Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stupid things I see car driver's do when I am riding my bike to work

Stupid things I have seen when riding my bike to work:
1) Dude balancing his cellphone at the top of his steering wheel playing a  video game & not paying attention to the road - UGH - ironically he was playing a car racing video game instead of driving his  real car.  (yesterday)
2) Woman with a bowl of cereal & spoon eating breakfast. (today)
3) Dude shaving.
4) Woman applying make-up.
5) Person reading a book balanced on their steering wheel.
6) People texting.
7) People talking on their cell phones.
8) Drinking your morning bevie or stuffing food in their mouth.
9) Playing with the GPS.
10) Making erratic lane changes across three lanes of traffic on a 1 way road without shoulder checking - Ummm Hello?!

Being a motorcyclist I am acutely aware of my surroundings and who is sharing the road space beside me, in front of me and behind me.  Every motorcyclists I have talked to has a story of some of the dumbest/scariest things they have witnessed on the road by someone not paying attention while driving a car.  Some of these incidents are funny, but some are downright scary because it usually means the motorcyclist has had to take some sort of evasive action because of someone else's lack of judgement.  Tragedy results from incidents such as people chatting on their cell phones because they drift into your lane and don't see you.   I  don't know about you, but I get pretty nervous sometimes when I see the 4,000 pounds of rolling death coming my way and the driver isn't paying attention.

I am not saying all car drivers are bad, on the contrary I see quite a few great drivers who are courteous,  and completely engaged in the act of driving. 
Driving a motorized vehicle is one of the most complex things anyone can do, it requires the driver to process information quickly, make decisions based on that information and act appropriately.  Where things go wrong is when you add some sort of distraction into the mix - i.e. a  handheld cell phone or eating and then your brain does not process critical information that helps you make good driving decisions.

Your car is NOT your office, your kitchen, your bedroom, your livingroom or your bathroom- it is for transportation - DRIVING attentively. The life of most motorcyclists would be less complicated if people just concentrated on driving.

Think about this the next time you get behind the wheel, your inattentiveness could result in someone NOT going home to their loved ones because you just had to take that call or text or slug back that last bit of coffee, or one of the many other things you are doing while driving that takes away your focus from the road and your ability to not make critical driving decisions. 

It is illegal in the Province of BC to use handheld devices  while operating a vehicle.

Feel free to add what you have seen.


RichardM said...

So, tell us how you REALLY feel...

So many instances of that behavior and it isn't limited by age or experience.

Dar said...

Richard - LOL sorry if it seems a 'little' expressive and venty, but over the last few days I have had a couple of close calls because of drivers not paying attention. It makes me absolutely crazy that people are so disrespectful of others around them. You are right it is not limited by age or experience, it is across the entire spectrum of drivers young and old.

Brenda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brenda said...

It's always been illegal to use a handheld device here (or at least a mobile phone is the wording I think) but apparently they are changing the laws again, I havent really looked at the changes but from what my brief look has shown me it's the same law but now it's going to be enforced ... I would so love to see it enforced!!

Did you see this on Tarsnakes Blog ?

All part of a campaign to make drivers aware of thier surroundings.

bob skoot said...


Our wording says "electronic" devices, which includes cel phones, cameras, radios, GPS units

It has been illegal for a few years now and everywhere you see drivers on their phones. They all think it is a joke. I wished there was a way we could snap their photo and post these images somewhere

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

SonjaM said...

I hear you, Dar. This morning I had a dude sporting an N on his car holding a mug in his left, while on the mobile phone with his right. Guess how he steered?

bob skoot said...

Oh No Sonja:

you don't mean his "third" leg

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Dar said...

Brenda - that is a great ad. Regarding smidsy I have used the smidsy manoeuvre several times & it does work. People here ignore the cell phone laws and they aren't enforced. Very frustrating.

Bob - I have snapped pictures of license plates & tweeted or emailed police and the response is that you have to submit a written report. Great in theory, but in practicality does nothing. Until law enforcement is stepped up & fines raised nothing will happen. I think if there was a $1000 fine people would take it more seriously.

Sonja - I bet it was with his knees. I think there should be a bad driver hotline that you could report foolishness like this & if the driver is sporting an N or L the police hold be obligated to talk to them.

Kathy Kirkpatrick said...

Perhaps it is just too early in the morning, but what is "sporting an N" mean? I get "Sporting", but what's the N? The only N word I can think of doesn't make sense.

Leave it to Bob to put the image of a man driving with his third leg in my brain!

I see the phone and electronics thing all the time. And I have to admit, I do eat while I drive, but simple stuff that doesn't require much attention, like pulling Combos out of a bag.

bob skoot said...


Here in British Columbia we have a graduated licensing system. LEARNERS, prospective drivers who are learning to drive, and do not have a full license are required by LAW to display an "L" tag on the rear of their car for other drivers to "stay away".

NEW drivers who have just passed their driving test are required to display an "N" tag on the rear of their car to show they recently obtained their driver's license, for a certain amount of time.

These provisions are required by LAW and if caught without these "signs" showing, there are penalties.

more info here:

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Trobairitz said...

Well said dar. It is amazing what we see on the roads.

People seem to be oblivious and that is when they get dangerous.

And most don't understand that driving is privilege not a right.

David Masse said...

Dar, one thing I've noticed is that I am far more attentive since I've been riding. I've also noticed that when you see a driver doing one stupid thing, the odds are that more stupid moves are sure to follow. Keep your eyes peeled and stay safe.