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What’s the most inattentive thing you’ve seen someone do while driving?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on February 9, 2007

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Photo of Matty Price

“Either text messaging or putting makeup on.”

Photo of Brian Ricke

“The only thing I see is people on their cell phones weaving in and out of traffic and driving erratically. I really haven’t seen anything too unusual.”

Photo of Amber Woodward

“One time I saw a girl driving 70 miles per hour down the highway, and she was putting makeup on and talking on a cell phone at the same time.”

Photo of Ryan Durant

“Doing their makeup. They’re trying to sit up in their seat leaning toward the middle to see themselves in their rearview mirror.”


Linda Aikins 11 years, 3 months ago

On her cell phone, smoking a cigarette, looking at makeup, and driving with her knee. My life flashed, I tell ya. This was on I70 going about 75.

I was hoping her flux capacitor ran out of celery very very soon.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 3 months ago

I hereby declare Ceal to be Charlton Heston for a day.

Also, I would drive attentively ... while eating a Klondike bar.

RonBurgandy 11 years, 3 months ago

I did one science project with some plants and fake lighting.

jonas 11 years, 3 months ago

Looking at his laptop. I put a lot of distance tween us ASAP.

windy 11 years, 3 months ago

A cop, doing some type of work on his computer that is mounted in the car. And they say cell phone are a bad deal?

sgtwolverine 11 years, 3 months ago

I haven't seen anything too crazy here.

However, when I was in London, I looked at one car and started to get a little nervous when I saw a newspaper up in front of the face of the guy in the left seat as the car worked its way through the London traffic. It took me a moment to remember that the left seat wasn't the driver's seat.

Kuku_Kansas 11 years, 3 months ago

Doing a crossword puzzle.

Oh wait, that's me.

denak 11 years, 3 months ago

I was driving beside a clergyman who was falling asleep. He was trying to stay awake. His head jerked up a few times. I told the people at the toll booth and they said they would catch him when he came through. I felt kind of bad for reporting him. He probably had a hard night but he was falling asleep.

acg 11 years, 3 months ago

My Uncle has this giant RV and there's a tv/vcr/dvd player mounted right inside the door. It's on a swivel stand so he can turn it towards him and watch while driving. It bugs me greatly to see him watch a movie while he's driving that giant beast down the road. We yell at him all the time but he always says if its his destiny to go that way, then so be it. I always argue that it's fine for him to make that decision for himself, but he should consider the other people he's likely to take out when he wrecks that thing. But, he's old and doesn't listen. Whaddya gonna do with old people, eh?

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 3 months ago

Reading the newspaper on I-70 going toward Topkea during morning rush hour. I couldn't believe it.

I was telling one of my employees about it one day and another chimes in and says, "I would study on my way to JCCC all the time." I asked her how she could possibly pay attention to her driving while doing so and that she was being reckless with the lives of others." She indicated she was "saved" so she'd be alright no matter what. Unbelieveable.

Ceallach 11 years, 3 months ago

Protein bars are people!! No wait, that's soylent green, . . . never mind.

I saw a woman driving through the intersection of 15th & Iowa while screaming and hitting at a child that was strapped into a carseat in the back seat. The look on her face was reminiscent of Linda Blair in the Exorcist. I will never understand why some cretins believe they can stop a child from crying by yelling at or hitting it.

Maybe that should be an OTS question of the day. "How do people expect to stop a child's crying by screaming at it, hitting it, or both?"

beatrice 11 years, 3 months ago

Yesterday on the way into work I saw a woman talking on her cell phone, holding it in her left hand, and she had a large cup of coffee in her right hand. You could clearly see her occassionally making casual adjustments on the wheel with her elbows. I wanted to get in front of her and then hit the brakes right when she brought the cup up to her lips, thus allowing the person on the other end of the conversation hear the scream of pain when the coffee splashed on the driver's face when forced to manuever. Alas, I chose to just speed up and get away.

