I was riding earlier this summer in an area I didn't know and screwed up and nearly ran through a four-way stop. I was looking too far ahead looking for a gas station coming into town, and missed the stop sign. So I'm barreling towards it not slowing, and there's a car sitting there stopped on the cross street. She sees me coming full speed not slowing, and ... pulls out in front of me. I piled on the brakes and stopped in time, saving her a dented car and me some injury. But what really struck me is that as she slowly drove past my front wheel she had her head turned fully at me, staring at me. Like "it was my
turn". I'm sure if she had killed me she would have realized she screwed up and felt bad, I'm sure she wasn't evil or anything. She would have known in retrospect she should have just let me go even though I was obviously in the wrong. No harm, no foul. But in the moment she was willing to let the accident happen because it was her
Here's another one from our local paper last week. Motorcycle makes illegal and ill-advised pass, and car decides to "teach him a lesson".
A La Crosse man was charged Tuesday with hitting a motorcycle with his vehicle last month.
Matthew M. Sallander, 37, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine after he was charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety in La Crosse County Circuit Court.
According to the criminal complaint, Sallander was driving his blue 2002 Jeep Liberty up Bliss Road in La Crosse on July 10 when a motorcycle driven by Nicholas McCollough came up behind him and began passing him on the left in a no-passing zone.
Sallander told police he deliberately swerved left; however, he didnít intend to hit McCollough, only scare him. His vehicle hit the motorcycle, causing it to fall and skid about 10 to 20 feet, according to the report.
McCollough told police he was driving at about 25 to 30 mph when he passed Sallander and said it was a "dumb decision" to pass in the no-passing zone.
Sallander also was cited for operating left of center, and McCollough was cited for reckless driving, operating a motor vehicle without a motorcycle license and operating a motor vehicle without insurance, according to the report.
Sallander is free on a $1,000 signature bond.
Sallander feels bad, I'm sure he's a good person. But in the moment he felt wronged, didn't think, and nearly killed someone.
Really has me thinking. What is it with us (because we all have the same impulse, you know it) that we feel so wronged when someone does something dangerous or illegal around us, by mistake or intentionally. Why does that anger us so? Hell, why do we hate to be passed legally so much? Like it is a personal insult.
Oh, well, I don't have an answer or even a good theory. All I know is when our frontal brains are engaged about half us of make good decisions about half the time. But when it's not engaged and we respond with just reptilian reflex, Christ we can be stupid.