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Author Topic: Why are car drivers so stupid??  (Read 4754 times)
HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2009, 06:34:08 PM »

I remember last year when we were headed to Florida, I was on a small state road with a 55mph speed limit  There was a cross road that had a nice obvious stop sign and a car was sitting stopped at it.  As I was approaching it I got off the throttle and positioned my foot for the brake, just in case. All of a sudden while looking right at me, they pulled out across in front of me.  I laid into the brakes and the horn and they laid into their gas pedal and we managed to miss by a couple feet.  I spent the next few hours hoping they had to head home for a change.
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John316
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2009, 07:20:11 PM »

I had a green left turn arrow, once when I was in my truck, and it had just turned green. I am a easy going driver, so I didn't jump right on the gas. I just started pulling out when somebody came blowing through their red light, I laid on the horn, and they had to interrupt their cell conversation, to look bewildered Roll Eyes Tongue Roll Eyes.

I don't get it.

God bless,

John
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RJ
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2009, 09:15:54 PM »

Sometimes the bus driver wins:

Just before I left the local transit agency, I investigated an accident that almost resulted in a fatal.

Gillig Phantom was westbound going under the railroad tracks in a 35 mph zone on a wide four-lane street, albeit with limited visibility.

EB out-of-town driver in a Jeep Cherokee decides to make a LH turn right in front of the bus, even tho there are five different signs indicating "No Left Turn" at this intersection, both EB & WB.

Bus driver kept the steering straight (important point!) and stood on the brakes, but T-boned the Cherokee anyway.  Based on skid marks, impact speed was estimated to be 28-32 mph.

Impact sent Jeep across the intersection, where it was literally wrapped around the light signal pole on the NW corner - fortunately it hit the pole in the driver's side rear passenger door.  Had it hit at the driver's door itself, it would have killed the driver.

As it was, Jeep driver was momentarily knocked unconscious.  After he came to, he told PD that he never saw the signs, nor the oncoming bus.  He was looking for an address when he made his illegal left turn.

Transit operator was actually complimented by PD for not trying to avoid the accident by swerving - said by keeping the coach going straight, it reduced the potential for more serious injuries to the 10 passengers who were on board at the time.  (And for us who operate highway models, it reduces the risk of putting the coach on it's side!)

The Jeep was totaled, it's driver cited, the transit driver got an "attaboy" from PD (and an Unavoidable accident review rating from Operations).

The Phantom?  Shop replaced the two RH headlights, the turn signal assembly and then sent the coach back out on the street for an afternoon rush tripper!

Sometimes the bus wins!!

FWIW & HTH. . .

Smiley

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RJ Long
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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2009, 06:10:03 PM »

I believe that these people think that they are bullet proof.  Two weeks ago I was
traveling north on California Hwy 99, a woman driving a smaller Toyota was coming onto
the freeway and paced me [I was in the right hand lane], she wouldn't speed up or slow down,
had it not been for the air horn on my 04, I think I would have had to comb Toyota pieces
out of the side of mt coach.  I read somewhere where this problem is called Honda Civic-itis:
the smaller the car the worse it behaves in front of a large vehicle.  Most of these people don't have
a clue that we are partially blind and can't stop as quickly as they can.  To borrow a prayer from
Fiddler on the Roof: "God bless and keep these cars FAR-away from us."
Blessings,
David
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TomC
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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2009, 10:13:47 PM »

All I can say is that I have my 4 tone Buell air horns on my truck and my bus-they are very loud and I do use them.  They are an imitation train horn with the bells made of plastic, but very loud.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2009, 11:00:21 PM »

One time in Miami (which btw i am convinced has some of the worst drivers ever), i was making a left out of a parking lot.  I waited until i was clear, and began to pull out.  There were about 4 cars that were traveling in the same direction that i was turning, but they were a long distance away.  One would assume that as a 40ft bus + trailer begins to pull out in front of them, they would slow down and let the bus go, but i guess 'i dont want to be stuck behind a large vehicle' syndrome kicked in.  The first car proceeded to pass me on the shoulder as i was amidst turning (may i also add that this was a 2 lane road, one lane each direction) and my coach was perpendicular to the road, blocking both lanes....but i guess the shoulder is considered fair game?  The second and third cars followed, the third car going halfway on the grass.  The 4th car attempted to try to also pass me but thats when i got completely frustrated and just stopped the bus, blocking both lanes and the shoulder, laid down on the horn, and had a one of the bandmates who had his shirt off pop out yelling 'what are you doing???'

you could tell based on the reaction that the driver of the car clearly did not think that he was doing anything dangerous, or out of the ordinary.
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2009, 11:47:04 PM »

One time I remember being in somewhat of an opposite situation where I nearly got hammered by a school bus driver.  I was in my car in downtown Birmingham on the freeway in the right lane at entirely the wrong time of day.  It was a tightly packed traffic jam crawling 5-10mph.  No room to move anywhere other than stay with the flow. 

