Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wednesday Drivin’Bloggin’ – Stop Signs and Red Lights are for Stopping

If it was safe to yield, there would be a yield sign there.

According to the National Safety Council, in a study of Good Drivers that got killed while driving,

Sixteen percent of drivers in our analysis were killed because another driver either did not see, purposely ignored, or showed poor judgment at a stop sign.

Note this link is to a downloading .doc file, don’t click on it unless you’re comfortable with that. Otherwise, this link, at least for now, is to the html google cache of it.

This article puts the onus of being wary of bad drivers on the good drivers, and doesn’t yell at the bad drivers.

Red-light running turned out to be another deadly accident for innocent drivers, killing eight percent of them. When the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety monitored a busy intersection in Arlington County, Virginia, for several months, they found a driver running the light every 12 minutes on average. It was as high as once every five minutes during peak rush hours. "That's more than 100 chances a day for an unsuspecting motorist to become a crash victim," says Institute safety expert Richard Retting.

Two days ago, a man in a pick up barreled through the red light of a left turn arrow in front of me. I was leading the oncoming traffic and watched him as he floored it 4 or 5 car lengths before the intersection as the green turned yellow, then barreled through the red. Luckily for me at least, and perhaps for him, I had seen him speed up and instead of accelerating into the intersection and dying, I leaned on my horn.

In general, I think horns should be reserved for safety violations or to bring someone’s attention to a dangerous situation, and not for expressing anger, but I think my bringing his ahole behavior to his attention then turned into an expression of anger as he looked up and waved to me.

Not a “oops, sorry,” wave, or a “my mother’s in the hospital and I’ve got to go,” wave, or even a “yea yea, I probably shouldn’t have,” wave. It was a “Hello you silly woman, have a nice day, I just ran this red light and you can’t stop me,” wave. You know, those elaborate FU waves that are energetic and go on and on. I continued to lean on my horn throughout.

So while he was waving at me, he almost ran over a woman who was walking across the street, she thought, with the light.

So I accept that my part of it wasn’t innocent.

What would he have said if he had hit her or me? “It was an accident; I didn’t mean to hit the woman”? “I only meant to run the red light”?

It wouldn’t have been an accident. Accident are unforeseeable and uncontrollable. It is perfectly foreseeable that when rolling through a Stop, flooring it to beat the red light, or turning into oncoming traffic you might Kill Someone.

So the National Safety Council can say, that “Please people look out for idiots.”

Crankycindy sez, "Please Idiots, Stop Running Red Lights and Stop Signs!"

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