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Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by swiftaw, Sep 10, 2008.
Unfortunately, your link doesn't seem to work for me (it might be a problem at CNN's end, though).
Was it this story?
I say quite right – not slowing down or avoiding a massive puddle shows a lack of good road skills.
Saying you could have caused an accident by doing so is surely a sign of bad driving – would you say the same about another obstacle in the road, or a person? You should be looking ahead to anticipate obstacles.
I know getting soaked is not the same as getting injured, but at best it's a massive inconvenience, at worst, there could be anything in that puddle – oil, sewage, chemicals. Also, there could be anything under the surface of that puddle that could be a danger to the driver as well – e.g. an open drain or a massive rock. There's no excuse for driving through something like that fast enough to soak someone.
I know accidents happen, but then that's why you'd stop and check the person's alright, which seems to be why she failed. You can't just drive through a residential area and not give a crap about what you're causing by your car/driving, which is what she seems to have been doing.
I think that this line "It was my third test and I was really confident." is quite telling.
As someone who walks a lot I am frequently astonished by the lack of consideration that many drivers show for pedestrians.
I've only been splashed once, and I got the person back after, it's very frustrating because you know 90% of the time, it was intentional...
I've been splashed before but only when it was raining....its very annoying. Its always good to have a rock nearby
Oh well next time the driver will take a little caution when going over those puddles.
In the US, splashers never stop. And on the freeway, trucks are the worse, as they can create a high enough splash to completely cover your windshield. Your blinded for a few seconds.
This is unrelated to the a driving test, but once I was out with my mom after a big rain - I came cruising by this laundromat in town with this huge puddle out front. I checked and didn't see anybody in the parking lot and so went right down the middle of this huge puddle which naturally splashed all over the parking lot.
Once we got home mom told me there a lady putting a load of whites into her car that I didn't see... Whether she actually got hit or not, I don't know but the splash I made was huge and I wouldn't be surprised if it nailed her.
I've always felt bad about that.
I agree with the statement about the driver being aware of their surroundings. It may look like just a jerk thing, or an inconsiderate action on the top level - but it's a major lack of situational awareness and defensive driving. That is a recipe for disaster - especially with inexperienced drivers.
But - in a similar situation - talk about karma. I was getting a ride home with a friend, we were waiting at a red light - about 5 minutes into an epic downpour. Anyhow - directly across from us, some lady driving out of a McDonalds drive-thru had cut off (and splashed) a pedestrian. While waiting at the red light - the pedestrian expressed their thanks and started walking away. Well - lady in the SUV couldn't stand for not having the last word it appears. So rather than proceed when the light turned green - she rolled down her window to get the last word - right as WE drove through this massive puddle.
I must say - she got AT LEAST 7 gallons of top-quality street drainage, tsunami-delivered right into the driver side window.
What goes around....
Surely standing by a large puddle in a road demonstrates a lack of good pedestrian skills then?
Actually, Gav, I do actively avoid puddles, as car drivers are, more often than not, inconsiderate wankers.
But I think if you're standing at a bus stop (as per the article) you haven't got that much choice, and, similarly, some pavements are too narrow to avoid these things.
It's not my fault you car drivers can't control your little cars.
This reminded me of getting doused a couple of years ago.
It was monsoon season, and raining hard. I had to pull out in a local type highway. Unfortunately, there was no merge. You basically were at a stop sign and had to floor it to get into traffic.
Well it was raining and water was flowing down the road. I couldn't see, so I thought it best to roll down my window. And a big truck came by and splashed me good. Got most of the front seat. I was completely soaked. I just started laughing at myself and I looked at the puddles of water inside my car.
My biggest fear in terms of having an accident is that I will hit someone one day. I try to be very aware of my surroundings but sometimes it is unavoidable. Pedestrians will often take the right away (because it is their right) but there are times when I'll walk and yield to the auto because I can clearly see they're not paying enough attention to me. I try to do as little as I can while I drive. Having had a near-fatal accident when I was younger I seem to be fairly good at paying attention.
As for failing your test because you splashed someone, good call on the person who failed the driver. I agree with Lau that it is bad form to do that and clearly shows that puddle could have easily been the car striking the ped.
