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Idiots Who Drive - Don't Be An Idiot

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This is not from a chain mail or another website. This happened to me, Bill, this morning.

On my way to work this morning, I found myself adversely impacted by the idiocy of another driver.

Now, while we all think everybody else is an idiot, everyone needs to look closer to home. As in, look in the mirror and evaluate is there an idiot driving your car.

The most dangerous thing on the road right now fits into the palm of your hand, and many people have it located in their palm when on the road. That item is a cell phone.

I was in the right lane, abiding by the speed limit of 40MPH. A person driving a bright yellow pickup with tinted windows was driving in the left lane. The weather was lousy. Raining and overcast.

The driver in the left lane had their cell phone up above steering wheel height. Apparently texting or looking for the correct number to dial. More concerned with their own little world than the one they were driving in, they started merging right. They did not use their blinkers and they definitely did not look in their mirrors before starting the merge.

Unlike the car my wife drives, mine does not have Traction Control nor a pristine ABS system. I hit the horn and started stepping (not slamming) the brakes. In the wet conditions though, all four tires locked up putting me into a 40MPH skid with traffic ahead, beside, and behind me. The skid carried me into the curb. Had I not taken an evasive driving course in the military, I have to wonder if I would have lost control of the vehicle and gone into a spin. I was able to maintain control and limp it into the parking of the Madison County Human Resources building.

The damage to my vehicle is both rims on the right-side are bent and need to be replaced. Luckily, I do not use my car as a status symbol, so my rims are stock steel rims. Both tires will need to be replaced. Additionally, my steering is now out almost 10 degrees left.

The driver of the pickup continued their merge even after hearing my horn. I did not get their license plate number. I was a bit more intent on maintaining control of my car as to not spin out in front of oncoming traffic.

No use calling my insurance company. The rims, tires, and front end alignment will probably run the same amount as my deductable.

So, some idiot just cost me about $500 for the sake of a text message or a phone call.

For the sake of other drivers:

1) Unless you have a completely hands free, voice activated cell phone system, leave the blasted thing alone while you are driving. Don't even look at it to see who is calling. Wait until you are at a stop light or stop sign.

2) There are mirrors and blinkers on your vehicle for a reason. Use them!

3) Don't stare at the radio or GPS in traffic. If you don't like the song that's on, turn the radio off instead of fiddling with it while looking at the display. Program your GPS in a parking lot or, better yet, before you even leave.

4) Forget about your little world when driving in the big world. Not paying attention to the big world can bring an abrupt end to your's or someone else's little world.

5) Wait until you are at your destination to take the lid off of that scalding hot cup of coffee or open the wrapper on that triple-decker hamburger.

I don't really care about your little world. I care about mine. I don't want your inability to pay attention to the big world to cause my little world financial strain or to come to an end.

Please pass this along to those you know. Maybe someone who is an idiot will realize they're being an idiot and maybe, just maybe, stop being an idiot.

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as i know on topic issues :

- there is in some countries law forbidden to use cellphone if you drive (ticket/fee)

have no idea how in US

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It goes by state and sometimes only by the individual cities over here.

I have a smart phone like many others. I am a program manager in biomedical, and I get calls constantly from biomed techs needing assistance. Unless I have my hands free system hooked up, I don't answer it or make calls on it while driving. They can leave a voice mail.

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In Germany it's strictly forbidden - I know of a few fellows who paid about a 40 € for this.

Nevertheless I am quite astonished by people driving expensive limousines but not having the few Euros for buying a free-hand-phoning thingie ....

It makes phoning quite comfortable by the way ...

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Cell phones are a small part of the problem, people drive astonishingly bad for all sorts of reasons. I'm always happy when they end up dead though, so there is some comfort.

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In Germany it's strictly forbidden - I know of a few fellows who paid about a 40 € for this.

The fine here is 120€! Guess what the fine for missing proper winter equipment(winter tyres or chains)? 120€. That's just if they're doing a check up, there's no snow on the road and it's technically still autumn. Guess what the fine is for obstructing traffic DUE to improper winter equipment? 400€. IIRC the fine for the former is 40€ in germany and 120€ for the latter.

And this is in a country with a gdp of nearly half that of Germany. Is our goverment mental? Yes it is.

In any case, cases of people nearly running into me are rather numerous. On one occasion I only looked in my mirror, counted three cars, saw three cars pass and then wanted to change lane. there was a fourth one. In my drousy sleepy state I missed one because I didn't look over my shoulder. That was a near hit. Since then onwards I look over my shoulder constantly. Mirrors are not enough. But I have had more cases of people nearly hitting me than me them, so it balances out. :p

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You've always been fined in Australia for using a cellphone while driving, but they were trying to introduce a law that allowed police to confiscate the mobile phones. The law never passed though.

When the mrs and I were moving into our first apartment we went to the real estate agents and they were doing some works on a wall. I asked if they were doing renovations and the lady said, "no, this morning a 16 year old, while textin on her phone, went over a medium strip, across 5 lans, up on the pavement and through the wall"

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I had a close call myself.

Driving in rush hour traffic down a 60kph (IIRC) road, both my lane and the oncoming lane are very busy.

Some car pops out of a driveway right in front of me, it never stopped or anything, so it was only visible as it came barging out of the driveway. In the car I see a woman yapping on her cellphone.

I had to swerve into the oncoming lane to avoid it. If there didn't happen to be a gap on the oncoming lane I probably would have crashed into her, hitting the drivers side and causing serious injury to her.

Seen a few other minor cases of cellphone idiots. Like some woman in the fast lane blocking everybody that was trying to use the lane for overtaking. She was driving slowly while yapping into her phone.

Seems more common with women, but maybe that's just my experience. New Zealand just recently banned cellphones while driving, about time.

