Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Distractions Can Be Deadly

 

On Friday afternoon, I learned that the neighbor of a friend of mine was run over by her own car. If another neighbor had not seen what happened and responded, the woman probably would have died.

How did this happen? The woman drove to a home to meet a man and to oversee his doing some work there. The worker did not show up. For some reason, the woman stepped out of her car with the engine running. The car started to roll down the driveway, and her instinct was to reach in and turn the steering wheel because she couldn’t reach the ignition button. The car turned and she was caught underneath it, damaging her chest and lungs. A Medivac was called and she was transported to a nearby hospital.

Why do I tell this story? Because all of us, no matter how resilient we are, are stressed to some degree by this election and Covid-19. As a result, we are distracted and unfocused. We are not paying attention to our daily lives as we should, running on automatic and trying to get by.

Do I know that the woman who was run over by her own car was distracted the way I describe it? I don’t know that. What I do know is that I am preoccupied, wondering about the outcomes of the election and the implications of those results. I am also annoyed and frustrated at having to wear a mask when I go into stores. Tomorrow my husband and I will be traveling to the Tampa Zoo, in spite of the ominous precautions for seniors. The Zoo has let guests know they need to wear masks.

The election results will be complete eventually. Somehow Covid-19 will settle into the routine of our lives; we’ll get our vaccines and think about its presence as a sad period when so many died needlessly or succumbed due to their own vulnerabilities.

Those of us who are distracted must try to pay attention to our lives and not just muddle through. Driving in our cars, crossing the street, dicing our vegetables, boiling potatoes—can become dangerous situations. We must wake up and focus.

Our lives may depend on it.

Published in Culture
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 30 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. MarciN Member

    I’ll bet it had one of the new ignition systems. It is the strangest thing. You can’t really tell when the car is actually off now because everything–the lights, the radio, and so on–stays on after you’ve pressed the starter button to shut off the car.

    I drive two cars routinely–one with the electronic system, one without–so I really notice it.

    And in fact, several times I thought the electronic ignition car was off when it wasn’t. Your only way to shut the car off involves hitting the starter button. And that’s not at all like turning a key. There’s no response from the starter button to say, “Okay, the car is off now.” It’s impossible to know if you’ve hit that button hard enough to actually shut it off. (And if you hit it again to make sure you shut it off, it looks the same. So it is entirely possible to hit that button several times to try to shut the car off and lose count of whether you have turned it on or off.)

    It happened to me over the weekend. I thought I had shut the car off by pressing the starter button firmly enough. After I stepped out of the car, when I went to lock it, it wouldn’t let me. The lock buttons kept popping up, and I realized that was a safety feature to alert me that the car was not off yet. The fact that they put that feature in tells me that the manufacturers are aware of the hazard the new ignition systems have created.

    Unfortunately, driving is a means to an end for most people. They are not focused on the car but on the things they need to do with that car.

    The car manufacturers have got to fix this system. They could fix it easily with a software upgrade I think. Just have the starter button turn blue when the driver has held it down long enough to shut the car off.

    • #1
    • November 16, 2020, at 9:00 AM PST
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  2. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    There is a hilarious video of a black Trump supporter waving a big Trump flag. A driver passing by yells obscenities at the flag waver and gets so upset he drives into a lamp post. Another example, not as dangerous but funny.

    https://twitter.com/JFNYC1/status/1328028065809780737

     

    • #2
    • November 16, 2020, at 9:21 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    There is a hilarious video of a black Trump supporter waving a big Trump flag. A driver passing by yells obscenities at the flag waver and gets so upset he drives into a lamp post. Another example, not as dangerous but funny.

    https://twitter.com/JFNYC1/status/1328028065809780737

     

    … and then the popo rolled up. 🤣

    • #3
    • November 16, 2020, at 9:25 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Unfortunately, driving is a means to an end for most people. They are not focused on the car but on the things they need to do with that car.

    @marcin–And with the distractions of these days, our focus can be even worse. No matter what the problems are that technology gives us, we need to be paying attention.