Bob Kidder 11 years, 3 months ago

Stopped on Iowa at 27th going North there was a lady driving a manual transmission SUV. She had a cigarette in her left hand and a cell phone held to her ear in the right hand. The light turned green - she looked at the light, the stick shift, her cigarette, and then cell phone. She put the cigarette in her mouth, transferred the cell phone to her left hand and ear, and then put the vehicle in gear with her right. Is this inattentive or multi-tasking (sarcasm intended)?

irnmadn88 11 years, 3 months ago

After riding a motorcycle for ten years, nothing really suprises me anymore, although the number of idiots has increased exponentially with the proliferation of cell phone use and more families giving their teenagers cars.

You can't even walk through a crosswalk anymore with out worrying about the idiot a half block away...or the one turning left in front of you- ask the mail man.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 3 months ago

Think, it's actually a crime -- she's ruining a perfectly good vehicle with all that smoke.

Just think of what would have happened if she had absent-mindedly put the cigarette in her ear and her cell phone in her mouth!

Adrienne Sanders 11 years, 3 months ago

Saw a guy talking on his cell phone... while driving a motorcycle. Yikes.

Emily Hadley 11 years, 3 months ago

I had a cop cross the center line on south Mass once, right at me, and I could see his face glowing in the computer screen right as we swerved. I think those computers are a little odd, too.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 3 months ago

My friend totaled his car by having a "Garp" moment...glad I wasn't there to see it!

Probably reading a newspaper and what Ceal said about the "Rambo moms" who beat the heck out of their kids while driving. I actually have a solution to this problem and it served me well for many years. Tip from my mother-in-law: When you have screaming kiddies in the car...pull into the nearest drive-up and order extra thick chocolate malts. Those kiddies will be so busy sucking away on those straws you'll not hear another peep for miles!!!

thomgreen 11 years, 3 months ago

I passed a car on I-90 going through South Dakota and the couple were having a romantic episode.

acg 11 years, 3 months ago

I've seen lots of monkey spanking on the roads in my lifetime. What's with that? Guys, can't you control yourselves for a few minutes while driving? Sheesh!!

se1672 11 years, 3 months ago

Driving down the turnpike I saw a guy picking his nose and then closely examining the find before wiping it on the napkin he was half holding with his other hand. He was driving with one wrist.

Kontum1972 11 years, 3 months ago

biggest problem in lawrence...running stop signs then giving u the finger and laffing...while u are in the intersection (as they swerve around you)....extremely bad on kasold between 6th and b.billings....pretty much a freefire zone... mean the one from taco johns?

Nate Poell 11 years, 3 months ago

What kind of sick monster keeps monkeys in his car AND abuses them? Because never, EVER, does a vervet "deserve" it.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 3 months ago

A guy in a huge SUV who was on a cell phone... while rumminating through a pile of blueprints. The huge papers were all over the dashboard. I couldn't believe it.

2: a woman putting on makeup. My big beef with her wasn't that she was putting on a little makeup, but that she appeared to have a full makeup set in the seat next to her. She was giving herself a full-blown makeover, not just doing some emergency maintanence on her mug.

3 would have to be this guy who was speeding down I-70 cussing and screaming about the woman driving in the lane next to him who appeared to be giving herself a full-blown makeover, now just doing some emergency maintanence...

deec 11 years, 3 months ago

I once saw a woman folding laundry at 23rd and Iowa. She had the basket on the seat next to her and was folding the items on the steering wheel. When the light changed, she kept folding.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 3 months ago

Yesterday I was at 19th and Tenn. waiting for the lightt o change. Six cars went through the intersection, and five of them were on hand-held phones. 5 of 6. Welcome to Lawrence.

redwaggoner 11 years, 3 months ago

Waay back in '74, I was driving a new Ford Tempo n on 59 hwy about a mile S of the gas statiion out there. I was driving about 70 and started watching the car in front of me suspecting something. The passenger began to stick his head out the window and looking toward the front of the car. About that time, the rt. front wheel came off the car and bounced 20 ft. in the air and landed on the highway behind me. Fortunately the guy driving a semi behind me was watching too, as he missed hitting the wayward wheel (rim and all) as it landed in front of him. I figured that had he hit that tier, it would have been pushed right thru that brands new (demo) Ford.

LilMissy 11 years, 3 months ago

Reading a book. I've mastered changing clothes.

Confrontation 11 years, 3 months ago

"I was driving beside a clergyman who was falling asleep. He was trying to stay awake. His head jerked up a few times. I told the people at the toll booth and they said they would catch him when he came through. I felt kind of bad for reporting him. He probably had a hard night but he was falling asleep."

