Alan B wrote: ↑
Mar 31, 2018 9:36 am
They can see well enough to stay in the lane, but they are really trusting the lane is clear
, not really being safe.
Unfortunately, in my experience, the part i bolded is a significant portion of the problems with many (perhaps most) road or path users of any kind, be they car/truck drivers or cyclists or even pedestrians.
The drivers of really large vehicles like buses and delivery trucks of various kinds seem to do a better job of watching even farther ahead (probably because due to mass their reaction time is forcibly slowed and they're aware of it), but drivers of stuff that's SUV sized and smaller (all the way down to foot traffic) typically seem to just assume everything is always going to be ok until it just isn't.
I can't count the number of times I've been waiting to turn (left or right) or cross some intersection (usually but not always at a red light), and someone approaching behind me doesn't think they should have to wait, but can't see the conditions on the cross-road, and just go around me. Sometimes they collide with the unseen oncoming traffic, but much more often they either manage to slam on their brakes in time or they accelerate really hard and just gun it into or across the traffic stream as the cross traffic manages to avoid them one way or another (sometimes colliding with each other rather than the cause of the whole thing).
Sometimes the reason I was waiting was crosswalk traffic (or jaywalkers further down), that someone behind me can't see due to angles and/or obstructions. When the impatient person behind me goes around in those cases, it's always been a really really close call as they screech to a halt or swerve hard to avoid killing the crossers (who can't move fast enough to avoid the driver), and sometimes the driver wrecks their vehicle in the process.
The same thing happens when it's another car waiting there to turn rather than me, but since I don't fill the lane even with SB Cruiser, it's much more likely a driver will go around me than it is for them to go around another car/truck.
If everyone assumed there would be problems everywhere along the way and was looking for them all the time, rather than assuming the entire road or path is all theirs forever and always with nothing else on it anywhere, roads and paths would be significantly safer.
But AFAICT, that's not how people generally think, and whenever I've discussed it with people, even friends or coworkers, some of them seem genuinely surprised (even angry) that they should think any other way than "why should I care", and aren't going to change, and most of them never even thought about it at all, and many of *those* don't really see any problem with how things are, since they've never killed anybody yet. Some agree with me, and some even change how they drive/walk/etc to be more aware of their surroundings. Some of *those* even stay that way more than a week. :/