Save Our Teen Drivers

Advocating for driver's education changes. Educating the public on the problem. Finding a solution that saves lives.

Holidays and broken laws

Posted by lapearce on November 28, 2009

I have a bad relationship with a certain stop sign on holidays. This stop sign is about half a mile from my parents house. Because I’m a loving daughter who spends time with her family, I tend to encounter this stop sign on holidays. On July 4th at this certain stop sign I almost got T-boned by another car that completely forgot to stop. Luckily, because I’m a cautious and aware driver, I was paying attention and was able to slam on my brakes as he sailed through the intersection at about 40 mph. He miss my car by about a foot. (If that isn’t an argument for defensive driving I don’t know what is).

On Thanksgiving I encountered another oblivious driver at this now infamous stop sign. I went to the grocery store on Thanksgiving to pick up some odds and ends that were forgotten, like cranberries and eggs for my dad’s wonderful homemade pecan pie. I approach the stop sign to turn left. I do my due diligence of scanning before moving forward, then I do what I always do: I look in my rear view mirror. This important defensive driving tool is so often forgotten now days. It’s a great way of seeing what disaster approaches so you can avoid it. On Thursday it revealed a Honda Odyssey. The minivan was a lane over, I wasn’t in danger from it, but there was another car waiting to turn left in front of the 4,500 lb juggernaut about to blatantly blow the stop sign as if it never existed. I started to enter the intersection then it became very obvious: she was not going to stop.

I stopped and watched both the person waiting to turn left and her. I honked once: the person turning left stopped. Then I honked a second time and she sailed through the intersection. No brake lights, no reaction, nothing. What was more surprising was that she wasn’t distracted. There was no phone, no map, no yelling baby in the back seat. This woman looked like she was hypnotized. Her hands were at 10 and two and she was looking straight ahead… she was so focused and yet, not paying attention to anything. After she carried on her merry, dangerous way the person waiting to turn left turned safely and I continued on my way to my parents, thinking about the moron in the Corolla who almost ruined my 4th of July at the same intersection.

Is it a coincidence that I witnessed two people fly through this stop sign at two separate holidays? Perhaps. I’d like to think that the answer is that both times it was people who were unfamiliar with the area and in the process of watching street signs and trying to find out where they were going for the holiday that they missed the stop sign. I doubt alcohol was a factor in either case, the near miss in July was at 11am, and thursday the Odyssey failed to stop at about 2 in the afternoon. But in both cases the drivers weren’t on the phone, they didn’t have maps in their hands or any obvious distractions. In any case, I’m curious to see what happens on Christmas when I come to this stop sign once again… what law-breaker will I encounter that time?

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