I just had to repost this. Using "clergyman" and "hard night" in the same post is brilliant!

Confrontation 11 years, 3 months ago

The worst drivers I see are those with dogs in their cars. The ugly mutts are running back and forth around the car. Belt them in, or toss them out the window.

redwaggoner 11 years, 3 months ago

To right_thinker: What? Don't you know by now that the biggest majority of motorists can't see past the end of their noses anyway?

innocuous: Would you believe I saw a guy driving around thru a parking lot in San Diego with his pants down arounds his ankles playing with himself, apparently trying to get an errection (before Viagra & Cialis). I could only guess he was looking for a hooker on his lunch hour. I was on a roof-top over looking the parking lot doing some roof repairs at the time. Needeless to say I nearly cracked up!

acg: Old people? Guess what, one of these days you may actually graduate from your diapers and then you will be an "old people" too! Don't complain about the older generation. We don't always do things right, but neither do you!!!!

American_Pit_Bull_Terrier 11 years, 3 months ago

Unruly dogs (while traveling in a car or otherwise) are a reflection of the driver/dog owner.

Bone777 11 years, 3 months ago

On the way back from a high school game in KC, we came upon a car that was weaving across both lanes of traffic and on to the shoulders of K-10.

When we got to our place in line to attempt a pass, we could see that the guy had his head hanging out his window, with vomit covering the entire side of the car.

Before the time of cell phones and quick reporting....

Kontum1972 11 years, 3 months ago

i was on my way from houston to orlando florida last week and i saw a woman throwing something that looked like a pillow case or mb it was the worlds biggest diaper from her moving was the most crazy thing i had ever she looked really frustrated....and i think she was crying too.....!

jonas 11 years, 3 months ago

Is it bad that I've been wanting to go up to people and ask: "D'ya see that Anna Nicole Smith's in the news again?" so when they ask "Oh Yeah, what'd she do?" I can answer "She died."?

Admittedly, my window of opportunity on this is shrinking.

Kontum1972 11 years, 3 months ago

she really died? sure it wasnt just a publicity stunt....she really enjoyed grandstanding!

Genome 11 years, 3 months ago

A guy was punching the hell out of his wife. It was the saddest scene ever:(

sgtwolverine 11 years, 3 months ago

TOB: "inane woman"? That's kind of harsh!

staff04 11 years, 3 months ago

I used to change clothes between school and work on K-10.

Best I've ever seen?

  1. Woman talking on cellphone on K-10, weaving, erratic speed changes (she seriously hit every point on the speedometer between 45 and 95)--traffic was just so that no one could get around her. This goes on for a solid 10 miles while the guy immediately behind her (not me) was slowly losing his mind. 23rd and Harper, light turns red, said angry guy pulls up next to woman to discover that she is on her phone, anger turns to rage and angry guy throws his OWN cellphone through the woman's open passenger side window. I'm pretty sure he hit her with it.

  2. Two vehicles exchanging some item (looked like a radio or walkie-talkie that construction contractors use) at speed. 65 mph, leaning out of the window and passing the radio from one truck to the other.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 3 months ago

Folks: If your cell phone was made in the past 5 years, it likely has some sort of voice dial feature. Use it. It may move you from being 94% dangerous to only being 93% dangerous.

Or another hint (what I do a lot): learn to ignore your phone. Do you own it, or does it own you?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 3 months ago

Let me put it another way: your cell phone is a tool that you use and not a part of you. If you cannot put it down for a few minutes to drive to Checkers and back, then you are the tool.

Ceallach 11 years, 3 months ago

sgt: does that mean I have to buy a gun?

Ken Miller 11 years, 3 months ago

A friend had had too much to drink... he decided he wanted to drive home, and several of us tried to stop him. He managed to get into his car, but we formed a human shield in front of and behind the vehicle so he couldn't pull out.

At that point, he leaned toward the dashboard and proceeded to blow chow against the front window. We laughed.

