6 letters, a nonsensical word made up as an acronym to shorten what is now a common excuse for a car v motorcycle collision – Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You. Now, to my uneducated mind, all that does is make a form of joke out of it and makes it sound almost as if it’s okay.
I was involved in a ‘SMIDSY’ in October 2013 when a young lady, distracted by her phone decided to not bother slowing at a roundabout. Luckily, I had seen her speedy trajectory and managed to take semi evasive action and came out of it with a few broken ribs, a sprained wrist and a written off Fireblade. Believe me, it wasn’t funny.
All too often drivers, distracted by modern technologies, are using this SMIDSY as validation for their poor driving and lack of judgement, and the jokey nature of the word seems to make this excuse valid.
I have worked in the motor trade for almost twenty years and seen a huge change in the technologies of cars – some great, many not so. I still cannot believe that manufacturers are happy to advertise that their latest shiny metal box has Wi-Fi and apps technology for Facebook, Twitter and music streaming, yet despite the rise in this electronic technology there has been no money spent on driver education or training. It seems that they are happy to take the money and accept no responsibility for their actions, a simple disclaimer popping up stating that it is a drivers responsibility to ensure safe operation seems to be the motor industry’s get out of jail free card.
All blame however, cannot be laid at the motor manufacturers door, as a very high proportion of it rests with the drivers themselves. Poor judgement happens to everybody at some point, we are all guilty of that. For me the worst offender is looking but not seeing. Coast up to a junction, quick glance to the right and go. BANG! SMIDSY!
If only we could educate drivers to actually see, to scan from the distance to their near view. Follow their eye line all the way along the road, turn their heads, still looking, listening and seeing and keep their vision ongoing in the direction of travel. Give it a try, you’ll be amazed at what you actually notice. Sadly, this isn’t some amazing revelation I can sell for gazillions of pounds and live a life of luxury in Hawaii, it’s common sense and you can’t teach that.
Maybe SMIDSY isn’t the correct term, maybe we should change it to SIHYIWLPAIAAVPDWSRC – Sorry I Hit You I Wasn’t Looking Properly As I Am A Very Poor Driver With Substandard Road Craft.
It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it though does it?