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Old 04-22-2006, 06:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: On the road...
Bad drivers with Children in vehicle

Okay, on my way home today on a side highway that runs the length of the city with very few lights, I pull up to a light and there is a very large dump truck with 2 full trailers of dirt and another large chevy of some sort infront. The road is only one lane but after the light it has a small section where it is two lanes so people can enter onto the road from the intersecting road. So I pull up beside the trucks and pass them when the light turns green as they are very slow and large. The one Chevy guy eventually catches up to me and litteraly drives about one car length away from me while we are travelling at 100km/h (speed limit for that road is 80), so I slow down very suddenly to around 85km/h to let the guy know to back the hell off. He then starts swerving all over the place and gets even closer to me than he was before, I am wondering why he doesnt just pass me as there is not another car in sight. Anyways for about 10km of driving he does this the whole time and I just ignore him.

When we get back onto the main road with two lanes he slams on the gas, pulls up beside me, and gives me the finger! I look over and he has a small boy who looked to be about 4 or 5 in the seat beside him. I am very disturbed that he could be such an asshole and endanger his son (I am assuming it is his son) like this. Speed limit is 80 on this road and that is what I am doing. He slows down to about 70 so I signal to change lanes so that I do not tailgate him, he swerves into the lane I just entered. So I signal and change lanes again and he swerves again. I then slow down to 60km/h because I figure the life of the child is a little more important than playing games with someone. Then when I slow down that much the guy must have slammed on the gas cause he just took off, I went back up to 80km/h and he was gone, I bet you he was doing at least 120km/h. I finished the drive home.

Now what on earth inspired this guy to act in such a way? He is in a large, slower accelerating vehicle and I pass him in a perfectly acceptable and highly used manner. He goes nuts and drives like a complete maniac and endangers both our lives and more importantly the life of the small boy. The road was on the side of the city and it has wildlife all over the place, this could have made for a disaster as there would be no way he could even attemp to slow down in time if there was an emergency. I feel sick to my stomach that people can even do this with children aboard, even if he was alone it would be bad enough.

Any thoughts on what you would have done? Should I have written down his liscence plate and told the city or anything? I honestly didn't really have that much of a problem as people are generally assholes on the road anyways, but when I saw that child my stomach just did flips.
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In a lot of states in the US, it's illegal for a child under a certain age (or weight) which i think is age 12 to ride in the front seat of the car -- I think it's for protection against air bags but I'm not sure... Kids are still probably safer in the back seat.

I don't think there's anything you can do after the fact, you probably could have calld 911 (or whatever the equivelent is inCanada) while he was still on the road and he might have been pulled over (I've done this when I've seen people driving erratically - give the liscence plate and report the behavior) It's up to the cops to find out if there's a real problem.

The best drivers are those that can drive defensively... All you can do is be prepared for idiots like him on the road and control your vehicle.
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with Mal on all but one point... statistically, the best drivers are those that can drive OFFENSIVELY... this does not mean being an aggressive asshole, however. In fact, the military has conducted a study of soldiers who have taken the mandatory defensive driving courses in the US Army and have begun to conclude that it does not always make drivers more safe. Also note that driving in Europe is generally much less defensive and much more offensive, and there are fewer vehicular related deaths, even on stretches of Autobahn where, for the most part, there are no speed limits (the Autobahn DOES have areas with maximum speed limits, however, and the fact that people change from throttled driving to unbridled cruising helps show my point).
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Old 04-22-2006, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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People just don't care, many can't drive for shit, and many parents are total idiots.

I can't tell you the number of times at the drive-up window of the pharmacy that people roll up with kids in the car who are unbuckled. They're walking around, they're hopping all over the place- it drives me insane. And we're not talking about "the lane was full and we weren't moving, they were antsy, so I let them get up and stretch", no- we're talking about people pulling up straight from being on the road, and I can see them do it, with kids moving around unbuckled in the vehicle. (ps, i'm talking about 5, 6, 8, 10 year olds here, the littler ones...)