Then he reached down and turned on the windshield wipers. We laughed a lot more.

mom_of_three 11 years, 3 months ago

I will put my mascara on in the car at at stop light, but not while driving.
I did, however, have a car pull out in front of me on Haskell. She was putting on her makeup and brushing her hair, looking into the rearview mirror, while driving 30 mph. I happened to follow it to 19th and La, where the person turned one way and I went straight. As I continued to drive on campus, the car pulls in front of me again at a 3 way stop and the girl is still putting on her makeup!!
Also, people who smoke and try to talk on the cell phone at the same time.

shirinisb 11 years, 3 months ago

Today I saw a woman in a large van with a handicapped parking sign talking on her cell phone and trying to light her cigarette at the same time. I wonder if that handicap is mental or what.

angelkids 11 years, 3 months ago

The strangest thing I have seen is a man getting sexually pleased my another person while driving trust me I believe that someone can wait until they get home or wait until they get to a hotel before doing something like that.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 3 months ago

topeka, maybe your 2 and 3 year olds were able to reason that because they are hot, confined, tired, hungry, etc...they should just accept that in 30 minutes or so, they will be home and free to go about their business, and therefore, should not cry. Or maybe you just reason, that since it is the law to confine them to a 3 point harness carseat that may not be privy to direct air-conitioning, that when they protest by crying, they are just being unreasonable and further punished for speaking out by crying. I dunno. Sounds to me like the malt is the perfect solution. Where in my post did I mention that they were being bratty. Are all crying children brats? Sounds to me you think so. And for the record, no, I do not reward bad behavior.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 3 months ago

Sue, do you think Topeka HAS children? Usually the ones that know everything about how to perfectly raise perfect young'uns have none.

A malt would shut me up! Well, probably not.

bevy 11 years, 3 months ago

Had a scary one myself a couple weeks ago...I was still shaking 3 hours later. Heading west out of Lawrence on highway 24 (with my youngest daughter in the van with me) I reached over to turn the radio up, and when I glanced back up, there was a pickup truck coming at me IN MY LANE! In the oncoming lane there was a semi. The pickup driving moron was trying to pass! On a 2 lane highway, with me and 3 or 4 other cars coming at him. I had to hit the breaks, and the horn, and take the shoulder to keep from getting smeared. Really Scary.

bevy 11 years, 3 months ago

Plus I had a boss once who would text entire paragraphs while driving. She prided herself on that!

swamp_rat 11 years, 3 months ago

Maybe Downtown Topeka thinks she/he is Jo Frost? Or perhaps Mary Poppins? "Practically perfect in every way!" read with English accent

Bone777 11 years, 3 months ago

Consumer1 - the best way to settle-down a bad monkey is to show him you mean business.

When he sees that you are willing to choke the chicken, the monkey will usually stop acting up.

swamp_rat 11 years, 3 months ago

why she's the Super nanny! "You've been very, very naughty! We're going to put you in the naughty corner."

swamp_rat 11 years, 3 months ago

RI, you can catch her Monday nights at 9pm on ABC. Shocking what people allow millions of viewers to see.

cms 11 years, 3 months ago

About two months ago, 101N around the San Francisco airport, late in the evening around 10:00pm, it was raining fairly hard, a car passed me going around 70-75 mph, and the guy was TEXT MESSAGING! I couldn't believe it.

SpeedRacer 11 years, 3 months ago

I once followed a guy in to work in OP who shaved, brushed his teeth , got completely dressed changing from his pj's and combed his hair.

jayhawks71 11 years, 3 months ago

People (and cops) on cell phones while driving. The research is pretty darn clear on this attention sucker. Also cops fiddling with their dash mounted laptops. Sorry law enforcement, you don't have superior attention skills compared to the rest of the population, and mounting it near the dash... hah.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 3 months ago

What is sad is that the most inattentive drivers I've come in "contact" with weren't doing much of anything but driving. Just driving poorly. Not thinking about what they were doing. When you get into your car you are a driver FIRST, anything else is incidental. If you are not going somewhere, one has to wonder what you are doing in your car. I'm not saying not to do anything else, but you have to be driving attentively before considering anything else like adjusting the radio or waving at a friend or backing up to get a good spot in a parking lot or anything.
The second thing to remember is that there are other people on the road and it is NOT up to THEM to look out for YOU. Some cities have a solution for that--road rage shootings. In this town it means that you are on a first name basis with the body shop guys.


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