03 June 2011


I was almost rear-ended today.

I was in a grocery store parking lot, parked between two suvs, neither of which was there when I parked. After I completed my shopping, I was backing into the lane to leave. I was moving slowly because I could not see over or through the larger vehicles. Suddenly, a small Toyota came racing into my view and swerved violently around the the rear of my vehicle. The driver was on her cell phone at the time.

This has happened to me more and more frequently in parking lots. If I see a car backing out, I preemptively apply the “last clear chance” doctrine. Knowing that I can see the backer much better than the backing driver can see me, I stop and allow the vehicle to get out of his or her parking spot. But most folks seem so preoccupied with cell phones and speed that they play demolition derby by swerving to go around.

Today, the young woman stopped and came over to lecture me. “You almost hit me,” she yelled. Then, into her phone she said, “This guy almost hit me. He couldn’t see me coming because of this suv, but he just started to back out anyway! It’s a good thing I saw his backup lights and was able to speed up and get around him.

As Bill Engvall would say, “Here’s your sign!”


Strode said...

Mac - That is one reason that I always look for a parking spot at the far end of the lot, to avoid being sandwiched in by larger vehicles (or ones with dark tinted windows through which it is difficult to see). The other reason is the lack of courtesy displayed by so many when opening the doors of their vehicles.

I remember once in Chicago in the '70s going to a supermarket with a friend. He went in and I stayed in the car. A large beater pulled in next to us and the woman threw open her door, hitting the side of my friends car. I got out to talk to her about it, and when I asked for her insurance information, she and her friend got back into their car and left the parking lot!

Matt said...

Dad - sorry, but this one borders on "and those damn kids keep playing on my lawn, what with their scooter-ma-doos and Playstation... back in MY day, we worked in the coal mines for fun, blah blah blah..."

I agree that cell phones should be programmed to explode if they sense they're moving >5mph (it can be done...), and parking lots in FL are even worse (more aged drivers (sorry!) and out of towners)... probably just accept this as the temporary new dynamic & fix it by training the next generation. Noah & Natasha have heard my (lengthy) diatribes on bad drivers.