It never ceases to amaze how little awareness people have regarding the world around them. Driving is a great place to see this in action. This morning I rode in to work as usual and I got to watch people trying (and happily mostly failing) to kill eachother with their cars. Sitting on a bike as I do I can see inside cars very well and again - the wonders never end. I see people reading magazines and books, sending and reading emails on their black berries, using both hands to eat. I wish it was just that people were talking on cell phones. Cell phones are bad enough, but do you really need to send email while you are driving?
What brought this to mind though is some of the other stuff I saw the was completely missed by the people around me. A rat, about eight inches long, fell out from under this lady's Land Rover. It wasn't on the road before, it fell out from under the car, landed on the road, rolled a few times and then made a run for the side of the road. It made it unharmed. I looked around at the other drivers. Nobody noticed. A freaking rat fell out of a car and nobody else noticed.
I've also seen snakes moving along the side of the road next to the curb. Some pretty big ones. Foxes and Cayotes don't even phase me anymore. They are all over the place if you pay attention.
The thing is - these are pretty small things that people are missing. But they miss them because their attention is elsewhere. Based on what I see their attention isn't on their driving either. Where is their attention? No clue. But the results of their distraction are easy enough to see, just listen to the traffic reports everyday. People drive the same roads over and over. You would think they would be able to do it without hitting other cars or obstacles along the way. Nope. Why? In my opinion it is pretty easy to answer. If you don't notice something as odd as a rat falling off a person's car how the hell are you supposed to notice their Fing brake lights?
Seeing that rat though was pretty cool. I'm glad it made it off the road.