Near miss

I did not need an Airmed helicopter today, but I very well potentially came close on my way home today. I have had a couple of close calls on my bike including getting hit from behind by one car who continued on their way (hit and run) and a car that pulled out in front of me causing me to hit their front fender and somersault over the hood (her car suffered more damage that I or my bike on that one).

Well, today I had a car completely run a stop sign and pull out in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and went up onto my front wheel skidding along, fortunately maintaining control and coming to a stop and falling off the bike before running into the side of the car. (Powerbook and camera are OK) The woman was on her cell phone and simply looked at me before continuing on her way down the street. I could not believe it so I got back on the bike and rode down to the driveway she pulled into. I respectfully kept my distance, said “good evening” and asked her to “please be more careful when driving and watch the cell phone use while driving”. She responded “my cell phone had nothing to do with it”, which is a complete fallacy . In short, the linked study from the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that cell phone usage while driving quadruples the risk of an accident during the phone call. This risk rivals or exceeds the risk of an accident while drinking and driving. I did not go into all of that detail, but simply said “Regardless of whether or not you feel that way, you failed to properly look out, ran a stop sign and I almost ran into the side of your car”. She replied “There was no stop sign and do you know what the speed limit is?” This response amazed me. I said “there absolutely is a stop sign and furthermore, I was traveling about 10 MPH under the speed limit. Furthermore, I am not asking for anything other than to ask her to be more careful in the future.” She said “it was just an accident” to which I informed her that “accidents kill people. Please be more careful.” Her final comment was that it was inappropriate for me to “follow me to my house”. Whatever.

Photo: This image is of the Bell 430 flown by the University of Utah Airmed group. The helipad is right outside my office making for some great photo opportunities.

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