Hospitals and Driving

I now live in the vicinity of a good sized hospital, and I pass by two of its exit points on a side road every day. I also work in an area of the city where there are three hospitals in just a few miles (and have done so for nearly seven years now). And this has led to an observation.

Hospitals cause some really shitty driving.

This first occurred to me near the office. There’s a particular turn to get on to the main roads that’s a little unusual compared to most such turns. As a result as I pass by it to get to my correct exit, I have to be careful of inattentive idiots jumping in to and out of the turn lane (without EVER looking) to try to figure out where they need to be. Loads will also sit at a side entrance trying to squeeze their way into very heavy traffic which would be far less so if they’d use the main entrance that was designed for them. And this has all been reinforced lately by the encounters near the local hospital. Today I had a woman pull out in front of me, sit with her car completely in the roadway, waiting for a chance to turn but not noticing that there was nobody coming but me because she was on her cell phone.

But then, it’s to be expected, isn’t it? Such a significant portion of the people arriving at or departing from a hospital, almost by definition, didn’t expect to be there. Checking themselves in or out, rushing to find out about a loved one or said loved one’s test results. Usually, for most, not a place to go to with terrible frequency. And almost always during hectic circumstances, too. It should be no surprise that they’re on their phone often, relaying to Loved Ones A the medical status of Loved Ones B and the circumstances of Stupid Decision C that led to their hospitalization, all while driving on Unfamiliar Road D trying to get to McDonalds E before Whiny Brat In The BackSeat F has a third meltdown. They are confusing, hectic, distracting circumstances. 

This isn’t of course meant to call anyone or anything out to do better or for being ridiculous. Just an observation and a wish that it could be different.