There are so many learning experiences that can't be learned any other way than to be there. I think most of the traffic accidents have been learning experiences, a few haven't, but the overall effect of the non learning experiences is to make you drive slower and leave more room, which is just what the driving authorities say.
Ever hear stories of people running to get on a wreaked bus in a big city? There is no doubt in my mind that happens. I had 2 poor underpriviledged minority youth sitting in the back seat and an old lady who was a charge to the city sitting in the front seat when I got bumped by the car behind me while waiting to make a left turn. Under other circumstances I would have ignored it, but rides that are charges to the city or county get treated differently, one takes no liability risks with these rides. I asked the dispatcher to get the police for me.
The 2 kids in the back seat were rather dismayed, they didn't want to wait, they didn't want to have the cops involved. I told them I was sorry about the situation, but it was out of my control. This went on for about 5 minutes, then the mouthy one started saying, "My arm hurts, when does I get paid?" I said to him that the guy in the ratty old car behind us who had carelessly bumped us probably was uninsured, and would get his drivers license revolked if he persisted with this he was injured nonsense The black 12 year old had no mercy for the black man with 2 children and their mother in the ratty car behind us. That poor man did lose his driving priviledges to the young gang banger.
When the cops got there they checked out the 2 kids pretty closely. The lady in the front seat said she was ok for the record. The lady cop who did the paperwork expressed her amazement at how reasonable, composed, and even tempered I was. We'd crossed path's before. I asked her why she expected any other behaviour. She let it drop, she had been wrong on that other occasion in the past and she knew it. After the paperwork was finished, I went to drop my 2 fares, and when I got empty I played a hunch, I swung into the garage and pulled the back seat out. Sure enough, there was a little brown wax covered cube about 3/4" on a side lying there under where the seat had been. Delivery boys, they were only afraid until they figgured they could stand the shakedown, and the cops did indeed shake them down. Next time I will pull the rear out if the cops don't. I'm pretty sure it was T-fus who pulled that little cube out of the trash barrel in the garage, I know someone certainly did.
I think the first accident I ever got in was in a blizzard. It was at the bottom of the hill in the northbound lane of Park, 1800 block, if memory serves. I was waiting for a passenger to come out and she was taking her time. There was a black lady sitting in the back seat. It was about 10 days before Christmas, just exactly this time of year. I watched a car crest the hill behind me in the rear view mirror, and start coming down the hill.
I asked myself, why doesn't he change lanes? It was a long hill, he had pleanty of time to change lanes, why isn't he changing lanes? Why???? Because he was a complete moron! He was a PhD student in electrical engineering from Taiwan, who had absolutely no clue what snow was, much less what it was like to drive on it, and was incapable of saying to himself that he might be too clueless to drive in a blizzard. It turns out that he locked up his brakes at the top of the hill and slid all the way down. All this idiot would have had to have done would have been to take his foot off the brake and change lanes and coast by me. But no, when he was too close to change lanes, I braced myself for the impact, and realized that I was stupid too. I'd let this fool hit me. CRASH..............
The black lady in the back seat started saying, "Oh, I hurt my arm. No, it's my shoulder. No, it's my neck."
"Merry Christmas ma'am!", I said, "Merry Christmas."
They tell me the idiot Chinaman got more than $10,000. And people wonder why I'm an isolationist.
The most spectacular accident I've ever seen happened on Stoughton rd. It was in the southbound lane just north of Buckeye rd. I had a passenger in, all of a sudden about 100 meters ahead of me a car started to spin, debris flew up in the air, then the whole group of 6 or 7 cars started spinning and crashing into each other. This chaos created a huge cloud of dust almost immediately, and I couldn't see into it. I slowed to about 10 miles per hour and creapt up on the carnage. The dust started to clear before I reached the crash, and by the time I slowly picked my way past the broken cars and the trash lying on the pavement. It was just like watching one of those most spectacular videos you see on TV, a 7 car pile up.
The most memorable accident I never actually saw. It happened on a New Year's Eve (day), at around 3:30 am. It was a really memorable holiday shift in general too. That was the night the cops locked King James out of his cab, but that's another cutsie story for another time. I was sitting in front of the Pizza Pit on University. Across the street was an entire block parking lot. The Black Bear Lounge was shooing their customers out, I'd picked up a passenger there a few minutes earlier and I will never forget the blond girl in the biker jacket who was missing her 2 front teeth, otherwise she was real pretty. The Bear was 90 degrees away from where I was sitting, also across the street from the huge parking lot. Sitting in a car, you can only see the front row of cars parked in the lot, so I could only hear what was about to happen.
All of a sudden from the middle of the parking lot I heard car tires screaching, then crash! Tires screach again, crash! Tires screach again, crash! Tires screach again, crash! It was pretty obvious what was going on, somebody was flooring it and crashing into a car foreward, then putting it into reverse and flooring it and crashing, and just going back and forth like that. It's something that you just listen to with an odd fascination and say to yourself, wow. I was just putting the cab into gear so I could go over to the entrance of the lot and perhaps see what was going on, when I heard, tires screach - crash, "You son of a bitch!!!!!! That's my car!!!!!!", tires screach crash.
When I was aproaching the entrance of the lot I saw a car that was very tore up come flying out of the lot southbound on Lake. I was just turning on to lake. A squad flew around the corner off Johnson, he was headed into that lot, and with his lights on, he also blocked me from following them lunatic in the demolition derby car. I stopped him at the entrance to the parking lot and told him he'd just passed the guy he was after, when he turned onto Lake off Johnson, the guy he was after turned onto Johnson and was headed east. The cop immediately pulled around and took off down Johnson st. I doubt he ever caught up to the guy, but perhaps the guy who watched his car get smashed got a plate number.
Why do people do things like this? Most people think that alcohol is to blame. I disagree, alcohol only enhances the fundamental poison which is the root of the problem. What?? No, I'm not talking about what most people think of when they say, 'drugs' either. Ok, what then? Testosterone poisoning of course. My theory is, the moron in that car bought drinks for some whore for hours and figgured he was going to get some. Then when closing time came and she said some polite variant of, 'No,I let you buy me drinks, chump, and I do not go home with chumps', he kind of lost it. Poor guy.