So what were you thinking when you were recklessly zooming around that curve in your sport utility vehicle at a high rate of speed as you failed to maintain your lane when crossing over the double yellow line halfway into the lane for oncoming traffic?
An Open Letter To An Irresponsible Driver
I saw you in the rear view mirror. I watched the whole thing start to unfold. I knew you were not going to stop. I could not move because the vehicles in front of me were at a complete stop as they waited for the drivers of no fewer than three construction supply trucks to figure out that they could not use the main entrance to an upscale neighborhood subdivision — and there was nowhere for me to go on either side of the vehicle.
With nowhere to go, I honked the horn for at least 30 seconds as I heard the squeals of your tires in your vain attempt to stop the forward momentum of your large vehicle — and I braced myself for impact because I knew you would fail.
Fortunately, I kept enough of a distance between the vehicle which I was driving and the car in front of me, because the impact jolted the vehicle forward. Thankfully, the vehicle in front of me was unaffected.
You were near tears — as though you were remorseful and sad about what just happened. The look on your face could not hide the potential trouble you thought you were in…
…but after I took photographs of your license plate and your vehicle — as well as of the scene itself — and after the police were called, I reassured you that no one seemed to be seriously hurt. The vehicles seemed like they did not sustain any damage; but because I am neither a medical doctor nor a certified automobile mechanic, I could not be certain.
You seemed to calm down a bit. You then went into your sport utility vehicle, in which you were engaged in a telephone call. You then left your car and came over to me, mumbling that you wanted to leave, as nothing seemed to be wrong with either vehicle. I replied that the police were on their way; and that if you left, you could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident or with a charge of hit-and-run.
Several more times — as you became increasingly belligerent — you kept saying that you wanted to leave, as nothing was wrong with the vehicles and no one seemed to be injured. What if something was indeed wrong with the vehicle I was driving but it was not immediately evident or obvious? What if I did sustain an injury but did not know it yet?
I reiterated to you that we needed to wait for the police to arrive. I did not tell you this, but doing so was to protect myself in case anything went wrong on my end due to your negligence.
You decided to leave the scene of the accident.
When the police arrived at the scene, I described the entire incident in detail to the law enforcement officer and showed him the photographs I took. When I described what you looked like, he acknowledged that the description fit you. He attempted to call you via telephone — but you would not answer the call. An official police report was ordered.
Accidents happen. I certainly would have forgiven you for wasting my time…
…but when you left the scene of the accident, everything changed for me. Do you think you are better than me? Are you above abiding by the law? Were you trying to hide something — perhaps possibly being inebriated at the time of the incident? Was something serious going on in your life that was troubling you at that moment? Were you distracted while you were driving? Are you simply inept?
Thank your lucky stars that your egregious lack of complete control over your vehicle while you were operating it did not seriously injure or kill someone…
…yet, anyway. Next time, you might not be so fortunate.
I truly hope that nothing is wrong; but if something is found to be wrong and was caused by your negligence — such as something hidden in the vehicle which I was driving that needs repair as a result — you will not be let off the hook.
This is the beginning of the holiday season; so people might start acting more foolishly than they already do during the rest of the year.
Although this article has nothing to do with travel, it will be the basis for at least one article about being involved in an accident while renting a car.
People who refuse to face reality and take responsibility for their own actions is the biggest problem facing the United States — and, perhaps, the rest of the world — these days. If people would just own up to what they do and learn from their mistakes — and, perhaps, correct them — the world would be a much better place in which to live. This includes countless examples in the travel industry.
As for the irresponsible driver, I apologize that the vehicle I was driving was in your way when you were careening down that curvy two lane road in a residential area. I apologize that I ruined your day by wanting to protect myself from what you caused…
…and I apologize for the poor souls who will be victims of your negligence in the future, because I do not believe you have learned your lesson.
I can only hope that you will be punished to the fullest extent of the law so that you will not needlessly endanger other people by committing such recklessness in the future…