Crazy drivers — the real Halloween fright

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Dashcam George Parker

I had the pleasure of writing some fiction this month, it’s always fun to let my imagination run wild and write whatever I want. It’s liberating to write without worrying about offending someone, because it’s fiction, and anyone offended by fiction is probably someone you want to avoid during the zombie apocalypse anyway, so no loss there.

I enjoyed crafting Gary, the toe-less truck driver, and I wrote “The Barn” while looking out my home office window – into the doors of our big, old, creepy barn, which faces directly. I realized after submitting the stories that both drivers were grievously injured and eventually dead, which I’m sure are both subconscious manifestations of my mortal fear of never seeing George again when he leaves for the road without me. It’s every trucker’s significant other’s true terror on Halloween, Christmas, Veteran’s Day and any day of the week that ends with a “y”.

Things that really scare me are watching the recordings of our dash cam and seeing crazy dangerous nuts in traffic about 500 times a day. He actually runs two dash cams, so he’s got a back-up file if one happens to fail. The Cobra CDR 840 has a manual save on it he likes to use when people cut close, and it’s his primary camera because of the extreme video quality, but he also runs with a MobilSpec POV – and here’s why. The Cobra’s autosave feature also saves clips to the memory card when there’s a sudden jar or brake automatically, so if you’re in heavy traffic on a crappy road, your memory card sometimes fills up. Unless you’re pretty diligent about dumping the card regularly, it never fails the thing gets full when you’re in situations you’d most likely need it – even with a huge memory card. The MobilSpec POV‘s autosave isn’t as sensitive to bumps and jars, so with decent video quality it’s a good back-up. There’s no need for a humongous memory card, but you have to remember to manually save most things pretty quick; if you don’t they may get looped over and lost. Both cameras have their benefits, and using them in tandem utilizes the best of both.

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It’s sad that we have to be so paranoid to run cameras at all, and the two we have aren’t even enough. We really need side-mounted cameras to truly cover our ass, both proverbially and literally. George did a video with just a very few of the files he has saved, and while the video is compelling, it could be argued that he should have been either here or there in every frame without being able to see what’s happening to the direct right and left flank of the truck. You can’t see the idiot in the Prius on the left-hand side, and neither can he, but he’s been watching his mirrors long enough to know the little bastard is back there, hanging in the hammer lane, refusing to let him over so he can get out of the way of someone who doesn’t understand the concept of “merging.”

Fiction is scary, but real life terrifies me more sometimes. Be safe out there.

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