Several years back I was on my way home from a night shift. Being early on a weekend morning (Saturday or Sunday... don't recall which) traffic on the Interstate was very light. I was approaching my exit which would put me on the road to my neighborhood, so I'm in the right most lane. All I need to do is pass under the bridge and take the exit which will loop around and allow me to head east.
Suddenly, the large, white SUV, which is several car lengths forward of me in the center lane (to my left) goes very, VERY hard on the brakes! The nose dives sharpely and the rear wheels darn near come up off the ground. I had just completed a scan of my mirrors so I knew there were no cars in close proximity behind me. While I can't see what it is that prompted the SUV to brake so hard, I go fairly hard on the brakes too! At that moment, a small compact car comes into view from in front of the SUV. The lady driving was talking on her cell phone and suddenly realized she was about to miss her exit. She sweeps from the left lane, across the center lane and into my lane.
As she entered my lane, she apparently decided she needed to come to a complete stop because the right most lane was occupied (by me) and she didn't want to have an accident. I only have one real option at this point. As I mentioned, I had just checked my mirror so in addition to there being no cars close behind me, I knew the exit lane on my right was clear as well. As I came off the brakes and began a hard rightward movement, I made a mental note of the fact this lady had already demonstrated poor awareness skills but may suddenly decided being stopped on a through lane of the Interstate is a bad idea and start moving again. As such as I moved to the right, I targeted the hard shoulder of the exit lane versus the lane itself.
That proved to be a good move because she did begin to move. We ended up side by side on the exit, she in the lane with me beside her on the shoulder. I slowed down and let her move forward of me. As I was now heading west instead of east, I needed to go to the next signal light and get turned around to head home. I moved over into the left lane where I could make a controlled left turn (green arrow).
The light was red as we approached. As I come to a stop, I look to my right. The lady is sitting there, still chatting on her cell phone, without a care in the world, oblivious to the fact she nearly killed me. Her window was down and she had her cell phone in the left hand, up to the left ear. She was easily within reach of my right hand. If the arrow had not turned green for me at just that moment, I'm pretty certain a cell phone would have been flying across the road towards the bushes.
Experience IS NOT the best teacher! Someone else's experience is the best teacher.
D R screwed with this post 03-09-2012 at 03:56 AM
Reason: fix typo....