They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

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Hard Of Driving

And Red Means...

On Thursday's drive, I believe it was, I'd only gotten as far as Grand Valley State University on M-45 Lake Michigan Drive, when I saw flashing red and blue lights make the turnaround and cross to the other side of the boulevard ahead of me and come to a stop. At the traffic light, stopped in the left hand lane, was a #50 Campus Connector bus -- a GR Rapid city bus line between the downtown G.R. and Allendale campuses. But it was only after I went through the intersection, could I see the pretty new and shiny looking white full-sized extended cab pickup truck, possibly a Dodge, with its nose all smashed in, bumper mightily screwed up and leaking multiple colored fluids onto the pavement.

Clearly in the battle between pickup and city bus, the bus won hands down. I didn't see, in a quick glance, any significant damage to the bus. Pretty sure the pickup was traveling at speed and attempting to go through the intersection in the left-hand lane. Not sure if they were aware that the light was red or that a city bus was in front of them. Mrs. Dr. Phil wondered if they busy texting, now a crime in Michigan. (smirk)

And How Does This Happen?

Friday morning, at the first light on M-43 after getting off of US-131, there was a brown minivan which had almost made a left turn. But the minivan was sitting there and several people were standing around looking. I didn't see any body damage, however the left front hub and brake disk were not only lying on the pavement, there was a nice gouge in the asphalt starting about halfway through the left turn. After passing them, I saw the wheel and tire on the grass next to a lamp post.

Hmm... missing all the wheel nuts or all the bolt stems sheared off? Don't know. I know that once when heading to Chicago, I saw a wheel come flying off a car on the Dan Ryan expressway and they managed to unsteadily swerve over to the shoulder without hitting anything, while the wheel rolled on across all the lanes and ran into the concrete median barrier. Friday evening I saw a minivan with a nearly flat right rear tire in the grocery store parking lot.

Folks, please do a simple walk around your vehicle from time to time and do a quick inspection. You never know when tires go flat or nuts go missing, whether from improper mounting, defective parts or malicious behavior. Thank you.

Finally...

The other week I mentioned the two new roundabouts / traffic circles near the WMU campus. So far, after the first week, most people seem well behaved when dealing with these. Early on there was the genius who, upon entering the first roundabout eastbound, took the right turn lane clearly marked as a right turn lane in sign and pavement, and proceeded to turn left into the traffic circle. However I anticipated this behavior and avoided any trouble.

Friday I had a yahoo coming down the Arboretum Drive into the first traffic circle, and despite the yield sign in their lane and the word YIELD on the pavement, I was just sure they weren't going to stop as I entered the circle. I was right, stepping on the brakes and laying on the horn. And then I moved forward again. And so did this yutz, who was driving on the median. And since I now needed to exit the traffic circle, I lay on the horn again to warn them -- and they proceeded to floor it and go on. Unbelievable. Though in the yutz's defense, I will point out that while the second traffic circle clearly has two lanes, the first has only one. I can see where someone hard of thinking or distracted or sure they get to own the road would confuse themselves.

Why depend on signs, lines and warnings painted on the road?

I have a long commute every day. I really would rather make it back and forth without incident every day, but I need the cooperation of everyone else out there. (sigh) Also, you can rarely go wrong giving a person the right of way, even if they don't have it, on the assumption that they may be an idiot. This has been a public service safety message from one of the public, who wishes everyone to have a nice day.

Dr. Phil
Tags: accidents, allendale, driving, gvsu, kalamazoo, west michigan, wmu
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