Maclean's: Entitled distracted drivers the most dangerous people on the road
Maclean's had an in depth and informative article on the menace they call more dangerous than drunk drivers: distracted drivers who feel entitled to do what they want behind the wheel. Some choice quotes:
"[Cpl. Chris Little has seen] the telltale texter (head down, stopped on a green light) is the least of it. Little, an officer with Strathcona Traffic Services in Strathcona County, Alta., has pulled over drivers brushing their teeth, applying makeup, even reading a novel. “A 300-page book, balanced on the steering wheel,” he says. Car-as-mobile-kitchen is another theme: he pulled over one man eating a bowl of cereal while trying to drive with his knees; another man was eating waffles from a plate with a knife and fork."
Driving trainer Angel DiCicco: "“to prove to people that multi-tasking is a lie.” People are far more stupid than they think, he says: “Just having your eyes open isn’t enough to see a dangerous situation; your brain has to be engaged.”
"Such “me-first” behaviour—disregard for traffic signs, failing to signal, lane-hogging, crowding intersections, sailing through red lights—has led to a culture of driving entitlement squarely at odds with the spirit of co-operation needed to navigate the impromptu societies that occur when motor vehicles share space. That has made driving, the most dangerous and behaviourally complex activity most people engage in on a daily basis, a cultural menace that affects not only drivers but pedestrians and neighbourhoods as the spillover effects puts cyclists on sidewalks and pedestrians at peril."
"DiCicco sees three distinct driver personalities: the “adult”’ who understands that everyone wants to get home and that one crash could mean hundreds of people are late; the “child” (unrelated to actual age), subject to peer pressure who engages in “my car is faster than your car” behaviour without thinking through consequences; and the “domineering parent” who wants to teach someone a lesson by tailgaiting, giving the finger or blocking a car trying to pass on a shoulder. “There are very few homicidal maniacs out to kill you. And very few people are suicidal in the car,” he says. “To be involved in a crash you have to not do a lot of things.”
Charley Gee is a Portland personal injury attorney. He exclusively represents injured people against insurance companies and corporations.