Driving While Dumb

| 12/06/2012

In my opinion we need to go a bit further in making our roads safer than just reducing drink driving. While DWI is a quite widely-touted risk factor relative to fatal accidents, it is a fact worth serious consideration that DWD (Driving While Dumb) is a very major risk factor relating to fatal traffic accidents. We need to get dumb drivers off Cayman's roads!

According to scientific research, there is an undisputed correlation between low intelligence and fatal automobile accident rates. Australian psychologist Brian O'Toole's research reveals that those who had scores in the Army General Classification Test manifesting IQs of between 80-85 had almost three times the death rate due to motor vehicle accidents than those who scored in the 100-115 range. The mortality figures were even more significant for lower IQ levels. Several other studies on the matter report similar results: dumb drivers are deadly drivers!

Now, if this is not a pressing mandate for making our land safer by ridding the roads of dumb drivers, I do not know what is!

It is just not safe to allow dumb people behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Period! We all know that there are lots of dumb drivers roun' yah. If you have any doubts, consider this: How many times while you are driving do you think to yourself, or even say out loud, "What the hell is that dumba$$ doing?" Or, you watch the antics of a particularly mentally deficient driver and blurt out, "Damn! Look at that fool! How stupid can you get?  Jesus, there are a lot of idiots on the roads!"  Case closed.

Yup! Lots of really dumb drivers here in Cayman. I would surmise that there are far more dumb drivers than drink drivers on our roads. Dumb drivers pose at least as great a risk as drinking drivers. I for one am tired of them. Tired, tired, tired. They have got to go! (Jeeze! I don't even want to think about the accident risk associated with dumb drinking drivers!)

Because of their sheer numbers, dumb drivers pose a far greater risk than do drink drivers. Here is a final bit of very compellling evidence that we have a huge number of dumb drivers amongst us: only a country with lots andlots and lots of very dumb people would see a maroon like MacBush elected as a leader.

A significant percentage of dullards in a given population makes for a correspondingly large number of idiots behind the wheel. With anti driving while dumb laws in place at least these imbeciles would not be able to drive themselves to the polls come election day. And no intelligent person would give 'em a ride to the voting station. I do not know about you, but I would feel a lot safer anyway.

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I find it very interesting that there are many who fail to slow down, much less STOP for a STOP sign (police seem to be the worst offenders here!), yet they will STOP DEAD when approaching an EMPTY roundabout!  Give way does NOT mean stop when there is no traffic in the roundabout or an intersection!

     

    Then there are those who approach a roundabout in the left lane, drift into the right lane (where I am already driving), then drift into the left lane again to exit the roundabout.  This only happens 10-20 times a day, so it must be the right way to drive, or is it the classic "driving while stupid" activity that is an epidemic?

     

    So many drivers, (again especially police!) travelling  precariously, usually at 15-20MPH below the speed limit while yacking away on a celly..  I too have been accosted more than once by an officer because I had the temerity to pass one of these dawdlers and blow my horn in annoyance.  I too was told that I was being "let go with a warning" while the true problem driver was passed by the officer in his race to "catch" me!  What insanity.

     

    The entire budget for the police could be collected by positioning an officer at each roundabout and ticketing all the IDIOTS navigating these trafic obstacles in a dangerous and illegal manner.  This, plus ticketing all the dilly-dalliers impeding the flow of traffic at 15-20MPH or more below the posted speed limit would go a long way towards making life better for those of us who do follow the rules.

     

    Oh yes, then there are those who drive in the centre lane on WB Road during periods of heavy traffic because they are so much more important than the rest of us. Either that or they are in such a hurry to get to the bar for happy hour so they can drive drunk later ro kill some innocent road user.!

     

    School zones?  Not even a funny when there is no effort to even slow down uness they see a police car.  I even saw one parked in the Savannah school  zone, and people actually returned to normal speed when the saw the police car was actually unoccupied!!

     

  2. Anonymous1 says:

    Funny at least 5 times I have been driving East towards the Lantern Point roundabout and had a marked police car in front of me take the left lane only to go around to Spotts straight, how can they enforce traffic rules and promote better driving if they themselves don't know how?  On a sidenote sometimes alot of that dangerous overtaking comes from distracted or unconfident drivers who are doing 20mph in a 40mph, not saying it is right but it is frustrating!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Test, test, test  ALL  and must go to a regulated driving class

    for on and off road instructions 

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is an interesting article from the British papers this week. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2159522/Drivers-face-90-spot-fine-points-wrong-lane-tailgating.html

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we should start with the police? Just seen on West Bay Rd a car turning left onto the road but had to wait for an Ambulance with sirens and lights in the middle lane. He then pulled out and a police car blow its horn as it was travelling behind the ambulance in the centre lane with no lights and no siren so couldn’t be seen as it was lower than all the other cars waiting in the queue. Police man (Driving Whilst Dumb) couldn’t care less!

