“Assume everyone else on the road is an idiot”

IT’S been a feral few weeks on the roads. ‘Feral’ is a truly ordinary word and I don’t bandy it about too often, but there’s no better way to describe it.

A 54-year-old Mudgeeraba woman died on Monday when she lost control of her car and hit a tree.

This follows the death of a 52-year-old woman in Oxenford two weeks ago; Wendy Turner was killed when her car collided with a ute being driven by a teenage P-plater. Police are still investigating.


And the horrific accident that killed four people in South Australia this week was responsible for taking four members of one family, aged 16, 22, 45 and 68. The crash was reportedly caused by the driver of the other car (who escaped with minor injuries) being distracted by his GPS system. What an absolute tragedy.

I struggle to comprehend it when I hear that someone’s life has been cut short like this. A person is just going about their day one minute, thinking about what they’re going to make for dinner or what plans they’ve made for the weekend, and then suddenly – game over.

It’s so… abrupt. And so absolutely unnecessary.

But I can see how easily it happens. I was driving home after spending the morning at Movieworld yesterday and I was reminded of the advice my dear old Grandad gave me when I first got my licence: “Assume everyone else on the road is an idiot.”

It was 1pm and both of my kids were fast asleep in the back seat. I was travelling in the over-taking lane, where I was (funnily enough!) over-taking some slow-moving 4WDs.

I was travelling at around 105km per hour in a 100km zone and at that speed, I breezed past a number of vehicles who were cruising at an unhurried pace of 90-95km.

Now, I know over-taking lanes are for those who are in a hurry but at midday on a low-key Tuesday on the Gold Coast, I felt that my speed was pretty much spot on.

The giant white car who tailed me for 2km? He clearly didn’t agree. I could see him speed up behind me and when he reached my car, he hovered as close as possible to my bumper without actually touching it.

As I waited for a safe opportunity to change lanes, he edged closer and flashed his highbeams, prompting me to swerve into the left lane quicker than I’d have liked.

Predictably, he took off, speeding ahead at breakneck speed (where are the traffic cops when you need them?!).

I’m grateful my kids were asleep, because if they’d been awake and I’d been listening to them chatter on while negotiating his forceful road moves, I may have been distracted… And then who knows?

Not for the first time, my granddad was right.

[signoff icon=”icon-thumbs-up”]The Meddler

Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a larger audience. And earn a dollar! Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published. Contributions should be under 400 words, please supply contact details including a phone number. The Meddler reserves the right to edit articles submitted. Please send to news@mygc.com.au [/signoff]