Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dumb Drivers

I’m just back from the library. It’s a short trip, about fifteen minutes each way but sometimes it can be a nerve-wrecking drive. Like today. I was waiting for a break in the traffic so I could turn into the main road at this busy junction. An impatient driver behind me honked.

Maybe he was feeling bored and was hoping for some excitement. It would have been exciting: to hear tyres screeching, other drivers honking like madmen; to see a four or five-vehicle pile up with me right at the front and maybe flung into the nearby ditch. But I refused to humour him. If he had been in a hurry, he could have taken the fast lane and avoid queuing behind a cautious driver like me.

Anyway, as soon as the road was clear and we had turned into the main road, this driver over took me and immediately swerved into my path. Experience had made me anticipate his move. You learn to read drivers after sharing the roads with countless nincompoops for a few years. And I’ve been driving for three decades! I watched as he zigzagged in and out of the two lines of vehicles. It looked as if he was getting an adrenalin rush while putting himself and his passengers at risk. This is the kind of driver who makes me hate driving. He clearly has no respect for other road users. The sooner he is off the road, the better for us all.

The soundest advice I got about safe driving is from a book I bought a hundred years ago. It says: “Everyone on the road, including pedestrians, is mentally deficient, and therefore it all depends on you.” So whenever I’m behind the wheel, I know everyone else is dumb and will surely do stupid things to put themselves and other people in danger.

Throughout the thirty years I’ve been driving, I’ve been involved in two ‘stupid’ accidents. Both are unforgettable. The first one occurred on a rainy afternoon. Note: the rain had just started, it wasn’t heavy and visibility was good. I drove extra carefully, on the look-out for dumb drivers. I noticed this Suzuki jeep coming from the side road towards the junction. There were several boys inside. The jeep slowed to a stop as I approached. Without warning, it accelerated just as I was passing. I could only deduce that the boy-driver must have mistaken the accelerator pedal for the brake pedal. The front of his car hit my back door and my car was flung to the other side of the road where it spun crazily twice like a giant top. When it stopped, I was facing where I had come from. Had there been an on-coming vehicle on the lane, my car would have been mangled and I wouldn’t be telling you this.

The second accident? Same car. Fondly called Old Junk, my car was strong—and tough like an armoured car. Now this accident was partly my fault! You see, my house is one in a row which faces another row of houses. The road between these two rows is always busy especially during the rush hours. If you picked the wrong time to leave for the hospital to have your baby, you’d have your baby in the car while waiting for the road to be clear so I’m always careful and alert for vehicles, pedestrians and stray animals.

It was morning and so early that Mr. Hubby was still in dreamland. I reversed out onto the ‘empty’ road. There was a BANG and Old Junk shook. Unknown to me, the neighbour directly opposite our house was also reversing his car! He too didn’t see me reversing! We had both looked left and right but failed to look behind! Hah!

Mr. Neighbour wasn’t too happy to see a big dent on his door. I drove back into my porch, rushed upstairs, shook Mr. Hubby awake and asked him to save me from the neighbour’s fury! (I suffer severe ‘allergic’ reactions caused by people’s anger.) Mr. Hubby got up and, still half naked, came down to join the excitement. But Mr. Neighbour had retreated to his house. He didn’t ask me to pay for the damage his car suffered. And I wouldn’t have paid even if he had asked.

As for Old Junk, not a scratch. I did say it was a tough car! 

Careful when you’re on the road! Cheers!

Pictures from Google Images


  1. Hehe..Well I think 2 accidents in 3 decades is commendable :) I have had 3 accidents so far...ALL of them my fault.

  2. Ooooh! You forget to relate the slow coaches who do not care for others and think the road belong only to them and those who park their vehicles indiscriminately.

  3. @Lizee: Yes, 2 accidents in 30 years is good!
    @Andrew: Thanks for reminding me. Will write about the other 'hates' next time.