  6. H says:

    I wish there was a ticket for someone driving below the speed limit, obstructing the regular flow of traffic.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true. I very nearly got a ticket myself for overtaking one of these morons on Spotts road one morning. They were driving at 25 mph and i had to honk at them to get their attention long enough to stay in one lane so I could overtake. Apparently this seriously pissed them off (or at least partially woke them up) since by the time I got on Linford Pierson's way, blue lights were flashing behind me. Following is my conversation with the traffic officer:

      Officer: Good morning sir, I just recieved a report that you were driving wrecklessly and exceeding the speed limit.

      Me: Sir, was I exceeding the speed limit when you came up behind me?

      Officer: You are going to have to discuss that in court, with the judge, and with the person who reported you.

      Me: Officer, I am asking you a quesion, sir, was I exceeding the speed limit when you came up behind me.

      Officer: I'll tell you what sir, I'm going to give you a break today.

      Me: You're going to give me a break today, officer? May I ask from what, sir.

      Officer: Have a good day, sir. 

      This idiot should have gotten at least four tickets, one for obstructing traffic on a freeway, one for calling and lying to the police, one for wasting the officer's time and the government's money, and one for wasting my time.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why don't they just make everyone pass a written test of the road rules (including roundabout use) and a driving test before giving them a license? Make the tests sufficient so that dumb people don't get a license, and make expats and locals alike (I am an expat) have to pass (issue of how to stop bribery of driving instructors not addressed here). I was very surprised when I arrived on the Island 2 years ago and was immediately given a Cayman drivers license. Hate to say it but while local drivers do not appear to be great, most of the bad driving I have seen and experienced has been from expats. Where the driving laws, regulations and abilities of expats differ so greatly depending on where they are originally from, I am surprised at Cayman handing over a license to every expat who can produce a license from their original country

  8. Anonymous says:

    On a roundabout give way to cars coming from your right. UYou can't go wrong if you enter from the left lane if you're taking the first exit and the right lane for any other exit. When exiting from the inside lane on the roundabout give way to cars that are in the outside lane.  They shouldn't be there but in Cayman they are there.  In terms of indicating, indicate left if you're taking the first exit.  For any other exit indicate right when you enter the roundabout and then left once you pass the last exit before the one you're taking (ie. when you start to change lanes from inside lane to outside lane).

    At a 4-way stop give way to all the cars that are waiting when you get to the front- in other words you go in the order you arrive.

    If there are two lanes stay in the left lane unless you are overtaking or turning off right (including at a roundabout).  If you're overtaking then move back into the left lane once you've passed the other car.  If you're turning right, don't move into the right hand lane until you need to.  There are bus drivers going up the bypass in the right lane because they intend to turn right in about 5km.  They are doing it wrong.

    If you want to drive at less than the speed limit keep an eye in your rearview mirror.  If there is a queue of cars forming behind you consider letting hem pass.  You might think you're driving safely but if you make people behind pass you, it's more dangerous than if you just sped up a bit.

    At a giveway, giveway. There's no limit to how many cars you have to wait for.  You can't just push in if you get tired of waiting.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Why wouldn't the government convert the roundabouts to Traffic Lights, especially the dangerous ones like Butterfield roundabout, the one by Hurleys, etc.  Isn't it simple as that and will save a lot of accidents and even lives.

      • Loopy Lou says:

        Because roundabouts work if you are not an idiot.

        • Anonymous says:

          The problem arises when the majority of drivers on the road seem to BE IDIOTS, yet the roundabouts continue to be built!  The construction criteria is inherently unsafe due to the roadway being banked in the wrong direction (towards the outside) instead of being banked to the inside.  Just look at how racetracks are constructed.  The higher the speed, the higher the degree of banking towards the INSIDE of the road.

           

          The classic example is the "Island Heritage" roundabout just north of the Strand, which is so poorly graded that anyone driving around it at a REASONABLE speed cannot stay on it without sliding off and crashing into the guard rails if there is the slightest amount of water on it!  The same conditions exist in the roundabouts in the Lantern Point area, both at that location and the one to the west near the car wash.

           

          Poor road design + the high incidence of driving while stupid = many road accidents that could be prevented.  It has come to my attention that the "traffic division" has been either reduced or disbanded.  If this is the case, certainly it does not bode well for the future of road safety in the Cayman Islands.