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Oh yeah, forgot the gist: don't talk on cellphones while driving. I hate it when somebody calls me when I'm in my car.

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-Total- as now you see - simply your country has lack of law restrictions, that other countries have

not only in this area, in other areas too, that for people from other countries are "natural" , simply your country regulates completely other things, but it would be offtop

i don't want offtop about "Sicko" , civil law, children care, nazi freedom etc.

but look at example of bumpers in trailers

i remember one program in TV:

some people in US died beheaded by trailer, when their car get under trailer

families of those who died wanted transportation organizations to issue bumpers on sides of trailers

US transport associations heads told "it is nowhere in world" "it would cost a lot" "who will pay milions" "senseless idea" "noone use it in world" etc.

well, i can tell you, in most of world countries - you cannot produce/register/use trailer WITHOUT such side bumpers

so ???

what they said in US transportation owners association ? "noone in world use it " "nowhere present" etc.

so how does it meet other world law ?

if for someone his own house and barn is whole world and he say opinion of others only looking at his own home... you have problems

how many beheaded by trailers in US ? how many of would be alive if US had the same technical requirement than we have ?

like we have forbidden to talk by mobile while driving (unless not have loud speaker)

unless you have such law, anyone can drive chating by phone and you can die on road

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Vilas, please stop with these silly anti-US rants. You're not a fan, we get it, but you don't have to remind us in every single thread you post in...

Besides, stupid drivers aren't limited to the USA. I've seen silly drivers in Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, the UK. Well, pretty much the every single country I've ever been to.

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Not being an idiot here. Always fasten my seatbelt, don´t answer any calls, and never never, really never, don´t even think of driving while drunk.

Just don´t want to give the police a reason to stop & fine me.

As for other drivers, they aren´t really schooled in driving anymore. The industry puts a huge effort into features that hold a suggestive feeling of security for them. Partly it´s an inevitable progress, but the big downside is that most stupid and untalented individuals are´nt forced anymore knowing how to drive properly. Street is wet? No problem, my car can handle it. I´m driving way to fast on a speed restricted road? Who cares, car will handle it...

All those shiny gimmicks bring alot of good things, but in some ways, especially when tailored for persons who are actually unable to drive at all (speak: elderly people), it just goes way too far.

Gone are the times when the telling went: It´s you who drives the vehicle, not the vehicle driving you.

"lookie here dear customer, this wonderul high class car has everything, ESP, ABS, traction control ... it´ll literally make you invulnerable!"

"oh yes that´s bloody brilliant, i´m sold!"

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I indeed used to answer SMS/Emails during driving - meaning each time that this is cool and I was somehow proud that I could handle that.

You know, "men are able to communicate quite abbreviated" :rolleyes: , like sending just an

"!"

instead of

"Hi xy!

Yes, thank you. That's quite ok for me.

I will act as proposed by you.

We'll meet exactly where you wanted us to and at that very certain time.

How did you know that's this is the place and time I would really appreciate to see you?

Thank you, see you then, bye, bye ..., yours sincerely ... etc. pp."

But lately I read in a newspaper that a nice young girl of 18 yrs happened to get worstly wounded in an accident she caused by answering an SMS. She was close to dying.

And I began to think about my children watching me doing that fucking shit ... and learning this from me. You never learn better than by just watching and imitating. Much better than by being told something ...

Why would I never write an SMS while driving during a game of BIS but did do that in real life?

Strange shit.

Edited by Herbal Influence
spallin'

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Its illegal here too. I think its a £60 on the spot fine.

There was a good ad campaign a few years ago. Wife at home calling her husband, who is driving, talking about dinner. Camera is on her. Then she hears a smash, the phone goes dead. Certainly got the message through. Unfortunately, its human nature to think, "yeah, but that wont happen to me".

Personally, I'm in favor of a more hands on approach. Like stuffing the mobile so far up their arse, they'll be farting the Nokia tone for 6 months.

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The human brain is not particulary good at multitasking. When trying to do several tasks at once, each task receives only partial attention. That may be fine in some situations, however, a lack of focus in traffic is not a good thing.

In germany the fine is 40 EUR (59 USD) + 1 pt. on your administrative driving record. An accumulation of 18 pts on that record will get your driving license confiscated. I agree tough, some people don't need a cell phone in their hand to endanger themselves and others in traffic.

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The fact is speed alone doesnt kill, its the bad driving that kills, if everyone stay focus while driving, use hand free and keep the calling time short, be aware of road signs and speed limit, dont break safty rules, and more importantly, never drive when you are drunk(even a little) or very tired, if everyone are driving like that the chance of getting a bump due to human factor is very low, saddly however, most people dont give shit on that

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A long time ago (*sigh*) when i was learning to drive, my mother brought it to the point: "Son, as soon you've taken seat behind the wheel, you got one foot in jail and the other in the grave".

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the first time our stupid politicians in Canada did something good, $500 fine if you found using a cell phone, only hands free is allowed, which if you ask me is stupid, being on a cell phone while driving is distracting regardless.

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...as is listening to a radio, eating food, drinking liquids, talking to your passenger(s), thinking about the day's events, fumbling around for cruise control, glancing at the scenery going by, monitoring your speedometer, listening for strange car noises, adjusting the climate controls, ect.

Texting on a phone I can see as bad, but talking on a phone? How is that any different than getting into a conversation with a passenger? And don't tell me that talking to passengers is dangerous. It is probably more dangerous to focus solely on the road and get extremely bored/tired/inattentive than it is to break up the monotony with a conversation or two. I use my cell phone when needed as I drive, and I treat it no differently than in in-person conversation. If events warrant my paying attention to the road, I put the conversation on hold until the situation clears itself.

-Student Pilot

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