Oblivious Drivers

So this morning I’m heading west on Aboite Center, and toward me is coming an ambulance–lights flashing, siren blaring. The ambulance reaches the intersection at Homestead Road. All around the intersection, cars are stopped, as they should be. And then, just as the ambulance is ready to enter the intersection on a red light, an SUV headed south crosses RIGHT IN FRONT OF IT.

I was stunned. And I wondered: what prevented that driver from seeing the ambulance? From seeing the lights flashing? From hearing the siren? There are multiple possible answers.

A couple years ago, at that same intersection, I saw the same thing happen with a firetruck. An oblivious teenage guy forced the firetruck to come to a stop at the intersection.

All of which is an advertisement for defensive driving. If people aren’t noticing sirens and flashing lights and other cars stopped along the road, how are they going to notice my ordinary vehicle doing nothing special?

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