           

           

    • Anonymous says:

      I would have to disagree on one point where you say "…for any other exit indicate right when you enter the roundabout", if you are going straight over (second exit usually) then you do not indicate right first.  The NRA have quite a comprehensive section on using rounabouts on their website and using diagrams to explain

      http://www.caymanroads.com/images/pdf/Comprehensive%20Dual%20Lane%20Roundabout%20Brochure.pdf

       

    • Anonymous says:

      I know who you are, Mr Anonymous!  You must be the one other disciplined driver on Cayman that I see just very occasionally!  It must be you, because there's only one other driver who doesn't overtake on the outside lane on roundabouts, skipping the exits and then diving in front of me without indicating, as I correctly take the next exit while indicating from the inside lane.  Probably the most dangerous form of driving in Cayman would be to inflexibly follow the highway code. You wouldn't last a minute.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Makes sense

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yep, to quote comedian Ron White “You can fix fat. You can even fix ugly. But you cant fix stupid!”
    Here’s the real kicker: at least to get a drivers license, you have to show up on time and take an exam (no matter how puerile the questions might be). But yet, to do either of the two things that pose the greatest threat to any society – voting and reproducing – you don’t need a damn shred of a qualification! Ironic, isn’t it?! Sorry to digress, but since we were talking about going around in circles…

  11. Anonymous says:

    To 12:05.  Left lane users must leave the roundabout at the first or second exit.  Therefore, on the Lantern Point roundabout heading East, left lane users must either turn off immediately to Prospect or go off to Newlands).  If you are going past Ocean Club, or back the way you came (past Lantern Point) please use right hand lane only.  No overtaking or changing lanes once you're on the roundabout.

     To the NRA, for heaven's sake, please put up some signs telling people to get in the proper lane before they enter the roundabout.  A few arrows on the road wouldn't hurt either.

    To you diehard lefties out there, remember, if you're in the left lane, you can only pass one exit.  You must leave the roundabout at the second exit or risk eventually causing an accident.  I know someone who did, and said to the police officer at the scene, "I didn't know I wasn't supposed to be in this lane going all the way round the roundabout, everybody does it."  He replied, "Well now you do.  You now also know that just because everybody does it, doesn't make it right, right?"

  12. datisme says:

    If only they actually enforced laws here instead of just trying to pick up the pieces after they are broken it would change things here drastically.   If you were a traffic cop how many tickets do you think you could write driving around on a normal day?  I would go for 50.   Too bad law enforcement is such a cultural taboo.  If the cops were to clamp down there would be a war here.

    • Anonymous says:

      They could solve the government's debt problem in one week if they parked a traffic cop at the Butterfield roundabout and fined every fool that nearly caused an accident.

  13. Anonymous says:

    When vacationing in Cayman I was amazed at the skill level of Cayman drivers of how close you could drive to someone’s bumper and actually not die. I was terrified! Round abouts appeared to be the sport challenge of the day and everyone really seemed angry if you were not going 60 mph. Please note the very scared blonde in the neon blue Andy’s rental car this Pirates Week and cut me some slack. I’m already on the wrong side of the road…lol!

  14. Anonymous says:

    You could start with the woman who drove a car (clearly marked as owned by a department of CIG) straight onto a roundabout in front of me one Sunday morning.

    She had one arm hanging out of the window, didn't even try to slow down and never even looked round when I nearly went in the ditch trying to avoid a crash.

    Guess she was late for church?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hahahaaaaaa!    I love this post – so true.   You have verbalized everything I have been thinking and noticing while driving on Cayman roads for the past 10 years.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Speed limits don't save lives. It's really a simple fact that has been debated and proven over and over. I'm not advocating allowing people to drive recklessly that's a whole other argument.  Surprisingly enough most people don't want to die. Therefore, they travel at speeds that they are comfortable driving at along any given road. You will always have your speed demon punks that fly past at 100mph ignoring every road law. However, that's the point most people fail torealize. They IGNORE the law. Changing the speed limit will make no difference to them, and even if there was no speed limit they would still be pulled over for reckless driving and endangerment. So if these drivers can be taken off the road. What is the point of a speed limit? Only one reason… Revenue.

