I sat in my car. Frozen in place. Stuck in a hyper state of indecision. All I wanted to do was back out of a parking space between two extra large SUV’s and drive home.
It was a busy lot, with cars pulling in and out, pedestrians crossing hither and yon. Some with cell phones held to their ear, paying scant attention to the danger zone they were transgressing. A perfect storm! All set for an old coot to run over someone or smash into a car racing down the travel lane.
I started the car, put it into reverse and took a glance into the rearview mirror. It seemed okay to move back, but just to be sure I glanced down at the image in my back-up camera, then over to my side view mirror, then to the passenger side view mirror, and finally out the backseat passenger side window. It took so long I wasn’t sure if it was safe to go or not, so I went through the routine again. And again! My neck was sore from all the rotations.
That’s when I froze in place. Too much input; I was in overload. Something that never happened when I first drove a car; it only had a rearview mirror and a single side view mirror (on the driver’s side) and no tall behemoth SUV’s blocking the view.
I now understood why some old guys say the heck with it and just back up without looking. They think they have better odds with luck than with a comprehensive study of the surrounding environment.
But, I don’t want to join that club. My crowd has a bad enough reputation as it is – driving for miles with our blinkers on, getting into the passing lane and not leaving until we get to our exit, turning left on red as well as right (why not), and sitting at traffic lights when they turn green until a chorus of honking horns gets us moving.
I don’t want to add backing up without looking to my driving habits. So, I’ll continue to try it on my own, and when I get stuck, I’ll wait for a good Samaritan to come along to hold up traffic and wave me out.
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