As we were going by one of those on ramps with very little merging lane space, I heard the sound from my right (remember I am in the right lane) of a large engine turning much faster than the traffic flow.  I look to the right and see a large front engine school bus coming at me from the on ramp as if she thought I would somehow magically get out of the way.  Traffic was packed tight and there was no place to go so I just laid into the horn.

Just in time she snapped it right and went down the shoulder (being sure to blow her horn at us to express herself). She stayed on the shoulder, still moving faster than traffic flow until a few hundred feet up the road she had to stop because of a narrow shoulder ahead.

Anybody that has driven a big vehicle knows that sometimes you have to rely on your size to "bully" your way into traffic.  But when the traffic is moving at a low speed like that and there is only about a half car length between cars, where exactly did she think cars were going to go?  If she had been nice about it and slowed down or stopped early on with the turn signal on, somebody would have come to a stop to make a notch for her to come in.  But enough cars saw how she did it, that nobody was letting her in for a while.
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Lee Bradley
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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2009, 09:30:13 AM »

One time in Miami (which btw i am convinced has some of the worst drivers ever), i was making a left out of a parking lot.  I waited until i was clear, and began to pull out.  There were about 4 cars that were traveling in the same direction that i was turning, but they were a long distance away.  One would assume that as a 40ft bus + trailer begins to pull out in front of them, they would slow down and let the bus go, but i guess 'i dont want to be stuck behind a large vehicle' syndrome kicked in.  The first car proceeded to pass me on the shoulder as i was amidst turning (may i also add that this was a 2 lane road, one lane each direction) and my coach was perpendicular to the road, blocking both lanes....but i guess the shoulder is considered fair game?  The second and third cars followed, the third car going halfway on the grass.  The 4th car attempted to try to also pass me but thats when i got completely frustrated and just stopped the bus, blocking both lanes and the shoulder, laid down on the horn, and had a one of the bandmates who had his shirt off pop out yelling 'what are you doing???'

you could tell based on the reaction that the driver of the car clearly did not think that he was doing anything dangerous, or out of the ordinary.

Sorry but no points. If you had waited until the road was 'clear', those cars would not have reached your position before you were on the road. You are one of those drivers who think traffic should stop for you because you have a big rig and pulled out in front of them. By your own admission, you saw the traffic and decided to pull out in front of them. Bad decision.
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NJT 5573
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« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2009, 01:35:25 PM »

My favorite,

I'm rolling along at the speed limit in the slow lane and someone enters from the on ramp. They ignore the merge sign in their lane, pull right up beside me and look at me like I have an obligation! When I don't slow down and let them go, they get upset!

Pulled 2, 13 wide X 58 long overhead cranes last week. Rolled with the flow, got squeezed a little by my left lane traffic so moved a little to the right. Smokey stopped a car in the shoulder work area with very little parking. Smokey is trained it's safer to get out in front of trucks than car drivers. (Probably is if you check for oversize loads first). Last second he steps right out in front of my wide load. I laid on the air horn and he hit the ground just as the crane went by. Good or lucky, it doesn't matter, still rolling...

We put Hazardous Placards on loads to communicate the danger. I haul Dynamite for Alaska mines. People drive their family's right up along side my "Explosives A" and basically go to sleep, same with gasoline...If I am driving any personal vehicle or the family and there is a hazmat load anywhere around, I am either running away from it or following it at a fair distance depending on what it is. We burn a load of gas around here about twice a year. The Placards are there, the danger has been communicated, so I guess there is no good reason car drivers are stupid...Personally, I don't ever want to be burned, blown up, maybe, but not burned..

For John, sometimes it is appropriate to lend help at an accident scene. Around Seattle Tacoma in a 12 hour shift time you can see 6 or more accidents, more if the rain or snow is heavy. Even if you are directly involved, Smokey really appreciates it if you don't park a load of Dynamite, Propane or Gasoline and jump out of the unit. Your responsibility is to continue on to a safe place to stop. Sometimes with explosives or flammable, the nearest safe place to stop is a long way from an accident scene. You could spend all day just getting involved if you chose, but its not always the best thing to do.

I was young when my uncle lost both legs at a California Good Samaratan accident. I have seen others similarly injured as well over the years. If you are going to get involved at an accident site, you need to be on your toes every second. If you want to walk well until you are real old, best to stay in your rig around here, cause there's lots of wrecks everyday and just about every wreck is caused by stupidity.
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« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2009, 02:06:15 PM »

I drive race cars and I ride motorcycles - motorcycles for 35 years, race cars for 22.  I learned 35 years ago that the only person responsible for my well-being when I was on my bike was me, 100% at fault for any accident I was involved in.  With that attitude, it becomes my responsibility for predicting and accomodating any action that another motorist might take that might involve me.  In racing, it's easy to blame the other guy, but Ken Schrader, a classic race car driver, had a great saying - he would listen to which ever young buck was blaming the other guy for taking him out and say "You strap on the race car, you're at least 50% to blame for anything that happens, and the blame only goes up from there!".