    • hattra says:

      Speed limits save pedestrian lives. Hit someone at 30 mph, there's an 80% chance they'll live. Hit them at 40 mph and there's an 80% chance they'll die

    • Tigger says:

      Speed limits do save lives but this is opposed by those for whom opposition is a mantra, like the opposition to evolution and global warming.  There are two simple fallacies which undermine the points made in this post.  First "Surprisingly enough most people don't want to die. Therefore, they travel at speeds that they are comfortable driving at along any given road."  Just because many beleive that does not mean that they ARE travelling at safe speeds for themselves or for others.  As in many things in life drivers tend to overestimate their personal skills and underestimate the problems associated with an accident the chances of which are, to them, too remote to include in daily decisions.  Also what is safe for a driver may not be safe for a pedestrian and the argument of the poster fails tointernalise that aspect of behaviour.  This leads into the second fallacy underpinning the post.  Fatal accidents occur at far lower speeds than people believe. Most pedestrians survive an impact at 20mph, very few survive an impact at 30mph and none survive at 40mph.  Thus what appear to be minor alterations in driver behaviour, from a driver's perspective, can have massive impact on death rates.  But then we live in a country where people at bull bars to the front of their large trucks, and these have no real use in the world other than to kill children hit by them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Haha! very well put. I stand corrected. I should have stated that speed limits don't save lives outside of residential and heavy pedestrial traffic areas and that speed limits should be planned according to the usage and capacity of any given road. Also, to contribute something to the debate instead of always being negative, driving school should be mandatory to all new drivers with stricter rules for provisional licenses. Another way of making out roads safer would be to not only issue speeding tickets but to also issue tickets to those who obstruct traffic flow by driving too far below the speed limit. Just my 2 cents.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tigger, nice contribution. Your comment on bull bars is apt. I have seen many  that resemble  exposed blades, ready to kill children at head-height. You might also have mentioned altered suspensions. One or two trucks on this island are raised so high off the ground, they'd de-capitate you in a head-on collision. I wonder if these dangers have been addressed in the new Road Traffic Act.

  17. Anon says:

    Thanks, but so you have a tangible solution to propose, or is this just a rant? Too much of CNS is just a fount for incessant complaining/ criticising — more solutions please!

  18. Slowpoke says:

    Driving, in most Western societies, is considered an “entitlement” rather than an “earned privilege”.  Therefore, getting and keeping a license is based on the least exclusive criteria.

     

    In response to an earlier article, I wrote about the fallacy of declaring someone with a blood alcohol above a certain number automatically impaired, whereas someone below as automatically not. Unfortunately, the science behind human behavior is hard and simplistic answers, although appealing, do not do it justice.

     

    “Impaired” driving is as a result of the interaction of a number of factors.  These include genetic, environmental, social, personality, age, health, etc.  If we really want to make the roads safer, we need to be willing to exclude more people from driving and evaluate the level of skills or impairment more regularly and effectively.  Not a very popular political position to take.

  19. JTB says:

    It's an unusual day when I don't see someone overtaking dangerously, speeding, tailgating or wrongly entering a roundabout.

    • Anonymous says:

      I doubt there is anywhere in the world that the residents drive perfectly. 

      Though instead of just making a negative comment, come up with a solution.

      Isuggest implementing a mandatory driving program in the schools. Residents new to the island can remain with transferring their licence as is currently but have to do a driving test regarding the local driving rules and practices.  They have to prove that the country where they originated also had roundabouts etc.  When resident reach a certain age, they are required to do annual driving tests.  If an individual is ever charged with a traffic ticket, they are required to do a full driving course on road safety and driving skills, plus a fine.  These are just a few suggestions.  I am sure there are many more.  I would appreciate more suggestions.  Then present this to the traffic department. 

  20. Anonymous says:

    Human Error is what causes most accidents.  We seem preoccupied with the notion of speed, but let's be honest, that is only one possible contributing variable.  If you are not fully focused on the task of driving, accidents become more likely.  It's as simple as that.  One could be driving at 15 mph while tweeting in traffic and still crash into the car in front of them.  We need more focus and fewer show offs pretending to be negotiating Peace in the Middle East.  Pass the new Traffic Law.  Get some traffic officers out there enforcing ALL of the rules of the road – including signaling!    

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, thanks. Now I know what that stick next to my steering wheel is for. I tried it a few times but it did not do anything. Why is it not automaitic like my gears, windows, lights and ac? Come to think of it, they should put up some more street lights as I sometimes can hardly see where I am going.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Turning right from the left-hand lane at a roundabout is just plain dumb. But the fact that the NRA wastes paint on arrows which point straight ahead on the road by Ocean Club, but does not paint right-turn arrows in the right-hand lane of the approach to the roundabout where the road is a dual carriageway is even dumber.

