Driving while distracted



OK, pay attention, this is complicated.  Guy in jeep suv is coming out of Timmies with his medium double double, southbound toward the highway.  As he approaches the stop sign, he reaches for the radio, and spills the double double on his, um, lap.  His reaction takes his foot off the brake, the jeep leaps forward almost across the westbound lane of the highway before he gets it stopped.

Guy in westbound F250 deisel is talking on his cellphone when he sees the jeep leap forward into his path.  He manages to swerve his big machine around the jeep and back into his own lane without putting a dent in anything, a bit of excellent driving there, tho he did drop the cellphone.

Woman in eastbound Dodge Caravan is in the center left turn lane planning to turn into Timmies while trying to referee the two teenagers fighting in the back.  Doesn’t notice the Jeep, looks up to see the monster Ford bearing down in her lane, and instead of braking, she swerves to the right, into the eastbound, through lane.

Travelling salesman in his Malibu is in the eastbound lane, heading back to T Bay after an, ahem, interlude with his ladyfriend, which included a beer and half a glass of wine.  Happy and mellow, until a Dodge Caravan in the left turn lane, left signals flashing, suddenly lurches right, without even the warning of brake lights flashing on.  He chooses to swerve off the road to miss the Dodge, Malibu ends up upside-down in the ditch. 

Now we divide our story into two scenarios, a), he is unhurt, and b) he is killed on impact.

Clearly, all four drivers are ‘driving while distracted’, not properly focussed on the job of staying safe.  The guy most distracted, and who initiated the event is the guy with a burned crotch.  Second most distracted would be the lady with the fighting teenagers, she did not even see the start of the event.  The truck-driver displayed the most attention to what was happening, and the most skill in avoiding doing damage, however, in scenario a), he would be charged with ‘distracted driving’ (cellphone) and assigned responsibility for the accident, with attending insurance cost and damaged driving record.

The salesman is very much the innocent victim in all this, however, in scenario b) he is killed, and in the course of an autopsy the presence of alcohol is discovered.  Responsibility for the accident now falls on him, and adds to the statistic that says alcohol is involved in 40% of all accidents, another bullet in the war to legalize marijuana.  More next week.

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