Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Terrible Accident That Could have Been Avoided

Hi everyone. Today I'm not posting my Teaser Tuesday, mainly because of yesterday's accident. I was not involved, but it did happen in front of me.

The incident involved a pickup truck and a pedestrian. I didn't seen it right at the moment it happened, but the driver of the bus in front of me did, and others who were coming to shift change also saw it happen. I heard this gasp from the people behind me--I'm not sure where my eyes were at the time of impact, but I looked up and saw a man on the ground next to a pick-up and the driver came out and around to look. We got on our radios to tell base to call 911. That's exactly when the man called too.

The driver of the pickup truck chose to go around our two buses, as we were making a right hand turn out of the student center. We had our signals on. The bus in front of me had stopped, because the pedestrian was crossing the road in her path. The driver of the pick up made the choice of passing us both, and hit the pedestrian--who could not have seen him--or expected a pick up to be coming around the bus.

We, as drivers, see this all the time, on a daily bases. People driving their vehicles making bad choices. Just an hour before this, my husband said a woman in her car had driven out an entrance (yes, she was in the wrong lane coming out of a subdivision), did NOT stop for traffic. My husband was on a stretch of road where the speed limit is 45. He was going 40. He had to break HARD in order to avoid her. Had he hit her--and I stress this--a 12.5 ton bus would have flipped the car over. She might not have survived at that speed of impact.

I'm not sure what people are thinking when they get into their cars, and choose to ignore basic traffic laws, which are there to protect them and others. Why would a person fly out of an entrance--just because they are late for class? Why would some one pass a bus when it is in the middle of making a right hand turn and go around the bus? Because they're in a hurry?  Numerous times people have gone out the inbound lane while the buses are lined up to turn right or left out of the student center. This is an accident also waiting to happen.

I really don't care if people think "I got away with not stopping, I can continue with my behavior without hurting anyone". No. You will not. Is it worth it to hurt or kill someone else--or yourself--just because you're in a frigging hurry? You don't like to wait behind a bus? You don't have one G.D. minute, or maybe not even that long to do what you're supposed to--like wait your turn?

At the writing of this I have no idea what the condition of this person is. He was unresponsive moments after the accident according to one of our drivers when she went up to see how he was. The driver of the bus in front of me was very shook up. There was nothing she could have done to prevent it. She didn't see this idiot coming around her. It's almost impossible to expect the unexpected in our jobs, but that's exactly what we are told and trained to do. One moment of not looking around, a relaxed moment where you feel as though you are in control can, in a split second, come to disaster.

As a driver for transit, I have to stress that we go slower because we are responsible for the people on board our buses, and those who are driving, walking and whatnot around us. It's almost impossible to take on this heavy load and not be stressed out at the end of a couple of shifts when you see shit happening around you and think "God that was close!"

I'm writing this as a personal request to all of you who drive. PLEEEEEEZ! Don't be in such a hurry that you cause an accident. The driver of the pick up will most likely get a ticket, he may be liable for this person's injuries... yada, yada. He might not have owned up to the fact it was his fault at that time when he spoke to the authorities, but there were witnesses who saw what happened. Sort of hard when this is the hub of action and people are coming and going.

And if you are a pedestrian or on a bike, consider what you are doing. Are you taking responsible actions? This person jay-walked in front of the bus. The cross walk was only 50 feet away. Why do people do this? Because they are lazy and in a hurry and have no doubt they will survive their moment of stupidity.


  1. Oh my goodness that's so awful.
    I'm a pretty careful person, but there are so many not careful people on the roads that it really puts me off learning to drive :(

  2. I'm one to leave early in the morning and throw my cell phone in the back. I don't need any distrations nor do I need to be in a hurry for any reason.

  3. That's too bad. Hope everyone is ok. It's amazing how this could have been avoided by both of the parties involved.

  4. Alexandria (love that name!), as long as you are careful, obey the traffic laws, and pause before going even at the green light,(becuase now left hand-turns have become like right hand turns, they go even on red), you will be fine. Be a defensive driver. I have never been in any accident where I was driving and I'm in my 50's and I've driven everything from a motorcycle to a semi.

    Shelly, I'm glad you're consciencious driver!

    Miranda,I only know that the person was taken to a larger hospital with head injuries and it's still under investigation.

    And yes, if this person had just used the cross walk, or had been watching for oncoming traffic--and the guy who was in such a hurry in his truck... the equasion was perfect, unfortunately for this accident to occure.

  5. That's a horrible thing to witness. People are just too self-important.

  6. No kidding, Raven!
    And this guy who hit the other one, he was rather arrogant. He got out of his truck and looked down at the guy--as if he does this all the time--pulled out his cell phone and made the call, and one of our drivers ran to the scene, over heard the guy say to the dispatch that he was responsive. She yelled "He is NOT!"

  7. How terrible. I've responded to accidents like this as a Police Officer and they can be horrific. I'm a firm believer that wherever I have to go isn't as important as arriving safely.

  8. Literally words to live by, Heather!

  9. First, I'm glad you or your husband weren't directly involved and that you're both safe. Second, you made the statement, "What are people thinking?" and I think that's exactly it: they aren't.

    Some people give driving little more thought than most people give to vacuuming their floors. It's simply an annoying part of their life. Hence they fill it with texting, music, talking on the phone--or anything else they can do BUT think about driving.

    You drive professionally, so you understand more than most the responsibility of puttering around the streets in several tons of steel that could easily kill someone if you lose focus. Unfortunately, the average person doesn't think about that. They want to get home, to the grocery store, to work, etc. basically anything BUT drive.

    Good message, and I hope lots of people read what you've written.

  10. Hey, EJ, yep.I think you're right about what people are thinking about while driving.And the same goes for people who are walking. I've got to be extra careful when I cross from where I park my bus to go into the student center. It would be very easy to get hit by people who zoom through.

    And I'm glad you popped in, EJ. Always nice to hear from you!

  11. That's awful! I'm sorry to hear of this, Lorelei. One poor decision or one thoughtless or distracted moment is all that it takes to end very badly for us or someone else.
    Thanks for the reminder.


  12. So true, Jimmy. It rattles me whenever I see people just blow a stop light that's been red before they even got to it! We're trained to pause 3 seconds before proceeding on green. That's so you can let three people go through turning left or whatever!


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