Dangerous assumptions

Here’s an example of how we shouldn’t be taking things for granted. It is very much in human nature to do that, in spite of the frequent reminders that it is unwise to do so. Being constantly on edge because you expect disaster is a lousy way to live; but there is some degree of appropriate caution that should allow you to be safe, most of the time.

The example is the nasty two-vehicle crash that happened on June 23 on Highway 2 west of Kinuso. There were incorrect assumptions at work in the case. Most of the time, no harm is done. But not this time.

The driver of the passing vehicle assumed the driver of the vehicle he (or she) was passing was just driving slowly and wasn’t planning to leave the lane. The driver of the vehicle being passed didn’t see the vehicle passing her (or him). Was the left-turn signal activated soon enough? At all? Did the passing driver just miss it? Did the turning driver check in the rearview mirror? Was the mirror properly adjusted?

Whatever the case, the vehicle in front turned suddenly in front of the one passing and they collided, doing a great deal of damage.

So if you are approaching a vehicle with the intention of passing, you had better be prepared for something unexpected. And if you are turning, you’d better be sure of what’s approaching and what the possibilities are. And for goodness sake, signal well in advance. That’s what the signal light is for. Lots of people don’t signal, or do it only as they are already starting the turn. That is inconsiderate at best; at worst, it can lead to a collision.

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