    • #4
    • November 16, 2020, at 9:41 AM PST
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This morning on the way into work I was stuck for miles behind a young guy in an older Camry who was constantly on his phone. It was maddening because not only was he barely able to keep his lane, he was monitoring his speed only by paralleling a slow truck in the right lane – both doing an erratic 50 in a 55 zone. This moron was utterly oblivious to the traffic stacked up behind him, who would go barreling around him on the right at what few opportunities presented.

    The times I wish a cop was around….

    • #5
    • November 16, 2020, at 9:44 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    This morning on the way into work I was stuck for miles behind a young guy in an older Camry who was constantly on his phone. It was maddening because not only was he barely able to keep his lane, he was monitoring his speed only by paralleling a slow truck in the right lane – both doing an erratic 50 in a 55 zone. This moron was utterly oblivious to the traffic stacked up behind him, who would go barreling around him on the right at what few opportunities presented.

    The times I wish a cop was around….

    Add that stupidity to our distraction and it gets really ugly. Thanks, @skipsul

    • #6
    • November 16, 2020, at 9:47 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Clearly, stress kills some of us faster than others.

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    There is a hilarious video of a black Trump supporter waving a big Trump flag. A driver passing by yells obscenities at the flag waver and gets so upset he drives into a lamp post. Another example, not as dangerous but funny.

    https://twitter.com/JFNYC1/status/1328028065809780737

    You might want to poll the pole on that assessment. 

    • #7
    • November 16, 2020, at 9:53 AM PST
    • 1 like
  8. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    A friend of mine who regularly drives a Ford F-350 was in the drive-through lane for coffee a couple of weeks ago and saw a man “park” his large SUV and get out…only to be run over by his now-rolling beastmobile–he was pinned. My friend got out of her truck and got in his vehicle and drove it off of his leg, and yes there was a lot of screaming to call 911 going on as well. The man was very angry/embarrassed and insisted he was fine and he drove away. No doubt that his leg was fractured. My friend was really upset for days afterwards. I am certain that it was because she is the sort of woman who drives an F-350, sometimes pulling a trailer filled with horses, that she had no problem getting in the SUV and driving it.

    • #8
    • November 16, 2020, at 11:16 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. OldPhil Coolidge

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    There is a hilarious video of a black Trump supporter waving a big Trump flag. A driver passing by yells obscenities at the flag waver and gets so upset he drives into a lamp post. Another example, not as dangerous but funny.

    https://twitter.com/JFNYC1/status/1328028065809780737

     

    The dipwad actually tried to reach out and grab the Trump flag from the guy, which must have caused him to turn the wheel and step on the gas pedal. It’s hilarious.

    • #9
    • November 16, 2020, at 12:10 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

     I must have done a mediocre job of writing this post. I’m usually fine when my posts take a different direction, but this path has me baffled. I’m writing about the stress and distractions many people are experiencing, which could potentially be life-threatening, and people are laughing about a dimwit Leftist. 

    Maybe the topic is too close to home? Maybe people realize how fragile life is right now?

    What am I missing?

    • #10
    • November 16, 2020, at 12:32 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I must have done a mediocre job of writing this post. I’m usually fine when my posts take a different direction, but this path has me baffled. I’m writing about the stress and distractions many people are experiencing, which could potentially be life-threatening, and people are laughing about a dimwit Leftist.

    Maybe the topic is too close to home? Maybe people realize how fragile life is right now?

    What am I missing?

    Maybe it is some people blowing off some of the stress.

    • #11
    • November 16, 2020, at 1:38 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  12. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    In my case, it is because I am easily distracted by – ooh, look!

    • #12
    • November 16, 2020, at 1:39 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  13. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    In my case, it is because I am easily distracted by – ooh, look!

    • #13
    • November 16, 2020, at 1:40 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I must have done a mediocre job of writing this post. I’m usually fine when my posts take a different direction, but this path has me baffled. I’m writing about the stress and distractions many people are experiencing, which could potentially be life-threatening, and people are laughing about a dimwit Leftist.

    Maybe the topic is too close to home? Maybe people realize how fragile life is right now?

    What am I missing?

    Maybe it is some people blowing off some of the stress.

    That’s probably it, @percival. I’m happy with that!

