Typically, we think of distracted driving. Drivers using their cell phones to talk or text.

The distracted concept needs to be expanded here at SaddleBrooke, so let’s talk about distracted driving, walking, running and riding.

Possibly the greatest problem associated with distraction is…wait for it…the person doesn’t believe they are being distracted. ‘I talk on my phone all the time and I’ve never had a problem,’ said the woman who crossed the center lane and clipped the front of a car swerving to get out of her way.

Remember the article on Fate Is The Hunter? Fate is looking for the next opportunity to interfere in a person’s life, health, safety, and/or well-being. Five-hundred times without an accident doesn’t mean one is safe from the next opportunity. ‘I’ve been driving for 30-years and never had an accident,’ said the gentleman who ran into the rear of a snowplow in Colorado while having a great conversation with his granddaughter.

Some examples:

  • A resident was driving slowly and then stopped for deer crossing the roadway. The driver behind blasted the horn and swerved around the stopped car, narrowly missing the deer.
  • A driver within a mile of getting home decided to reach for a hearing aid, ran up over the curb, took out some landscaping and tore the bottom of the car’s oil pan, leaving a trail of oil up the road until the engine seized and the car would go no further.
  • A driver, swerving to miss an animal on the road, caused the cell phone to drop off the console. Leaning over to retrieve the cell phone, the car ran up over the curb, took out an ocotillo and damaged the front end of the car when it hit a boulder.

All of these examples apply to real situations with people in automobiles. What about other types of distractions?

A resident walking with traffic, instead of against it, was listening to something interesting with ear pods. The person did not hear the golf cart approaching from behind and almost stepped out of the multi-use lane into the path of the cart that was attempting to pass the walker safely.

A bicyclist, traveling at a high rate of speed, pulled out from behind a car stopping at a four-way intersection. Passed the car on the left and blazed on through the four-way intersection without stopping. In this case, the rider was not distracted, but rather felt fully in control and saw no conflicting traffic that would impede his ride. He did, however, not see the auto at 90-degrees getting ready to move through the intersection after coming to a full and complete stop.

A resident driving a golf cart was talking on a cell phone and ran through a stop sign. Fortunately, there was no conflicting traffic.

A walker was walking in the proper multiuse lane, against traffic, reading a book. The walker proceeded into an intersection with a side street. Fortunately, the driver of the auto, about to pull out from the side street noticed the walker and waited for the person to cross the intersection. It appeared the walker was not aware of the auto about to pull out.

A golf cart driver pulled up to an intersection with a stop sign, looking to his left to be sure there was no traffic coming, turned right into the multiuse lane and would have hit a walker had not the walker been paying attention and jumped out of the way. The golf cart driver never seemed to notice the walker.

And there was the man returning from a golf outing with three friends, driving down a busy two-lane street. There was quite a conversation going on in the back seat of the car between two of the fellow golfers. The driver, joining into the conversation, turned his head to look at one of the back-seat passengers, crossed the center line and narrowly missed an oncoming car.

What do these examples all have in common? The person of interest was distracted. Even though the distraction may have lasted on a moment or two, the person either had an accident, or barely missed having one. For some… FATE, the Hunter, found a prey.

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