Okay, well, I've been roaming around all winter feeling like I've had a big target on my truck. You see, it's been more than 7 years since my last car accident, and the way people have been driving lately, I've had the feeling like they were aiming for me. I even took the time out to objectively evaluate my own driving habits, to see if maybe I'm the maniac behind the wheel. Nope, not me. I haven't been speeding, I've been obeying traffic signals, I shoulder-check.
So this past Sunday, I'm sitting in the turning lane on Calgary Trail South at 23rd Avenue (AKA Edmonton's worst intersection). There I am, minding my own business, and BAM! Some chick rear-ends me. No warning screech of brakes, nothing. She hit me hard enough to knock my foot of the brake. Good thing I paid attention to the lectures on following distance in drivers ed....
Well, I get out, look at the truck (now known as "The Tank"). There's a small crack in the rubber on the bumper step, and my wiring harness bracket for my tow package is bent and loose. Better get that checked.
Then I turn to the car that hit me. The driver is in front of her car, cursing and swearing. As for her car, the front bumper is broken completely in half, the hood is kind of peeled back, and I'd bet money on the frame being bent. And the driver is ranting about how unfair this all is. Yeah, I couldn’t agree more.
She explains to me that she just got this new puppy, and he bit her finger, and she looked down, and well, she's really sorry. Sorry? I've had a headache since Sunday. I can't turn my head to the left. She's sorry. She's a new-ish driver. Her car is only 3 months old, a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer. Her mom cosigned and is on her insurance, too. She swears she's going to give up driving.
Here's my pet theory on drivers exams: Multi-task or fail. Make people take road tests in a car with a manual transmission. Put a cell phone in one hand and a burger in the other, a cup of coffee on the dash (remember License to Drive?). Have the spouse in the passenger seat to nag.. er.. I mean, provide directions, at least 2 screaming kids in the back seat of the car who are alternating between kicking the driver's seat and trying to cover the driver's eyes, and at least one small pet loose in the interior. And you have to change CDs at least twice while shifting. If you can't manage this, you don't get a license.
Until they introduce such a system, we'll keep giving drivers ed lessons and road tests in a quiet car so the driver can concentrate on what they are doing. Once they pass, we'll turn them loose with no restrictions on cell phone use or eating while driving. I'll bet the first thing a new driver does on the road home is call their friends to share the news.
Just call me "Crash".