Social Question

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Do you sometimes consider how crazy it is for us to drive 70 MPH passing within feet of other cars going 70 the opposite direction?

Asked by Dan_Lyons (5321 points ) May 14th, 2014

Do you think it has to do with our innate trust of the other driver?

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33 Answers

josie's avatar

Not so much trust as lack of decent alternatives in most cases. Other than quit driving.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t trust anyone. They try to kill me all the f***ing time.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes It has crossed my mind how close we are to disaster. Just a few feet to the left or a small swerve while texting or trying to miss a squirrel and, Blammo!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yeah, that little yellow line doesn’t provide much protection.

Coloma's avatar

All the time, and I am about to hit the freeway here in another hour.
California drivers are insane, I can be doing 75 in the fast lane and people pass me, going 80–85. If you’re not on the ball you’re roadkill. I have always thought how completely unnatural it is for a human being to be blazing down the road in a little metal box.
It’s a freaking wonder we are all still here after 30,30,40 years of driving.

I always pick cars with plenty of driver survival space, no Smart car or VW Bug or other little Tuna can cars. lol
Okay..I hope I just haven’t jinxed myself and today will be the day I get creamed on CA. Hwy 50 westbound or eastbound on my return. haha

muppetish's avatar

I live in California. I am a pedestrian. I have so many near-misses every week from people trying to make a right-turn, turning too fast, etc.

The drivers here are out of their minds. I see people break standard traffic laws all the damn time. If the speed limit is listed as 40, you bet your asses that the speed of traffic is at least 5–10 miles higher. That’s just how people do it here.

I don’t trust drivers. I am always on the alert when I am a passenger. I’m not generally a backseat driver, but I get scared.

So the 70–70 thing on opposite sides of the road: yeah it’s freaky, but so is just about everything involved with driving in Southern California.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Or how about redlights? When the light turns green on my side I have to lookout for people going through a redlight?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

That sad fact is even more obvious when riding a motorcycle.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me I’d love to get a bike, but it’s suicidal around here.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You are not the only one to think of this. Walken in Annie Hall

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@LuckyGuy I love how Woody simply dismisses Walken.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, that exact thought has crossed my mind.

flip86's avatar

Yes. Which is why I’ve never gotten my license. I have my permit but I’m not sure if I’ll ever do anything with it.

ucme's avatar

No, if everyone thought like that there’d be even more raving maniacs on the road

anniereborn's avatar

Yes, it crosses my mind a lot. It crosses my mind in general how everyday most of us are an accident waiting to happen at any given moment.

Pachy's avatar

“Crazy” is an understatement, especially when many drivers are on the phone, more focused on talking and texting than driving.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Pachy and a significant percentage are inebriated

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes I have!

Bluefreedom's avatar

You know, now that I really think about it, yeah, it is a little crazy. And as far as the whole trust thing, that’s a total crap shoot. You just have to hope and pray the other drivers are paying proper attention and driving safely.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@Bluefreedom Not to mention their equipment and mechanical care of the oncoming vehicle are up to date.

Yes, @Dutchess_III This question was born from your response!

Coloma's avatar

I’m home, in one piece, I live to drive another day. lol

jerv's avatar

Only when I’m driving in a 30 zone.

johnpowell's avatar

My sister’s friend Robert Christie was in a band here called Oswald 5–0. He used to come over with his family for Sunday dinner all the time. His son was the same age as my sister’s oldest son (they were ten). They were best friends.

They lived in Portland and were driving east to visit his mom. A semi drifted and hit them head on. All except the kid was dead instantly. Corey’s friend died in the ambulance.

I don’t drive.

jerv's avatar

@Coloma As someone who has smacked an ‘85 Corolla into the back of an SUV, I can say that bigger isn’t always better. For a small car lacking 30 years of safety advances, it held up quite well. It’s not the size, but the design.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Those semis can be murder @johnpowell I was in Northern California back in the 80s and coming around a mountain curve we came upon the wreck. One of those big semis hauling whole freshly logged tree trunks had its front motor section on the driver’s side rammed all the way up to the cab. Further down the road was strewn the bits and pieces of a shiny new Harley Davidson Fat Boy and lastly near the ambulance (lights flashing) was a completely zipped up black body bag.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Don’t forget about all the accidents caused by drivers either hitting or trying to avoid animals on the road. There are about 29,000 injuries and approximately 200 fatalities each year caused by animals on the road. These instances cost consumers about $4 billion in property damage. (2012) Source

If we thought about it too much we would be paralyzed.

Coloma's avatar

@jerv You have a point, and older cars are much sturdier in design. Still…if I hit a semi in a Smart car, the simple laws of physics will prevail. haha

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t swerve for animals unless I’m really sure it’s safe. Hey little dude, you’re in the road, sucks to be you. Although that might be different for a moose. He’s pretty tall, he might end up in the car with me.

Coloma's avatar

@LuckyGuy I am one of those, though careful to scope out my surroundings in a nano second, but I braked for a squirrel on a winding little road the other day and the car behind me was paying attention when I flashed them. Also, I just slowed and stopped for a little white kitten frisking around in some tall grass on the edge of a little road the other day, and an oncoming driver who was bombing towards me in a little residential zone failed to heed m hand signal to slow down. Thankfully the little kitty didn’t dart out in the road and get nailed by the oncoming driver.

People are freaking OBLIVIOUS much of the time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Oblivious.” Perfect.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Coloma. That is kind of you to care for the critters but might be very dangerous in certain conditions. I will make an evasive maneuver if and only if I have a lot of time and I’m 100% sure nobody is around me. If I am not positive about my blind spots or oncoming traffic I just keep going.

About 12 years ago I had a deer jump out from tall grass right in front of my dust buster style minivan while I was doing about 65 on the Lake Ontario Parkway. I had no time to check if it was safe to swerve, so I didn’t . The impact cut the deer in half. Some went under the car and some went up and over. I pulled over as did the two cars near me. It turns out the one behind me was hit with deer goop and the other (in the lane to my right) would have been hit had I swerved. We all agreed that swerving or slamming on the brakes would have been a bad idea.
And I fell in love with that shape minivan. The sloped hood and windshield protected me. Apparently 200 people per year are not so lucky. .

Coloma's avatar

@LuckyGuy Oh, believe me, I live in a high density deer zone too, and I have been incredibly lucky over the years. A couple near misses, they leaped right in front of me but managed to somehow skim by by a hair. I had once fawn run into the side of my car, but, I saw it coming and was able to slow down to about 15 mph. and it just sort off bounced off the passenger side and ran away. I have several friends up here that have not been so lucky, totaling their cars and mangling deer that were still alive and suffering.

Horrible it is!
I did hit a skunk once at night and it blew up under my car. Baaad, baaaad, baaad…my car reeked for weeks.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s what I’ve always heard…don’t swerve. Hit it head on. I wonder if I could keep a cool enough head to slam the brakes on my instincts screaming to swerve….

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