Phantom Driver?

The Adaptive Curmudgeon has a post up about pulling into a gas station and watching a truck pull away with no driver….

It reminded me of something that happened to me a while back.  I was pulling into one of these little awkward city parking lots that had been squished into an empty spot, and was greeted with the site of a seemingly driverless car moving forwards and backwards, about a foot at a time, repeatedly.  After watching for a moment I realized that whoever WAS in control of the car was attempting to turn around, everytime the car would change direction the front wheels would turn just a little bit.  After another minute I finally got a glimpse of the face of a tiny elderly old lady, tiny as in, could barely see over the steering wheel.  From what I saw she was barely able to turn her head the 90degrees required to look directly left or right, and was attempting to turn around so she could leave the lot after having pulled out of a parking space.  Since A: she wasn’t making any real progress since she wasn’t able to see and thus was only allowing the car to move the barest amount at a time, and B: I was pretty sure she hadn’t see ME and I didn’t want to get hit, I found a different place to park.  As I walked back to my car a half hour later I noticed that she’d finally gotten herself loose from the parking lot and had left.

In all honesty I’d have prefered a truely driverless car……

2 Comments

  1. Ping from bogie:

    Although funny, it is sad too. However, not being able to turn to see is not just the venue of the elderly – I’ve seen many people that are too “portly” to do anything but use their mirrors for backing up or performing U-turns. Those people scare me even more because unlike the lady in your story (who seemed to know her limitations), they have no clue that they are missing a whole bunch of stuff (or, hopefully missing, and not hitting).

  2. Ping from Ruth:

    Point.