May­hem on the Road

Mus­ings are thoughts, the thought­ful kind. For the pur­pose of these ar­ti­cles, a-mus­ings are thoughts that might amuse, en­ter­tain and even en­lighten.

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Michael Walker

Do you ever wake up, as I do, won­der­ing why we can’t have more homi­cides on the is­land? I mean, sure, Dear Reader, the odd in­no­cent vic­tim gets mur­dered but most of the time vic­tims have done some­thing to piss some­one off and even if they never in­tended to ir­ri­tate their as­sas­sin quite so much they still didn’t de­serve to die. If you be­lieve in in­fi­nite equal­ity and are a real Yin-Yang type, then you might con­sider that vi­o­lent deaths, e.g. mur­der and may­hem on the roads, go hand in hand. So it is con­sol­ing that mur­ders and road deaths chug along from week to week un­abated. Get­ting mur­dered is fairly fi­nal, but get­ting into a car ac­ci­dent can lead to sev­eral un­wanted con­se­quences, in­clud­ing per­ma­nent in­juries, loss of earn­ings, etc., which may turn out worse than death. While the causes of some car ac­ci­dents may seem ob­vi­ous and re­dun­dant to ex­pe­ri­enced drivers it’s worth think­ing about them all the same from time to time.

Dis­tracted drivers are the top cause of ac­ci­dents to­day. A dis­tracted driver di­verts his or her at­ten­tion from the road, usu­ally to talk on a cell phone, send a text mes­sage, have sex or eat food. When you drink, you lose the abil­ity to fo­cus and func­tion prop­erly. Al­ways use a des­ig­nated driver if you go out and drink. I sup­pose the same goes for sex in the car; make sure you have a des­ig­nated driver.

Speed kills, and trav­el­ing above the speed limit is an easy way to cause a car ac­ci­dent. The faster you drive, the slower your re­ac­tion time will be if you need to pre­vent an auto ac­ci­dent. Reck­less drivers speed, change lanes too quickly or tail­gate caus­ing a car ac­ci­dent. They are im­pa­tient and reck­less, driv­ing so close to an­other car that they can­not re­act in time if the car in front of them brakes sud­denly. The giv­ing or re­ceiv­ing of oral sex should only be per­formed if the car is sta­tion­ary with the en­gine switched off.

We’ve all been an­gry at an­other driver for one rea­son or an­other, but some drivers let their rage over­come them. “Road­ragers” tail­gat­ing an­other car in anger or speed­ing past an­other driver only to pull in front of them and brake, cause many need­less car ac­ci­dents each year.

Car ac­ci­dents of­ten hap­pen in the rain be­cause wa­ter cre­ates slick and dan­ger­ous sur­faces for cars, trucks, and mo­tor­cy­cles caus­ing them to spin out of con­trol or skid while brak­ing. Mo­torists are well aware of the dan­gers posed by pot­holes. Pot­holes can be so deep that driv­ing into one might cause your jaw to snap and your teeth to clamp down on whatever you have in your mouth at the time. Drivers also run the risk of los­ing con­trol of their car or blow­ing out a tyre when they drive over these pot­holes. Again, I warn against sex in a mov­ing ve­hi­cle; many mo­torists have lost con­trol of their cars and their lives along a dan­ger­ous curve sec­onds be­fore and af­ter an ac­ci­dent.

The rea­son that we have stop lights, turn sig­nals, and lanes des­ig­nated for mov­ing ei­ther right or left as op­posed to straight is be­cause when drivers ig­nore the rules of the road, car ac­ci­dents are of­ten the re­sult. Drivers who run red lights run the risk of caus­ing wrong­ful death be­cause they of­ten cause side-im­pact col­li­sions at high speeds. Stop signs should never be ig­nored but when they are, se­ri­ous car ac­ci­dents are of­ten the re­sult. There will al­ways come a time when you need to get over to an­other lane. When drivers don’t make safe lane changes prop­erly, it of­ten leads to a car ac­ci­dent.

Driver fa­tigue isn’t talked about a lot, but how well can we ex­pect any­one to drive when they’re hav­ing trou­ble staying awake? Most of the car ac­ci­dents caused by drowsy driv­ing oc­cur at night. Driv­ing at night nearly dou­bles the risk of a car ac­ci­dent oc­cur­ring. When you can’t see what’s up ahead you don’t know what to an­tic­i­pate as you drive to­wards it.

Drugs, both le­gal and il­le­gal, and al­co­hol, even sex, im­pair your abil­ity to fully func­tion as a driver. If your mind isn’t clear and you don’t have com­plete con­trol over your body, get­ting be­hind the wheel can lead to se­ri­ous car ac­ci­dents.

Take cau­tion when you see an an­i­mal cross­ing. Glo­ri­fied by the Fast and the Fu­ri­ous movie fran­chise, street rac­ing is an un­der­ground cul­ture of fast cars and deadly car ac­ci­dents. With turbo en­gines and ni­trous ox­ide boost­ers, cars of­ten reach very high speeds dur­ing a street race, mak­ing any re­sult­ing car ac­ci­dent much more dan­ger­ous and un­likely to yield any sur­vivors, maimed or oth­er­wise.

But let’s look on the bright side; the more mur­ders we have, the fewer peo­ple will re­main to be killed in road ac­ci­dents. Sounds like ‘Trumpian’ logic, doesn’t it? Death is never a flip­pant mat­ter but I find it hard to shed tears over drivers who cause not only their own deaths but the deaths of fel­low mo­torists and in­no­cent by­standers and in do­ing so leave a le­gacy of great sor­row to fam­i­lies and loved ones.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.