Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Why won't people pay attention while driving?

Thursday night, on my way home from work, I got to witness the most pointless incident I’ve seen transpire on the road in front of me for quite a while.

Earlier this week, here in Colorado, we got about half a foot of snow in the Denver area. Not too much, but it always brings out the stupid in drivers.

On the road I drive home, Highway 93, it runs North/South, and is right next to the Foothills of the Rockies. There is a huge amount of open plains on both sides of the highway, so when the wind picks up, the snow gets blown back onto the highway, and tends to freeze in all sorts of various area.

So, here I am, driving along, behind a pack of vehicles, and I realize that the road conditions are less than stellar, so I open up more space with the cars in front of me, because, sooner or later, someone is going to slam on their brakes for no real reason, whatsoever.

And not more than 10 seconds after I open up the space in front of me, does a panel truck 6 vehicles ahead, have its brake lights light up. Almost instantly, a silver Jeep Liberty shoots right, onto the shoulder of the road, and plunges into the snow drift into the ditch, and comes to a stop, listing to the right.

Now, there were no turns, or driveways for the truck to want to turn into on this section of road, and it is straight as an arrow. There wasn’t any traffic in front of the truck, so no real reason for it to slam on its brakes, but it did anyway.

But the real question is why couldn’t the lady in the Jeep have been paying more attention to the driving at hand instead of whatever it was she was doing when she decided to plunge into the snowy abyss instead of applying the brakes, and leaving enough space in front of her to safely slow down?

No one else on the road in front of me reacted the way she did, and all of us were able to safely pass her by as she sat on the side of the road, cellphone next to her ear, as her wheels pointlessly churned away, while she pointlessly attempted to unstick herself from the ditch.

And is it wrong for me to have no sympathy for her situation?


“People are idiots.”

Next question?

Last week I found myself tooling along the shoulder of an interstate at 70mph. Now, normally I wouldn’t do this sort of thing. Its quite dangerous and illegal. But I thought it was better than getting run over by the semi driver who had suddenly decided that he wanted to be in my lane.

The whole thing, of course, was just as stupid. I was not in need of passing anyone so I was riding the right lane at a steady 70 - its what I do. S/he was passing me at something in the neighborhood of 75mph - to start with. But a little ways ahead was a state trooper also riding down the road in the right lane. So apparently this genius saw the trooper at about the time the cab was right next to my car (my little escort wagon) and decided to cut it down to 70. After about 100 yards of that the genius then proceeded to want to take the right lane back - of course I was still right there next to the cab.

Luckily I drive expecting people to do stupid stuff. So as soon as the moron had slowed down to pace me I had actually already scouted by options just in case said moron decided to exactly this.

Starbucks was going to close? :slight_smile:

Cars and trucks have THREE… 3 …rear view mirrors
I learned to count before kindergarten.


LOOK in your dang mirrors and guess what ?
#1- you’ll see me coming up on you.
#2- you’ll see the road is empty BEHIND me for a quarter mile.
Dude, change lanes BEHIND me and the road is all yours.
#3- You could actaully ACCELERATE if you choose to cut into the faster lane !

This is how I decided to turn on FULL head lights, not drl, when out on the highway.

No, it was not wrong for you to feel no sympathy for her, BC.

Hopefully, by having to deal–on her own–with the fallout of her inattention/idiotic driving, she will modify her driving patterns.

Actually, who am I kidding?
She will probably continue to drive in that same mindless, dangerous manner.
Let’s just hope that she doesn’t take anyone else out when she screws up the next time.

"She will probably continue to drive in that same mindless, dangerous manner. "

More than that. She’ll probably come here and post a question asking what is wrong with her 4WD Jeep that it didn’t keep her on the road when she slammed on the brakes in the snow.

[i] But the real question is why couldn't the lady in the Jeep have been paying more attention to the driving at hand instead of whatever it was she was doing[/i]  

Don’t you understand that it is important to tell her daughter what dress she is wearing so they will not clash at dinner.

And then she will resolve to never again buy a Jeep, because it did not save her from her reckless driving behavior.

Not a winter passes that I don’t see something this dumb.

When I taught my daughter to drive I repeatedly emphasized that every single time she went out on the road she’d see at least one dumb act, at least one opportunity for her to have gotten into an accident had she not allowed room for others to do dumb things and/or not been paying attention. I’ve been driving for so long that I stay wary constantly, adapt, and then forget about it, almost without thinking. But when I was teaching her, when I was in the passenger’s seat focusing on the acts of other drivers, I was actually amazed at how many dumb moves I saw every time we wnet on a drive.

The winter is less tolerant of dumb driving. But the dumb driving goes on all year long.

Joseph, I Think You’ve Got It ! I Happen To Have 2 Cell Phones For Some Reason. I Never Turn Them On Unless My Wife Or Daughter Say They Are Going To Call For Something Important.

Overhearing cell phone conversations absolutely amazes me. Most discussions are toatally meaningless, only worse, and a waste of time. I’m sure text messages must be the same thing. I don’t text and I don’t Face-Book, Tweet, or whatever.

What I can’t figure out is what these people did before this fantastic instant technology. I grew up with land-line telephones (party-lines, too) and post cards. It worked, but he reason it worked is that we planned our days.

Cell phones and all this other crap have replaced making plans. It drives me nuts, but don’t try and call me. I’m not listening. I’ll wait. Send me a card.

When I drive, I drive, not talk or wish I was somplace else.


she opted for the ditch instead of the possibility of hitting the panel truck. yes, people don’t leave enough space to manuver or stop but what she did WAS a viable option.

Well, see it’s because of the many…oh wait…left turn ahead…I’ll write more at the next light…

And I bet people still cut in front of you.

Hell, just about every time a cop or ambulance goes by with its lights and siren on, some idiot in front of it just keeps driving along, having absolutely no clue that it’s behind them. If a vehicle with 32 flashy lights and a siren can’t get their attention, your headlights certainly won’t.

I think people pay very close attention while they’re driving: to the cell phone, the radio, the food on the seat next to them, the kids in the back seat, the billboards on the side of the highway, the magazine they’re reading, their hair, makeup, something in their nose, traffic on the opposite side of the highway, and, finally, the vehicle in front of them that they are about to slam into.

Guess who I saw on the drive home yesterday?
The same lady in her grey Jeep Compass.

Only this time, she spent most of the drive home tailgating me.
So its safe to say she hasn’t learned anything at all from her off-road excursion.


When someone tailgates me, I slow down until they go around me.
If I let them push me, they stay on my bumper no matter how fast I go and that gets more dangerous.

"Cell phones and all this other crap have replaced making plans. It drives me nuts, but don’t try and call me. I’m not listening. I’ll wait. Send me a card.

When I drive, I drive, not talk or wish I was somplace else."

My cellphone is turned off when I’m driving…If I’m a passenger…that’s something else…But while I’m driving…it’s off…

I have 0 tolerance for stupid drivers…I see it all the time…every day…I’m amazed there aren’t more accidents…Most of the time accidents are avoided because the rest of us sane drivers are paying attention and get out of the way…

BC, I’m not surprized she didn’t learn anything. People who tailgate rarely do.

We have no idea if she will change her habits, it’s wrong to say she never will since we will never meet her now or in the future. Habit changes come from within and it’s more than acting different, it’s a matter of maturing in one’s character.

Is it wrong not to feel sorry for her? Sounds as if you want us to to sooth your conscience for you. I suppose it all depends on the exact details, no one knows.