June 1, 2009

Trailer Collision

A couple of Fridays ago I wrote:

But what really bugs me this time of year in town are the pervasive yard maintenance trailers which are invariably parked in the street in front of the people who pay for yard work. Driving around those things often puts you face-to-face with oncoming traffic. It's not so bad on a side road, but why are so many of these things parked on main roads? It's double-fun when they're parked on a corner and you can't see well around them. Drop to 20MPH and hope nobody is speeding in the other lane, if you value your life.

This weekend a woman died when she drove into one of these landscaping trucks. It was on Chase St, a place I used to ride my bike frequently as a teenager.

The woman was very old and it appears she dove right up the back of the trailer. it seems likely she was an impaired driver.

The trailer owner did make an attempt to make his truck even more visible by placing cones around and behind the truck. However, the problem with these trucks is not their visibility -- the cones are more for the safety of the owner of the truck as he walks around his trailer, warning people to give the thing a wide berth when passing.

As you can see from the comments on that news story, people want to point fingers at the woman or the truck owner. They're missing the point.

In completely ideal conditions, there are no accidents. But the world is not an ideal place. There are distractions, impairments, and situations that chip away at the chance that everything will go according to plan. in the aggregate they can contribute to an unsafe condition.

Nobody can argue that these trailers kill people. But no amount of cones can prevent a trailer from requiring you to cross into oncoming traffic as you go by. These trailers are an obstacle that often reduce the safe driving condition of the roadway.

Considering how vigilant the town is at policing things like signage, maybe a little attention needs to be paid to whether the laws are being followed when these trucks block the road. Maybe more of these yard workers will ask their clients whether they can park the trucks in the driveway instead of blocking the road. I'd like to see that.

Posted by James at June 1, 2009 11:51 AM
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Those of you who have been to my home know I live on a very narrow street--so narrow that at times, one has to pull over to let an oncoming car get by.

One of my neighbors (guess which one!) has a lawn service come, and they routinely block the road, making it hairy for just one vehicle to squeeze by. Add to that they now also do the yard of someone else on the street, so while they're parked in the street near me, they ride their gigantic mowers down the street to and from yards.

Best of all, they frequently descend upon my quiet, rural neighborhood while I'm enjoying coffee, the paper, and the birds in my back yard, and set to work with their various motors blaring, drowining out any shred of peace. I now refer to them as The Valkyries.

Posted by: Patti M. at June 1, 2009 12:22 PM

I sometimes see these trailers parked on the street in front of businesses that have parking lots.

I know they like to park on the street to be near whatever they're landscaping, but on the other hand, I'd like to drive on the correct side of the road. They often have a choice, and I don't.

Posted by: Julie at June 1, 2009 1:35 PM

I almost drove straight into a dump truck one morning; my windows were dirty (this is back when I was a smoker) and the sun was shining at the perfect angle to make the truck invisible to me until I almost drove into it. If it wasn't for Hubby in the passenger seat suddenly yelling "TRUCK!" I would have hit it. And yes, it was parked directly in the line of traffic.

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at June 2, 2009 8:00 AM

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