November 18, 2012
Driving In Korea (Part 2)
Jumping right into this next article about terrible driving, here are some of my personal experiences with driving in the United States and in Korea. I have chosen to drive my vehicle into a ditch on several occasions because if I hadn’t done so there was a good chance I would have had a head on collision with a passing car or semi. Where do you think this happened? It was in the United States: both of these incidents happened within five miles of my home.
I was rear ended once when I was making the left turn into my home. A young man, who was the same age as me, was going roughly 80 miles per hour. I heard this screeching sound, but I was extremely tired from work that day. The screeching I heard, I assumed, were the belts on the car approaching me, since it was a later model car. Then BOOM! I was shaken and I broke the glass behind me with my head. I still have a scar to this day, behind my ear. My students always want to know how I received the scar; hopefully my story scares them into being good drivers.
I personally have caused a minor accident in Korea, on a motorcycle. I broke many of the rules of road, and the rules of driving a motorcycle. The first rule I broke I was being in a hurry. You are never supposed to hurry or be rushed when driving a motorcycle. The second rule I broke, was to be extra careful when it is raining, and never violate rules one and two at the same time. The law I broke, I broke because I was in a hurry, and I had decided to cut to the front of the line at a red light. I cut to the front and then as we were turning right, I was too close to a car when he hit his brakes and I rear ended him at a low speed. Luckily the accident only shook my nerves and left a red mark on his bumper. He was not happy, but his passenger was laughing the whole time, so I think out of frustration he just left. Thankfully, no police were called.
I have had a few instances in Korea where a motorist tried to bully me and tried to get around me, or try to get ahead of me. This was scary, no doubt, but I was able to avoid an accident and, more importantly, avoid any injuries. The real key to driving in Korea is being able to stay focused and alert.
The times all of these things happened, I definitely felt it could have been avoided, both in Korea and America.
The fact of the matter is, when you put people in control of something they have done hundreds or thousands of times, they get lazy and overconfident. People forget that we are juts meat bags sitting in a ton of steel hitting other meat bags in their ton of steel.
The Bad: People in every country are terrible drivers. The one thing that unites us all is that we think we are amazing drivers with a gift for avoiding injuries.
Image Credit: Michael Pettigrew / Shutterstock