Yeah, I'll pull out when some other driver might have to put on the brakes and slow down a tad, but I'll try hard not to.  I'll look out for the guy who's going to left turn in front of me, and be awful ready to brake.  I see it as my obligation to make it easy for the guy in the on ramp to merge, and I'll slow down or change lanes to let him do it.  And when I'm driving the bus, I absolutely look for every single car driver to do every single stupid thing imaginable, at any time!  Keeps me on my toes!

Brian

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« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2009, 02:32:40 PM »

Quote
I have learned over the years not to help at accident scenes, it's a good way to lose your life because usually the accident is going to continue happening for a while. My family is trained to always stay in our vehicle.


NJT, I was just responding to your statement. You said NOTHING about have placarded loads. You said nothing about stopping if it was a critical accident. I was just saying, if I can save a life, I will do it. If we wouldn't have stopped to help in that motorcycle wreck, then those two bikers would have died.

We don't stop for a fender bender. We will only stop if nobody else is there, and if it looks to be an injury accident.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2009, 06:26:23 PM »

not entirely relevant war story...

I'm sitting in my MGB, second in line at a stop sign. see some jackass in a jacked up pickup truck coming up fast behind me, head turned 90 degrees right, looking at his passenger.

laid on the horn and bailed into the ditch on the right. hillbilly smashed into the station wagon in front, totaled it. cop sitting in a gas station waiting to turn left saw it all.

station wagon guy and cop both climbed my tailfeathers. they thought I was obligated to sit in my tiny car and act like a shock absorber between pickup man and the station wagon. more mad at me than at truck driving man.
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« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2009, 10:49:37 PM »

Lee,

all i am going to say i would in no way ever purposely jeopardize anyones safety.  i know my coach pretty darn well, and driving 400+ miles every night i know when is clear and when is not clear.  not trying to step on your toes, but the clear slander was a bit uncalled for.  but i appreciate your insight.

-ilya
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« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2009, 08:04:08 AM »

One time in Miami (which btw i am convinced has some of the worst drivers ever), i was making a left out of a parking lot.  I waited until i was clear, and began to pull out.  There were about 4 cars that were traveling in the same direction that i was turning, but they were a long distance away.  One would assume that as a 40ft bus + trailer begins to pull out in front of them, they would slow down and let the bus go, but i guess 'i dont want to be stuck behind a large vehicle' syndrome kicked in.  The first car proceeded to pass me on the shoulder as i was amidst turning (may i also add that this was a 2 lane road, one lane each direction) and my coach was perpendicular to the road, blocking both lanes....but i guess the shoulder is considered fair game?  The second and third cars followed, the third car going halfway on the grass.  The 4th car attempted to try to also pass me but thats when i got completely frustrated and just stopped the bus, blocking both lanes and the shoulder, laid down on the horn, and had a one of the bandmates who had his shirt off pop out yelling 'what are you doing???'

you could tell based on the reaction that the driver of the car clearly did not think that he was doing anything dangerous, or out of the ordinary.

Sorry but no points. If you had waited until the road was 'clear', those cars would not have reached your position before you were on the road. You are one of those drivers who think traffic should stop for you because you have a big rig and pulled out in front of them. By your own admission, you saw the traffic and decided to pull out in front of them. Bad decision.

I agree, that was slander. Sometimes in DC or Baltimore, just in a car,  "Clear" is at best, 200 yards, otherwise you are holding up cars in a parking lot. Here in Western PA, things aren't much better. Visibility is on average, less than  1/4 mile, 440 yards, or 15 seconds at 60 mph. Yet it takes 8-12 for the average car/SUV/minivan to get up to that speed. Not much extra room there, in my humble opinion. So what is the definition of "Clear", wait until nobody else in on the road, say 2:00 AM?

I've never been to Miami, but I've read (On these boards) that the traffic is as bad as DC and Philadelphia. I'll take your word for it and say that if you had more than a 15 second time lapse, 1/4 mile opening, you were pretty darned lucky and technically "Clear". Anthing else is just plain unrealistic, unless you can make use of a stoplight.
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« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2009, 08:27:38 AM »

The other option is to not turn left if traffic is heavy and to just turn right and then turn left down the road and turn around on a side street or parking lot.  Certainly a lot harder to do with a bus than a car.

I do this at times when I stop at the hardware store during rush hour.  The traffic is so heavy it could take 10 minutes to make a left turn.  I will not risk a crash so I tend to be a bit more conservative than other drivers.  I have had drivers pull around me to make a turn and nearly crash.  Often times I just make a right turn and then turn around down the road a little ways.

If vehicles with the right of way have to slow down or stop because a vehicle turned onto the road then the turning vehicle is in the wrong, every time.  Vehicles do this all the time, even when they could have waited another 5 seconds for the road to be clear.

Just because you are driving a bus or other large vehicle doesn't give you special rights to block the road or to cause vehicles with the right of way to stop or slow down.  The only time I can see it being acceptable is backing into a driveway.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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