This video footage started circulating shortly after it was posted on an American news YouTube channel in early December 2013. It depicts 5 minutes of drivers slipping, sliding, skidding and slamming into each other on a busy highway, in winter conditions.
How is it possible that drivers can have this level of unawareness of their surroundings? The combination of driver inattention and what I like to call ‘Bubble Driving’ are both likely contributors to the chaos of this particular multi-vehicle pile up.
So, what is Bubble Driving? Let’s start with understanding what it means to live in a bubble. Living in a bubble is defined as: ‘To live sheltered from the outside environment.’ ‘Bubble Driving‘ is the act of driving with the belief that what goes on outside your vehicle [bubble] is irrelevant to you and that what you do inside your vehicle [bubble] is likewise irrelevant to the world outside.
- seldom look beyond the few feet directly in front of their bumper.
- are blissfully [ignorantly] unaware of horizontal activity, e.g. pedestrians, cyclists, other vehicles to the left and right of them.
- use their rear view mirror to apply their make up or gaze lovingly upon themselves instead of its intended use which is to scan the road behind.
- refuse to scan the entire road environment in order to be able to anticipate potential risks and adjust accordingly.
- frequently tailgate with no thought to ensuring a safe stopping distance.
- engage in distracting behaviour within their vehicle assuming the environment around them will remain unchanged.
Until we’ve traveled far enough into the future when there may literally be safety bubbles surrounding our vehicles, Bubble Driving is dangerous driving.
Share your winter driving tips with our readers.