Friday 20 October 2017

Beware of the lethal moment in every driver's day

The point when they just 'forget'

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Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Three times in the past week I have had to swerve to avoid hitting or crashing into the door of a car.

I always say there is a moment when people 'forget'.

Just a split second.

Like when we forget to check in the rear-view mirror to see if there is another vehicle coming as we prepare to get out of the car.

In the three cases that put the heart crossways in me, there were children in the rear seats.

The driver (one man, two women) in each case looked rushed and a little distracted.

They plunged out the door without ever thinking. Thankfully I saw it coming on each occasion but in one instance had no more than a few centimetres to spare, I'd say.

People are rushed and stressed; we all know that. But I also think there is a psychology behind instances such as I've outlined. It goes like this: you don't need to concentrate when the car is stopped; only when you are driving.

Would you agree with that?

I base my argument on many observations over several years.

I've seen the best of on-road drivers simply forget one little check.

It is so easy to be distracted: the phone rings, the children are crying/fighting, you see someone across the road, you are in a desperate hurry . . . it is all perfectly understandable.

But maybe it is about time we remembered that we can't switch off just because our cars are at a standstill.

Tell me what you think or of experiences you've had.

EMAIL: ECUNNINGHAM@INDEPENDENT.IE

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