    • #14
    • November 16, 2020, at 1:51 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  15. Stad Thatcher

    I hope she’s okay.

    One thing I do is to always put the car in “Park” when stopped for anything other than a red light. I’m thinking of things like picking up or dropping off passengers, getting the mail, or grabbing your fast food order – stuff like that.

    • #15
    • November 16, 2020, at 2:04 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    I hope she’s okay.

    One thing I do is to always put the car in “Park” when stopped for anything other than a red light. I’m thinking of things like picking up or dropping off passengers, getting the mail, or grabbing your fast food order – stuff like that.

    I do, too @stad. If I don’t, my car moves forward before I can begin to step out. Maybe some day we’ll get the whole story. She’s conscious and off the respirator.

    • #16
    • November 16, 2020, at 2:26 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. kedavis Member

    Actor Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the Jar Jar Abrams “reboot” Star Trek movies, died that way. His Jeep Cherokee rolled down his inclined driveway and pinned him against a security/gate post, so he couldn’t breathe. He was 27.

    • #17
    • November 16, 2020, at 2:51 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Actor Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the Jar Jar Abrams “reboot” Star Trek movies, died that way. His Jeep Cherokee rolled down his inclined driveway and pinned him against a security/gate post, so he couldn’t breathe. He was 27.

    That is truly tragic. So young.

    • #18
    • November 16, 2020, at 3:06 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I must have done a mediocre job of writing this post. I’m usually fine when my posts take a different direction, but this path has me baffled. I’m writing about the stress and distractions many people are experiencing, which could potentially be life-threatening, and people are laughing about a dimwit Leftist.

    Maybe the topic is too close to home? Maybe people realize how fragile life is right now?

    What am I missing?

    Tragedy is when I suffer a paper cut. Comedy is when you fall down a manhole. When the Internet first showed up I knew retired military who spent all their time watching videos made from the cameras on missiles and such in war zones. I don’t know why they targeted a portapotty, it did not end well for someone.

    • #19
    • November 16, 2020, at 3:22 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    One of my hard learned* lessons is that if something bad happens, stop for a minute before you react.

    I was going through a bank drive through and forgot that I had a bike on a roof rack. I opened the door to see what happened and then backed up a bit. Unfortunately, I did not close the door and it hit the pylon with the ATM, causing damage to the door. A very embarrassing incident to explain to my wife.

    * well sometimes…..

     

    • #20
    • November 16, 2020, at 3:35 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    One of my hard learned* lessons is that if something bad happens, stop for a minute before you react.

    I was going through a bank drive through and forgot that I had a bike on a roof rack. I opened the door to see what happened and then backed up a bit. Unfortunately, I did not close the door and it hit the pylon with the ATM, causing damage to the door. A very embarrassing incident to explain to my wife.

    * well sometimes…..

     

    Oh, thank you, @willowspring. I shouldn’t have laughed but I did. Thank you.

    • #21
    • November 16, 2020, at 3:49 PM PST
    • Like
  22. Peter Gøthgen Member
    Peter Gøthgen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I’ll bet it had one of the new ignition systems. It is the strangest thing. You can’t really tell when the car is actually off now because everything–the lights, the radio, and so on–stays on after you’ve pressed the starter button to shut off the car.

    I drive two cars routinely–one with the electronic system, one without–so I really notice it.

    And in fact, several times I thought the electronic ignition car was off when it wasn’t. Your only way to shut the car off involves hitting the starter button. And that’s not at all like turning a key. There’s no response from the starter button to say, “Okay, the car is off now.” It’s impossible to know if you’ve hit that button hard enough to actually shut it off. (And if you hit it again to make sure you shut it off, it looks the same. So it is entirely possible to hit that button several times to try to shut the car off and lose count of whether you have turned it on or off.)

    It happened to me over the weekend. I thought I had shut the car off by pressing the starter button firmly enough. After I stepped out of the car, when I went to lock it, it wouldn’t let me. The lock buttons kept popping up, and I realized that was a safety feature to alert me that the car was not off yet. The fact that they put that feature in tells me that the manufacturers are aware of the hazard the new ignition systems have created.

    Unfortunately, driving is a means to an end for most people. They are not focused on the car but on the things they need to do with that car.

