I recently witnessed an automobile collision that did not need to happen. Not like any of them have to happen, but I tried to prevent this one.
I was entering a parking lot to one of my favorite eateries in San Jose when I noticed there was quite a bit of parking lot jockeying going on. I stopped to watch as “Car A” waited for the occupants of “Car B” to get in and close their car doors so she could pull into the spot next to them. Meanwhile, “Car C” wasn’t aware that “Car A” was behind her. She was looking in my direction, the entrance to the shopping center, while she slowly backed her car out of the parking spot she was in. Not once did she look directly behind her or in the opposite direction before backing up.
My windows were down as I waved and yelled, “stop, stop, stop, no, no, no” in an attempt to get her to stop backing up. Her windows were up and I guess she didn’t notice me, or thought I was crazy, and continued on her path until she nudged “Car A.” After the crash, she pulled back into the spot she was in, while “Car A’s” driver immediately jumped out of her car to assess the damage. Meanwhile, traffic behind me was backing up, as there was nowhere for me to go with "Car A" blocking the narrow driveway for this popular restaurant. In the background, “Car B” had finally gotten everyone in his car and was trying to maneuver out of his parking stall. A few moments passed before “Car A” finally parked so she and “Car C” could exchange information and call whoever they were calling to report the collision.
If I were “Car C,” I would have looked in all directions behind me to make sure the path was clear before I backed out.
Had I been “Car A,” I would not have been so focused on what was going on with “Car B.” I would have been looking around and would have blown my horn in an attempt to catch the driver of “Car C’s” attention and prevent the collision. I've been in this situation before, particularly at Valley Fair Mall in San Jose, where someone is backing out of a stall, and does not see that I am behind them waiting for whatever is going on in front of me to clear so I can pass. I’ve used my horn to prevent my car from being made into a croissant. Several years ago, a friend of mine actually was hit at that very mall by someone backing out of a stall. Her rear passenger door had to be replaced.
And if I were in “Car B,” I probably would have tried to get my passengers loaded up on the driver’s side of the car, or would have tried to get them situated more quickly, so as not to impact “Car A’s” passage to the empty parking stall. I’m not blaming “Car B” for the crash. It’s just in my nature to try to not impact others as much as possible.
What do you think? Have you been in a similar situation? Share with me your stories of crashes you tried to prevent but happened anyway. Also, explain how the collision could have been prevented from all points of view.