I think so too. Personally I think if you can't pass within 3 attempts you are probably not to be trusted with 1-2 tones of high-speed machinery...
Some folks just shouldn't be driving.
It's actually an offence in the UK to deliberately splash a pedestrian whilst driving a car, it's classed as Driving Without Due Care and Attention.
But the same argument could also be applied to driving, depending on the width of the road, a driver may not have much choice either. Some roads are too narrow to avoid such things, and on a wet road, it's not always easy to differentiate a puddle from its surrounding tarmac.
Pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers are all equally responsible in lessening the possibility of an incident or an accident and making the highways (which include pavements) as safe as possible for all concerned.
Though I believe there was a case several years ago where a driver was convicted of Actual Bodily Harm for drenching a pedestrian in similar circumstances, from my understanding of the article, she wasn't actually failed for drenching (perhaps not an accurate term, given the use of the word "splash" and that the driver herself has stated she didn't "deluged" the pedestrian) but for not stopping and exchanging details with the pedestrian after the accident.
It would of course be interesting, if the person that was splashed considered it an accident, serious enough to warrant reporting it to the police, or whether it was minor enough that they barely noticed.
it would appear that it is also an offence if you do so accidentally as well.
No, that is true, but you could still slow down to avoid the massive splash. I understand there are sometimes circumstances that make it unavoidable, but from what I've seen, the majority of drivers don't think "oh no, I can't avoid this", they think "whatever", you know?
I actually got doused just earlier this week, but I was already soaked anyway.
My brother goes out of his way to splash people if the opportunity presents itself. (Yes he's a douche)
Driving is all about anticipation. If you can't anticipate an obstacles effect on your vehicle then you should fail. What if it was a solid obstacle and it hit the pedestrian?
I splashed my next-door neighbor once, and I didn't even notice that I had done it. He just stood there with this "Oh my God, I can't believe that just happened" expression and when I finally realized what I had done, I felt so terrible. I didn't stop apologizing for days, and I don't think I ever looked him in the eye after that
They should create the rule, if you want to splash, you must be splashed first.
Around here, if you drive straight-on through a puddle, you're liable to loose your front end.
Not a wise choice, with so many pot-holes around.
If you really cannot see a puddle on the tarmac, I urge you to have your eyesight tested as soon as possible. Who knows what else you are missing when you are on the road...
Had she seen it in time, then maybe she would have, or perhaps would've taken measures to avoid it.
But it would appear from the article, driving through the puddle itself wasn't necessarily the problem. It's the fact that she didn't stop afterwards that was the main contribution to her test failure, though given that we don't know whether the person that was splashed considered the incident serious enough to report to the police, then the examiners assertion that it amounted to an accident is woefully exaggerated, given that it implies that the driver essentially committed a hit-and-run and left the scene of an accident.
Indeed, the reason she gave afterwards is a perfectly valid one, and one which would've been a reasonable assumption to make when driving on a wet road... when taking sudden, evasive action the potential for loss of control resulting in a vehicle traveling into oncoming traffic, or, mounting the pavement increases exponentially.
But it's easy to forget that drivers are pedestrians too, but not every pedestrian is a driver, and perhaps it doesn't always occur to them that they should not assume that drivers are always going to be in a position to be able to take avoiding action.
Anyway... I can't believe I'm sat here talking about driving through puddles... dear lord.
I think it's safe to assume that even the most inexperienced driver realises that when you drive through a puddle it's liable to create a splash to some degree or other, but it's completely unrealistic to not only expect a driver to be able to differentiate every puddle on a wet road, but also reliably estimate its depth and to avoid every one entirely... particularly when the situation involves people at bus stops, or children outside of schools, or parked ice creams vans for example... i.e. when it is perhaps more sensible to be on the look out for people that are late for their bus, excited children running home, or stepping out from behind the ice cream van, with their attention focused firmly on devouring that Flake 99 rather than adhering to the Green Cross Code.
If the driver didn't see it, could not reasonably have been expected to have seen it, or could not avoid it, then it would be classified as an accident.
Personally, I think it sounds like she's been a little hard done by in an unfortunate situation, it wouldn't be the first time an examiner has made a bad call.
Because that's exactly what I said isn't it...
That's nothing compared to driving under an overpass just as a plow goes by during a "wintry mix"