By The Husband AKA Shelby Steiner
So this isn’t really a nerd thing but I need to vent.
You see, the wife and I live in a college town and attend the university as well. We bounce between going to class and working every day so we end up driving quite a bit during the week. Well, during these commutes I’ve had several close-calls over the last year or so, exponentially more than the previous 10 or so years that I’ve been driving (God I’m old). To give you some context, our town only has around 10,000 people living here.
I fancy myself a good driver, despite what my wife might say. I always wear my seat belt, I always signal before changing lanes or turning, I stop completely at signals, I generally only drive at a maximum of 5mph over the speed limit, I don’t use my phone while driving (my car is a manual anyway), and I do my best to remain aware of my surroundings at all times.
So now I’m going to rant.
People that ignore stop signs/lights
Seriously, what the hell is the problem with stopping at a signal/sign long enough to wait for a clear path? This is the majority of the problems that I run into. Take these for example:
- I was passing through a green light when a lady in an SUV ran a red light to turn left onto the interstate (from her lane that was green for traffic travelling straight ahead) in front of me. She was staring at her phone for directions to the interstate.
- A twenty-something woman decided that a two-way stop was a four-way stop and proceeded to go straight ahead. I slammed on my brakes because she looked like she was going to keep moving and she took that as permission to go ahead.
- Just today (the reason I’m posting this), a teenage girl did a rolling stop without looking in my direction and only stopped after seeing me screech to a halt in front of her.
In each of those cases, the driver completely ignored me. How hard is it to just stop and look both ways before going?
Speaking of that… Our campus has several roads surrounding it, with designated crosswalks. It’s appalling how many students take the “Pedestrian has the right-of-way” as “Pedestrian doesn’t even need to look before crossing the road”. I’ve watched many students walking around on their phones and just walk out into the street, sometimes not even at a crosswalk, and not even look before crossing.
At least one student was hit by a car this semester for this reason. Apparently he or she walked out into traffic without looking.
Oblivious TO Pedestrians
Just today alone, I almost ended up decorating the pavement with my entrails because a student driving through the parking lot failed to pay attention. She swung around the end of the parking lot to snag a parking space and I caught her in the corner of my eye. I stopped just in time to watch her fly past me without any pause.
Is it necessary to drive full-speed through the parking lot? I mean, it’s not like you’ll be able to snag a parking space at 30mph. Also, how difficult is it to turn your stupid head to the left or right to see that I’m walking where you’re careening towards?
Parking no nos
This one is more of a pet peeve than dangerous, but c’mon. It isn’t that difficult to find a space and park in it correctly.
Students at our university are terrible about this.
It kills me because not only do my wife and I make great efforts to be safe on the road, but we just paid off our car too. I’d hate to have my car totaled because some jackwagon couldn’t be bothered to pay attention. Some people have the situational awareness of a rock I guess.