We were in Louisville for the weekend for the Greatest Truck Show on Earth. While enjoying a non-moving, king-sized bed Thursday morning with a huge TV screen directly in front of me, I was jolted from the feather pillows and quilts by the Grey’s Anatomy promo on ABC.
So shocked, I dashed off an immediate email to my culture maven, we’ve been discussing my growing disenchantment with the story lines.
I may have to quit Grey’s, I wrote, on principle.
“I just saw the promo for tonight’s episode. Arizona, the wench, says: ‘the truck just came out of nowhere.’” (Please don’t tell me what happened, if Cali and/or the baby lived or died. I’m watching it in a few days on the iPad.)
What the $#%&$%#!, I said. I saw her not paying attention, gabbing, eyes NOT on the road. Stopped big trucks do NOT come out of nowhere. The four-wheeler was not paying attention. Sheesh, that pisses me off.”
All professions hate the way Hollywood portrays them — every story needs a villain — but really. No big truck, and remember our big truck is like pulling a seven-story building, it’s almost 70 feet long and at 13’ 6” high or 4.15 meters in Canada, it has the height of a one + story building, comes out of nowhere.
To add insult to my injury, the commercial before the offending Grey’s promo was Mercedes advertising its new radar thingy for rich people who drive tired or while texting.
The rich guy says: “I had no idea that the guy in front of me stopped short.”
The visual — the rear bumper, called an ICC bumper, of yes, a big truck.
We see accidents almost daily, mostly four-wheelers and yes, 18-wheelers. The number one reason for a crash is following too closely. This is backed up by much scientific data. Cars need at least two seconds of space because the average reaction time is 0.5 to 2.0 seconds. Big trucks need more.
If I am driving below 40 mph, I need at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length, so four seconds between me and the leading vehicle. For speeds over 40 mph, I leave one additional second. My unit needs five seconds of space, more in bad weather. Schneider’s policy is seven seconds following space in good conditions, 14 seconds in bad weather. The bonus of driving 62 mph is that almost everyone drives around us.
No one needed to tell us that the accident last week that left us sitting on I-40, 35 miles east of Memphis, Tennessee for three hours was caused by one big truck following another too closely. We saw the front end of the following vehicle crushed to the dashboard and the mangled ICC bumper of the leading truck. And yesterday on I-71, a mini-van from Virginia, dad driving, the vehicle had kids in it, was tailgating us so closely, McGyver had to slow below 50 mph to force him to go around us. You’d be amazed at the chances that parents with kids on board take, is there a subliminal message there?!?!
Add driving too fast, distraction and the cellphone and we have the recipe for mayhem.
When we drive by four-wheelers on a phone we say: Buddy, it’s a car NOT a phone booth.