I am sick of SUVitis, the disease that causes SUV owners to think that they can thwart the laws of physics because they have four wheel drive trucks. Today has been a very wet day, not quite raining but drizzling all day. The roads have been quite slick especially with all the fallen leaves. This morning as I was stopped at a stop sign and waiting to make a left turn onto a larger street (which had no stop signs at this intersection), some guy in a Jeep Wrangler almost took off my front end. He was coming from my left on the street I was going to turn onto and was making a right onto my street. Blindly trusting in his 4wd, he takes the turn without bothering to slow down and his front end completely plows. I was actually pretty far back from the intersection and he slid straight in front of me and hit the curb to MY right. If I had pulled up 3-4 ft farther he would have smacked right into my front end. He then backed up and got back into his lane while I dropped my window. I yelled at him half-heartedly, very happy that my car was ok.
Much later in the day (half an hour ago), I am driving on a large road (2 lanes going each way) at about 60-65mph (speed limit on this road is 55mph) in the left lane with a Saab 9-3 or 9-5 to my right doing the same speed. We were about 70 yards behind a group of cars and everyone is doing the same speed. Up ahead is a Ford Explorer facing us trying to make a left onto a side street. He waits for the group of cars to pass and decides to go for it in front of the Saab and I. The second I see his four wheels spin, I knew there was no way we could stop in time. I was completely incredulous, how could this guy think this was a good idea? Anyway, I didn't even really brake, there was no one in either of the left (opposite direction) lanes so I swung out into the very far left lane, leaving the one to the right of that for the Saab. Unfortunately he decided to try braking for it while going straight. He hit the brakes very hard and was probably only doing 35-40mph when he plowed into the right front end of the Explorer. I pulled ahead and stopped, turned on my flashers and got out. The Saab guy was already out of his (very messed up) car and yelling at the person in the Explorer (who turned out to be a woman). She kept saying "I have four wheel drive I thought I could make it!" She had a little girl in her car (front passenger seat) who had been burned by the airbag and cut on her face. She was bleeding, crying and very scared. I called the cops and filled out a report when they got there (took them about 2 minutes by the way, great response time). This whole very sad scene could have been avoided if this woman had had more reasonable expectations of what 4wd can do. Fortunately no-one was seriously injured but all involved were very shook up and probably will be for some time. And I still don't know why the Saab guy just didn't steer around her. Driver's education is really lacking in this country. There was plenty of room and opportunity for him to avoid a collision but his reflexes were all wrong. Inability to drive is the reason we have highway deaths, speed is just another one of the many contributing factors but really isn't the cause.