    The car manufacturers have got to fix this system. They could fix it easily with a software upgrade I think. Just have the starter button turn blue when the driver has held it down long enough to shut the car off.

    My Lexus GX460 doesn’t have this problem. The V8 is loud enough that you are never under any confusion as to whether or not the engine is running.

    • #22
    • November 17, 2020, at 11:07 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Peter Gøthgen Member
    Peter Gøthgen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    This morning on the way into work I was stuck for miles behind a young guy in an older Camry who was constantly on his phone. It was maddening because not only was he barely able to keep his lane, he was monitoring his speed only by paralleling a slow truck in the right lane – both doing an erratic 50 in a 55 zone. This moron was utterly oblivious to the traffic stacked up behind him, who would go barreling around him on the right at what few opportunities presented.

    The times I wish a cop was around….

    It’s a bad sign when you watch a driver’s behavior and you hope that they are drunk because the alternative would be that they drive that way sober.

    • #23
    • November 17, 2020, at 11:08 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Distractions are strange. I had two such experiences myself, over 20 years ago. I’m generally a reasonably careful driver, with few tickets and accidents in about 37 years of driving.

    One day, working at a Phoenix law firm as a very young lawyer, I parked in the garage and went to work as usual. Returning to my car at the end of the day, I could not find my keys. They were in the car. In the ignition. With the engine running. Oops.

    One day, while backing out of my driveway, I stopped to get out of the car. I don’t recall why — perhaps I had forgotten something in the house. But I also forgot to put the car in park. I just opened the door and started to get out, as the car rolled slowly backward. I jumped back in and stopped the car, without injury.

    These were both very strange errors, never repeated (so far). Both occurred in the same vehicle (I’ve had many over the years), and in the same brief time window (at the start of my legal career, when I briefly lived in Phoenix).

    Incidentally, my dad did the same key-in-the-ignition-with-the-engine-running during his medical residency.

    • #24
    • November 17, 2020, at 12:00 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  25. Flicker Coolidge

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Distractions are strange. I had two such experiences myself, over 20 years ago. I’m generally a reasonably careful driver, with few tickets and accidents in about 37 years of driving.

    One day, working at a Phoenix law firm as a very young lawyer, I parked in the garage and went to work as usual. Returning to my car at the end of the day, I could not find my keys. They were in the car. In the ignition. With the engine running. Oops.

    One day, while backing out of my driveway, I stopped to get out of the car. I don’t recall why — perhaps I had forgotten something in the house. But I also forgot to put the car in park. I just opened the door and started to get out, as the car rolled slowly backward. I jumped back in and stopped the car, without injury.

    These were both very strange errors, never repeated (so far). Both occurred in the same vehicle (I’ve had many over the years), and in the same brief time window (at the start of my legal career, when I briefly lived in Phoenix).

    Incidentally, my dad did the same key-in-the-ignition-with-the-engine-running during his medical residency.

    I haven’t done that since I stopped playing the radio.

    • #25
    • November 17, 2020, at 12:26 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Distractions are strange. I had two such experiences myself, over 20 years ago. I’m generally a reasonably careful driver, with few tickets and accidents in about 37 years of driving.

    One day, working at a Phoenix law firm as a very young lawyer, I parked in the garage and went to work as usual. Returning to my car at the end of the day, I could not find my keys. They were in the car. In the ignition. With the engine running. Oops.

    One day, while backing out of my driveway, I stopped to get out of the car. I don’t recall why — perhaps I had forgotten something in the house. But I also forgot to put the car in park. I just opened the door and started to get out, as the car rolled slowly backward. I jumped back in and stopped the car, without injury.

    These were both very strange errors, never repeated (so far). Both occurred in the same vehicle (I’ve had many over the years), and in the same brief time window (at the start of my legal career, when I briefly lived in Phoenix).

    Incidentally, my dad did the same key-in-the-ignition-with-the-engine-running during his medical residency.

    My mom did it once. She was so nervous about attending a new synagogue that she parked the car and left it running. She was just relieved that it hadn’t run out of gas when she returned.

