I’m about at the point of buying a dashcam for both my and the wife’s cars.
Over the years we’ve both logged a lot of hours behind the wheel and it just seems to me that the ability to drive has seriously diminished lately. This isn’t necessarily a generational thing, though young people do stick out like sore thumbs driving, but rather a general lack of awareness going on around me. I’ve seen very old people staring into their phones while driving. People bending over to pick stuff off the passenger side of the floorboard (!), and other such dangerous, idiotic behaviors. They’re only getting worse.
As this trend toward distraction increases (probably made easier by the fact cars are safer than ever), I’ve also noticed a trend toward not using indicators. It gets worse every year. People of all ages just shifting around without warning. Your driving should only be a surprise if it is surprisingly pleasant.
The day that spawned this, however, came about on my drive home. Where the interstate exit is, there are two lanes that turn off: the far right, which eventually goes south, and the second to far right (or for the purpose of this, left exiting lane), which can either turn off (and go north) or continue heading east. Sometimes people get confused and one has to be careful around where the exiting lanes go their separate ways: folks don’t always do what one expects.
As I’m slowing down, in the left of the two lanes (because like Jon Snow, I’m going “Nuth”), I notice that there is a bit of a slow down for the right-most lane. Almost immediately, a truck driven by a young idiot jumps into my lane. I have to slam my brakes even though I’m already slowing down (and going under the speed limit) and I get within a few feet of the guy. Someone could have rear-ended me, I could have rear-ended him, someone could have pushed me into him. So many things damn near went wrong. Why?
Because he wanted to jump out of the slow line… and then merge back in a few car lengths ahead.
Hopefully, between the sound of my tires literally screaming as I went from somewhere less than seventy miles an hour to zero in the shortest possible distance my car can achieve, and my blaring of my horn once I was certain all was well, the fool learned his lesson and might at least signal and take a glance next time (he did not appear to even look into my lane before he did it).
But the thing is, absent some witness testimony to the contrary, I would have been considered at-fault for that. Because he very likely would not admit his guilt and stupidity to his or my insurance, and it would have been a case of me rear-ending him.
Interestingly, earlier that same day, someone did something similar to the wife: they jumped out in front of her from one parking lot and turned slowly into the next one down. No signaling, no sign at all that they intended to do that. Again, we would have been on the hook for the idiocy of another driver. She did say hers was an older woman — perhaps the mother of my idiot. Maybe it’s genetic.
So I want a dash camera.