If it weren't for the fact that cops won't chase after them, and that I would get fired for calling the police on someone, i'd call the cops on every single one of them.
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Old 04-22-2006, 10:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: on the back, bitch
I get rather militant when I see kids put in danger because their parents don't give two shits when they're driving. Case in point: A young child sitting on the lap of a girl in the passenger seat of a convertible at the bank drive-up. I shouted out the window 'You trying to KILL your kid?'
Another case in point: During one of my yard sales, a small car pulled up. Two women in the front(dressed like hookers from Starksy and Hutch days, no less), the passenger with a kid on her lap, 5 kids double-seated in the back. I told the driver, who spoke with an Eastern European accent, that she WILL be pulled over for having that child in the front, on a lap and those kids being squeezed in the back seat. When they left, at first the other took the kid back into her lap, but then I saw her hand him to the back seat.
Final case in point: An F-150 with a small back seat had parked so close to me at the grocery store that I couldn't get into my car. I saw a head in the truck, so I went over...some girl, about 13, yelled to the other 3 kids in the truck 'She's gonna call the cops!' and they scrambled out.I said, no, I can't get into my car, the truck has to be moved. Those kids went into the store, a woman came out and told me I 'was just gonna have to wait' and ten minutes later came out with TEN KIDS! She actually had to shove the butt of the last kid in order to get them in there.
Yea, I called the cops.
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Old 04-22-2006, 11:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I can't tell you how angry I get when I see parents, the ones responsible for the lives of their children, putting them in such danger. A danger that is so avoidable.

I was driving home the other day and there's this car ahead of me. The man's driving (at around 85km/h, without a seatbelt) and he's got what looks like his 5 year old son jumping around on the passenger seat next to him. If that wasn't bad enough, he gets irritated with the boy and proceeds to put him on his lap - while he's driving the car!

I got so pissed off that I shouted something at him in Afrikaans, to which he replied with a mouthed fuck-off.
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Old 04-22-2006, 12:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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As I was waiting for the bus I saw a man drive by with (probably) his son on his lap, the kid was around seven years old and was the one steering... Granted, I've sat on my dad's lap and steered the car myself as a kid, but that was on first gear on a deserted road way out on the countryside, not 30 km/h in suburbia.
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Old 04-22-2006, 05:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
...you probably could have calld 911 (or whatever the equivelent is inCanada)...
Oh, us crazy Canucks... we use 912!

I don't take kindly to anyone who drives like an idiot. I don't have kids and rarely carry any in my car. Whether I do or not, I still drive in a safe fashion... I may not have kids in my car, but if I fuck up and hit someone, that someone might have kids in theirs.

As for the unbuckled/overcrowded... folks, this is what minivans were made for. Either get someone to watch the damn kids, or get a vehicle that can seat them all safely. It boggles the mind.

And a final note, kids under about 100 lbs should definitely not be in the front seat. Those airbags can be very dangerous, even to full grown adults. They're designed to impact on your chest (and therefore your ribcage, which can take the force). If they hit you in the head or neck, it's pretty much over right there.
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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In many countries of the Middle East and Saudi Arabia in particular it's not uncommon to see the driver of the car have up to 3 children sitting on his lap while he drives, not to mention how many of them are clambouring unrestrained all over the passenger seat. I can't believe any parent would willingly put his children in danger like that. It's just plain stupid.
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm showing my age again.. but I have to ask...

Back when I was a kid, I'm not sure my parent's cars even had seatbelts... once you were old enough to no longer sit in the car seat... you were pretty much on your own... heck it used to be fun to ride in the back of the station wagon... what better way to make faces at the truck drivers on the road trips to the shore... or even better -- to ride in the back of my dad's friend's pick up truck... I don't know of any kid who had to be seat belted into a car... None of us died, heck collissions were rare...

Were people better drivers 30 years ago? Did they pay more attention? Were the cars better built? I can't beleive an SUV is any less safe than a woody wagon from my youth...
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Fewer cars and driving at slower speeds perhaps?
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: In my angry-dome.
The roads weren't as crazy, even with the 70MPH limits. It was dangerous in some areas, especially in cities or congestion where we were told to sit still. "You don't want me to come back there!" We heard about tragedies as if they were halloween horror stories. Nothing hit close to home. Where I grew up I don't recall a single problem. We crawled all over the place in the wagon on camping trips and did our share of greeting truckers. These days, more distractions, heavy traffic, and dangerous drivers, whether of their own making or because of the other things it's hard to know.
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