Video: Near head-on crash in Detroit Lakes

There are times when I wonder how any of us make it home alive, given the number of awful drivers on the road.

Take this guy in Detroit Lakes who was captured on a state trooper’s dash cam almost killing someone.

It happened on Highway 59 when a man had turned from a four-lane highway onto a two lane road and started driving in the oncoming lane.

Then he doubled down with the trooper by telling him the car in the correct lane was in the wrong.

In the airplane-flying business, we’re required to prove every two years that we’re capable of safely piloting our vehicles. What would happen if we adopted the same philosophy to driving? Why do we treat driver’s licenses as lifetime passes?

  • Rob

    We treat driver’s licenses as a lifetime pass because Life is Cheap.

  • Jack

    I’m all for periodic retesting of drivers. My son’s vision wasn’t even checked when he got his license a month ago. Something is wrong there.

  • Jim in RF

    Cop has the accent down perfect.

  • jon

    And yet with bi-annual testing, the death rate per hours flown on private planes is still almost twice that of the death rate per hour driven (depending how you slice the data… I mean this is comparing airplanes to automobiles, which isn’t exactly apples to apples).

    http://www.livescience.com/49701-private-planes-safety.html

    I don’t object to re-testing for automobiles. Though I’ll be the first to admit that I’d be irritated by having to go into the DMV to re-test… even more so by the lines that would conceivably be much longer with more people needing to re-test on a regular basis.

    I’d support a waiver for the re-testing for people who opted into some sort of continuing education course for automobile operation… i.e. taking a motocross class, or an MSF course (motorcycle safety foundation), or a hyper miling course, or a CDL course, etc.
    I’d much rather take a course to refine my ability to control the vehicle, or better understand how other vehicles are trained to operate, rather than a simple re-test.

    • The point obviously isn’t that airplanes are safer than cars. The point is there’s a recognition of human abilities and judgement and their degradation over time and the need for “refresher” training to operate safely.

  • Anna

    My guess is the guy was daydreaming and thought he was still on a four-lane road. Judging from the video, I’m sure his family has expressed some concerns about his driving skills as well.

    There are so many medications that have a warning label “May cause drowsiness and dizziness. Do not operate mechanical equipment or a motor vehicle until effects of the drug are known.” Anti-depressants, BP medications and opiates come to mind here.

    Ignore the warning label at your peril….or someone else.

    I firmly believe that past a certain age when diseases of old age start to show up, elderly drivers should take a driving test every two years. Although I must admit that very young drivers with a lack of experience can be just as dangerous, medications or not.

    • Age is certainly an issue. But we all could benefit from a refresher. Most of the people I watch every day have NO idea of a crosswalk law and have no inclination to actually STOP their vehicle before turning right.

      The other aspect of this is driving laws change all the time and there’s NO mechnaism for getting that information to drivers (such as the “move over” law) that is in any way efficient.

      • Thomas Mercier

        A few of the finer points of the zipper merge wouldn’t hurt either.

  • Kylie

    I think every driver should have to take a refresher course every four years. Laws change, social norms change, and we all forget some of the rules. Plus, driving is a complicated task and people get hurt because of bad driving.

  • MarkUp

    Presently, the only “ability test” as part of renewing your license is the vision test. Adding a written portion on driving rules would absolutely help, especially with the changes to make Minneapolis more pedestrian friendly.

    I’ll be brushing up on the rules of the road myself today:
    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=169.18

    • Jeff

      Passing the written test requires 80% correct. I always wondered about the people out there who are wrong about the other 20%.

      • One interesting aspect of the flight reviews for pilots. There’s no pass and there’s no fail. It’s just required to have one hour of ground instruction and an hour in the air to review things.

      • MarkUp

        I took the Permit test simulator based on 2015’s test and scored 37/40.

        http://www.education4drivers.com/minnesota/mn-permit-test-simulator.htm

        One of the questions I missed stated it was ok to pass a vehicle on the right only if it was waiting to turn right, and I wonder about the wording in some of the other questions.

        • Like the zipper merge, you risk the wrath of drivers if you follow the law. I know, for example, that it’s illegal to pass in the breakdown lane when a car wants to turn left.So I stop and wait for the driver to turn, and that get the scorn of knuckleheads swerving into the breakdown lane to go around the both of us.

          • Rob

            There is no better wrath earned than from idiots who don’t know how to drive.

        • Rob

          If there is not a dedicated bypass lane, it’s not legal. One reason is that if the driver waiting to turn changes their mind, you’re likely to sideswipe them as they start moving forward

  • Nightowl

    How about beefing up the behind the wheel test as well? We don’t have to prove that we can
    pass a car on a two lane road or drive on snow or ice.

    • Rob

      or make other emergency maneuvers, such as swerving or sudden hard braking

      • joetron2030

        I remember having to do emergency breaking (though not swerving) when I took my behind the wheel test. Granted, that was in the late 80s. Do they not do that part of the test anymore?

        • Rob

          They do not

  • mrbula

    Follow the money. Requiring a retest every couple of years would have the net effect of reducing the number of people with licenses, and therefor the number of people driving. I can think of a large number of industries that would view such a change as a threat, and wouldn’t be at all surprised for them to fight against such refresher requirements.

  • Dan

    “That’s not necessarily the way I seen it”

    Oh, Minnesota.