When I began this post I was thinking about the ‘Blind Spot’ of which every single driver should be aware. If you aren’t, you should have your license revoked. However in considering the title, I realized that we all have blind spots that go beyond just an area by your left elbow in which cars can hide unseen and be potentially fatal.
Do we get so locked into an ideology, or a philosophy, that we are unable to see the points of view of others. Do we have such a blind spot that we cannot see the proverbial forest for the trees?
For example. I woke up one morning to find a 50 year old broken down pickup truck parked in front of our house. It turned out to be owned by the brother of our neighbor across the street. I really like to have our street ‘looking nice’ and immediately put on my curmudgeon pants and went over to complain to my neighbor. I was rebuffed (free country, anyone can park where they want, etc) and went home fuming.
My blind spot was so dark that I couldn’t see that 1) the truck was only visiting, 2) what possible harm did it do, 3) maybe it was the best the brother could afford, 4) didn’t I have more important things to worry about? I was simply being a neighborhood jerk. Sure enough, two weeks later the truck was gone. But I’m sure the bad taste still existed in my neighbor.
A classic example of a blind spot is political. Often we get so filled with anger and hatred about one topic or another that we let it color all our thinking. Any hint of graciousness or empathy disappears into the blind spot. Friendships are permanently destroyed, families are torn asunder, and to what end. Our blind spot has caused more pain that the one just outside the driver’s door.
Which brings me to the original topic, that blind spot the lurks just outside the coverage of all the mirrors on our car. A car can be sitting in it and you could be completely unaware.
I know you should shoulder check before changing lanes. But sometimes you don’t. I know you always keep yourself aware of all the cars surrounding you, or coming up on the right or left, that you are aware of the possibility of someone in your blind spot. But are you aware every time, all the time?
The idea for the post came the other day when I was watching a car sort of ‘hover’, at 70 MPH, in another car’s blind spot. This went on for a couple of minutes. It would have taken no effort for the hovering driver to slow or speed up a tad and get out of the blind spot. What was that person thinking?
He was putting himself and the other driver at risk. Sure, the other driver would have been at fault, but why put that vehicle and yours in such a situation? Its legal, it’s a free country, you can drive where you want. But is it the right thing to do?