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Friday, August 20, 2004

Stupid people

What is the problem with so many people in this world, whose powers of awareness and common sense are seriously lacking?

I was walking to work this morning after getting off the bus in the city. I get off at the bus stop, walk around a corner, walk up a road for a block, around another corner and there's work. This morning I walked around the corner and up the road, and there was a huge truck sitting there with its right-hand indicator on. I had one of those thoughts, 'hmm, he's obviously not turning right, 'cause he's stopped too far back from the intersection, so he must be parked but forgot to put on his hazard lights.' I didn't think anything more of it, but then as I got closer to the end, this woman pulled up behind it, with her indicator showing she wanted to turn right.

Now, what made this woman stoopid was the fact that the back doors of the truck were wide open, and there was a guy grabbing an office chair from inside the truck. The woman waited. The guy got to the doors and lowered the chair down to the ground. The woman raised her hands at him in a gesture that said, 'what are you doing?'

He gave her a strange look and went back into the depths of the truck for another office chair. She sat there waiting, and then with a disgusted look, reversed and went around him.

I was fascinated by the scene, so I was stopping by the side of the road watching it.

1) As she drove up, she would have seen that the back doors of the truck container were open and there was a man inside it fishing around for something. Anyone with any common sense related to awareness would have known what was happening.

2) As she drove up, she would have seen that there was about 6 car lengths in front of the truck that didn't have any cars waiting to turn at the intersection.

3) As she drove up, she should have realised she's too stupid to drive and just given up and started walking.

I see small things like this every day, people who have no situational awareness related to their driving, and make stupid mistakes when they don't need to.

I think my experience as a driving instructor in 1998-99 helped me be a more sensible driver myself. I also had a car accident in 1996, only 4 years after I got my licence, that also opened my eyes to situational awareness (I was the 3rd care in a 3-car pile-up. Luckily it was peak hour, and the circumstances were such that the police knew I wasn't at fault - to an extent. The extent was that I ran up someone's backside. So they gave me a ticket for the event but there was no fine and no points lost. Cool.)

I was once asked why I kept looking into the rear vision mirrors as I drove. I explained it to them: if you know at all times where the cars are behind you and around you, it helps you drive better and safer.

I also choose 'the path of least resistance'. If you're driving on a multi-laned road, and the lane you're in is travellling slower than what you're travelling, then you choose the lane that has the least traffic in it ahead of you. Therefore, you overtake all the slow cars who are sticking to the left because they're too timid to take control, and you avoid any potential accidents that might happen. I don't know how many times I've avoided harsh braking or slowdowns in the left lane because I've been cruising by in the right.

It amazes me when I see so many people do silly things, when they don't need to if they simply thought about their surroundings and the 'path of least resistance'.

Posted on 8/20/2004 08:01:00 PM Backlinks


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