    • Plumbago says:

      I have a question concerning the round-a-bout that I would like some one who really knows (including a police officer ) to answer for me.  If I am driving east  and come to the roundabout accross from Lantern Point which lane should I be in.  I don't want to turn on the  far left lane that goes through Newlands, so after I turn right to proceed to Spotts, should I take the other left or right lane.  I find that if I take the right lane with my indicator  on left to indicate that I am not going around to go back west and  pass in front of Lantern point  again but intend to go east it is better for me.  If however I take the left lane I have cars cutting me off on the right hand side, (who are also going east )which also tells me that  when I turn right to go east with the indicator on left I am also cutting people on the left off.  I know it is confusing !!  PLEASE WILL SOMEBODY HELP ME WITH THIS?

      • Anonymous says:

        This is what I believe.  Be in the right lane indicating right.  Follow the roundabout around indicating right and as you pass the arterial indicate left (you are turnong left for Spotts).  Check your inside mirror and left mirror and if clear and able drift to the left lane for the left turn.  Be wary of cars on your left who may be going around to head west and therefore block your left turn.  Adjust speed slightly on the roundabout to give yourself natural spacing to allow the turn.  Watch out for the many bad drivers that don't indicate or indicate a turn left and they continue right.  Assume all the drivers around you are going to do the wrong thing and you won't be far wrong.  Safe driving (stay off your mobile).

      • biker says:

        When this stretch was first opened the NRA had their mobile sign up for the two lane, east bound traffic saying: "LEFT LANE – BYPASS ONLY". (Very Sensible!)

         

        Those coming in from the old Prospect area road section, as now, had to yield. Everyone knew which lane they were supposed to be in before they get to the roundabout and traffic flowed smoothly with fewer surprises. Then, one day, the sign was gone and with it went "common sense".

         

        Maybe the NRA or Public Works would consider installing a permanent, proper traffic sign with the above quoted instructions on it.

         

        Personally, I think the sign would reduce the chances of anger and collisions at this particular roundabout.

      • Roundabout 101 says:

        Here is how to navigate/indicate on a roundabout:

        If you are taking the FIRST exit, you MUST be in the left lane indicating left.

        If you are taking the SECOND exit, you may be in the left OR right lane. Indicate your exit once passed the first exit.

        If you are taking the THIRD or higher exit, you MUST be on the inside lane. Indicate your intention to exit once PASSED the exit BEFORE your turn off.

        The ONLY time you should be indicating right on a roundabout is if you are taking the LAST exit on the roundabout. In which case, like above, you indicate left (exit) once passed the exit before yours)

    • Anonymous says:

      That's NRA for you, everything done backwards.  The most dangerous places have no clear indications to help "dumb" drivers know that they are supposed to be in a certain lane if planning to turn right.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I for one an ekstremely inteligent and if u don't get out of my way on de roundabout or giveaway sign then dats ur problem. An I drive in the right lane because my pimped out 1987 base model Honda civic go like litning even wid 500 speakers in de boot!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Defining "dumb" is a hard thing to do.

     

    However, installing governors on all cars making physically impossible for anyone to speed over 40 MPH would help.

     

    On small islands like Cayman, 40 MPH gets you where you are going within a reasonable amount of time. Enjoy the scenery and chill.

    • Anonymous says:

      The highest speed zones are 50 mph which is entirely reasonable for those areas. Make governors for 55mph and I am with you.

      • Taxinator says:

        Or lower those zones to 40mph and save lives…

        • Anonymous says:

          I am guessing ou don’t have to drive to work from NS and EE each day.

          • Anonymous says:

            So you are willing to offer the blood sacrifice of 7 or 8 people killed and several dozen injured just so you can save 5 or 10 minutes per day.

             

            Boy, is your time ever valuable.

    • I wonder says:

      I wonder if Minister Anglin has anything to say on this matter?

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Defining dumb is actually quite easy.  Dumb is texting/talking on your mobile whilst driving.  Dumb is not indicating before stopping and turning.  Dumb is in the wrong lane on the roundabout when exiting and carving up all other traffic who are in the proper lane.  Dumb is speeding and weaving in and out of lanes.  Dumb is drinking and/or drugs and driving.  Sadly, I see examples of the stupid, dumb driving on Cayman many times every day.  It's depressiing. The other sad thing is that the dumb drivers who do this think they are great drivers.  Dumb, dumb, dumb!

      • Anonymous says:

        Great post but you missed one:  Dumb is driving after sunset or when it's raining without headlights.  One fix for this would be to require daytime running lights at a minimum.  Thank you for your post.

      • Anonymous says:

        12.05. Dumb is anyone noticeably less intelligent than you are, so it's a relative term. You can add to your 'dumb list' anyone who refuses to dip their headlights or who uses spotlights, especially in the rain at night. Oh yes, you can add tailgating, too. This falls into the category of  'mentally-impaired, first class.'