    • #26
    • November 17, 2020, at 12:57 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  27. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I’ll bet it had one of the new ignition systems. It is the strangest thing. You can’t really tell when the car is actually off now because everything–the lights, the radio, and so on–stays on after you’ve pressed the starter button to shut off the car.

    I drive two cars routinely–one with the electronic system, one without–so I really notice it.

    And in fact, several times I thought the electronic ignition car was off when it wasn’t. Your only way to shut the car off involves hitting the starter button. And that’s not at all like turning a key. There’s no response from the starter button to say, “Okay, the car is off now.” It’s impossible to know if you’ve hit that button hard enough to actually shut it off. (And if you hit it again to make sure you shut it off, it looks the same. So it is entirely possible to hit that button several times to try to shut the car off and lose count of whether you have turned it on or off.)

    It happened to me over the weekend. I thought I had shut the car off by pressing the starter button firmly enough. After I stepped out of the car, when I went to lock it, it wouldn’t let me. The lock buttons kept popping up, and I realized that was a safety feature to alert me that the car was not off yet. The fact that they put that feature in tells me that the manufacturers are aware of the hazard the new ignition systems have created.

    Unfortunately, driving is a means to an end for most people. They are not focused on the car but on the things they need to do with that car.

    The car manufacturers have got to fix this system. They could fix it easily with a software upgrade I think. Just have the starter button turn blue when the driver has held it down long enough to shut the car off.

    Another reason I don’t want to give up my stick shift. Thanks for the info.

    • #27
    • November 18, 2020, at 4:41 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Distractions are strange. I had two such experiences myself, over 20 years ago. I’m generally a reasonably careful driver, with few tickets and accidents in about 37 years of driving.

    One day, working at a Phoenix law firm as a very young lawyer, I parked in the garage and went to work as usual. Returning to my car at the end of the day, I could not find my keys. They were in the car. In the ignition. With the engine running. Oops.

    One day, while backing out of my driveway, I stopped to get out of the car. I don’t recall why — perhaps I had forgotten something in the house. But I also forgot to put the car in park. I just opened the door and started to get out, as the car rolled slowly backward. I jumped back in and stopped the car, without injury.

    These were both very strange errors, never repeated (so far). Both occurred in the same vehicle (I’ve had many over the years), and in the same brief time window (at the start of my legal career, when I briefly lived in Phoenix).

    Incidentally, my dad did the same key-in-the-ignition-with-the-engine-running during his medical residency.

    I left my car running to get out and put something in a post box. Automatically locked door. Had to call the husband who had to drive from his office to home (for spare key) to me. I then went out and bought extra car keys. Of course nothing like that has happened since. 

    • #28
    • November 18, 2020, at 4:56 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Full Size Tabby Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    I hope she’s okay.

    One thing I do is to always put the car in “Park” when stopped for anything other than a red light. I’m thinking of things like picking up or dropping off passengers, getting the mail, or grabbing your fast food order – stuff like that.

    I started doing that (on my automatic transmission cars anyway) after I pulled up at an airport curb to pick up family, intending to remain in the car while they put their luggage in. When they had trouble opening the tailgate, I started to get out of the driver’s seat, forgetting that the car was not in “Park.” 

    Now I do it a lot because in our relatively new house the garage is too narrow for both the driver and passenger to open doors wide enough to get into the car, so Mrs. Tabby enters or exits the car while it’s on our relatively steep driveway (I drive almost every time we go somewhere together). I am somewhat fearful of things like my foot slipping off the brake pedal or something else to cause the car to roll down the steep driveway. 

    • #29
    • November 18, 2020, at 10:15 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Full Size Tabby Member

    Peter Gøthgen (View Comment):
    My Lexus GX460 doesn’t have this problem. The V8 is loud enough that you are never under any confusion as to whether or not the engine is running.

    When I had an electric car there was no engine sound, but the manufacturer had designed things so that if the car was “on” and the door was opened, the car turned “off.” Inconvenient in some maneuvering in tight quarters when I wanted to open the door to see the exact position of the car relative to a pavement marking, but had significant safety advantages. 

    • #30
    • November 18, 2020, at 10:19 AM PST
    • 3 likes