Tag Archives: driving

Another example of how NOT to park

I know it’s just a commercial, but still, that is a completely nonsensical park job. PD too. I’ve already covered this before in a previous post, so I’m not going to repeat myself.

Things people who were involved in traffic collisions say (and what they really mean)

There are only a handful of things we actually hear at wrecks.

“He came out of nowhere!”
Reality: “I didn’t see him because I wasn’t paying enough attention.”

“She stopped all of a sudden!”
Reality: “I didn’t follow at a safe distance. I also wasn’t paying enough attention.”

“He was going really fast!”
Reality: “I didn’t see him because I wasn’t paying enough attention.”
Also, he wasn’t really going that fast. I can see the scratch on the car.

“I wasn’t going that fast.”
Reality: “I was going far too fast before I lost control in the rain because I wasn’t paying enough attention.”

“Is she drunk?”
Reality: “I know I’m totally at fault because I wasn’t paying enough attention but I’m trying to blame the other driver.”
Also, no.

“I only had 2 beers.”
Reality: “I had more than 2 beers. Also, I wasn’t paying enough attention because it’s hard to pay attention after drinking more than 2 beers.”

“The sun was in my eyes.”
Reality: “The sun was in my eyes and I didn’t bother to slow down.”

Funniest thing I heard #9

“Engine 10, service call. RP says she is locked inside her car and can’t get out.”

Five minutes later.

“Engine 10, RP called back to say she got out. You can cancel.”

Cell phone warriors: Eat a dick

Code 3 for traffic collision. Called in by a passer-by.

I hate cell phone warriors.

We barely find the wreck. Why? Because it’s a fender-bender and the cars are parked like normal parking jobs. The people are exchanging information like sensible, intelligent human beings. For a change.

“Um, we’re OK.”

“We didn’t call you guys.”

“We don’t need the police. No one is hurt.”

To sum up, a cell phone warrior, passing by in a car, saw this very minor traffic collision, did not bother to stop and ask the parties involved if they were OK, called 911 to report it so s/he can pat him/herself on the back and feel good about him/herself for saving the day, all while s/he should instead be PAYING ATTENTION TO DRIVING AND STAYING OFF THE PHONE. We get dispatched, lunch interrupted, drive lights and sirens through streets full of ridiculously poor drivers who on a normal day already can’t even function before we come through Code 3, some of them probably calling 911 themselves for the sleeping homeless drunk while driving and not paying attention, make it to the scene in one piece without getting into another wreck, only to find that no one involved wanted us there in the first place.

So when are we going to require $100 deposits and/or physical presence from 911 callers?

Dear rubberneckers

Dear rubberneckers,

Don’t you fucking dare say you have neck pain.



Stop whining

The big news going around today is an Anne Arundel County, Maryland, dispatcher is facing termination because he told a 13-year-old girl to “stop whining” (audio included) after a hit-and-run driver killed her father and injured his fiancée.

I’m certainly not saying he couldn’t have handled it a little better, but did everyone forget that his primary task here is to find out what happened and where it happened? It’s obvious that it’s a legitimate emergency. It’s obvious the caller is having some trouble providing an accurate location. It’s obvious the caller is upset. It’s obvious it’s a difficult call to take.

If you can do better spending most of your shift talking to difficult callers, step up. Any dispatcher will tell you callers themselves say way worse things than “stop whining” to them every other minute.

So he didn’t have the best bedside manner. So he didn’t choose his words a little better.

Save the outrage for something else. Like the anti-vaxxers. Or this insane anti-vaxxer book for kids.

Don’t stop on the highway

Code 3 for a 36-year-old male “shaking/feeling faint.” On the side of the interstate. In a white Civic.

Fine, if the guy is driving, I accept that he may feel like he’s not going to be able to drive and he pulled over. That being said, the side of the highway is an awfully – and dangerously – stupid place to pull over.

From half a mile away I can see that the front passenger door is open.

“Motherfucker, he’s got a driver!”

And the Civic is stopped 100 yards before the off-ramp. Thankfully – the only thing they did right – they are all the way over in the right shoulder, almost on the unpaved grass and mud.

Opportunity to pursue other options, next exit.

I’m getting pissed. This guy had better be fucking dying for us to respond to the side of the highway. In a car. Feet from tons of metal flying by at unnatural speed.

We stop behind the car, using the rig to protect our working area, praying to any deity who will listen to keep us from getting hit by someone too busy texting to hold the steering wheel.

I step off and can already see that the passenger looks fine. I’m pissed. One cop arrives and sets up behind us.

I look at him, “He’s got a driver!”

He instantly knows what I mean, shakes his head and smirks, “Idiots.”

All thoughts of customer service went out the window as soon as I lay eyes on the normal-appearing patient and his driver. I don’t believe in blind they-are-always-right customer service, but I’m also not proud to say this – it’s a good thing Alan Brunacini isn’t here on this call with us. In my mental flowchart I actually skip the assessment and go straight to bemused admonishment.

Me: You two couldn’t find a better place to stop?

Driver: Uh, he told me to pull over.

Me: Why?

Passenger: Because I was shaking.

Me: I don’t see any shaking.

Passenger: I’m shaking inside.

Me: <Biting tongue/silence>

Me: You see that off-ramp right in front of you?

Driver: Yes.

Me: You didn’t think it was a better idea to take the off-ramp and stop where cars aren’t flying past you at a few hundred miles an hour?

Driver: Um…

Me: This is not a smart place to stop at all.

Driver: <Blank stare>

Driver: I was driving him to [insert hospital name].

Me: Well, you’re not even going the right way.

For a fleeting moment I actually consider telling them to keep driving, but then I figure they’re so dumb they’re not going to make it there in one piece.

“You can walk? Get in the ambulance.”