One of the things I had to look up and correct in Suspicious Circumstances had to do with road laws. Well, I wrote the book originally two years ago. Things can change. And one thing I needed to know was if it was legal to drive and talk on a cell phone. What a pain. I’m even trying to be law-abiding in fiction.
There’s no doubt in my mind I could go on and on about the stupid things I’ve seen people do while driving, but maybe you guys have some stories.
And if blogger plays nice today (wow, has it been grumpy this past week – I’ve had trouble commenting everywhere) you can share them with me. Come on, I’m in the home stretch on these edits. I could use smiles and distractions.