With over two decades in law enforcement, I have investigated plenty of cases involving unnecessary injury and death to innocent victims. While it is true I am retired, I can still spot potential trouble from a mile away.
Check this guy out. He loaded a heavy water heater onto the trunk deck of his car and then with some flimsy cord and a single bungee cord, tied the load down by running the line through his open back windows. Down the road he goes.
Reaching back to my 1962 high school physics taught by Mr. Prevost I am reminded of Newton’s Laws of Motion.
1. “Newton’s Law can be stated mathematically as
Consequently, “An object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless an external force acts upon it.”
In plain English, the water heater will continue to careen down the roadway until it hits your windshield thereby wedging you into the back seat of your car. You may need the services of a plastic surgeon unless you are ok with the words, A.O. Smith Water Heaters stamped into your forehead.
For more on Newton’s Laws of Motion check out my WikiPedia link.
2. The tie down material is inadequate to do a safe job.
3. Any guy who makes the decision to tie a heavy object to his trunk deck, is the same kind of guy who will follow too closely in traffic. When he gets into a rear-end collision, his load will be hurled right over the top of his car through the back window of the car two cars ahead of him or maybe knock an innocent victim off his motorcycle.
If he over-corrects his steering in an effort to miss the car in front of him, the water heater could go through the windshield of an oncoming car. How about people in a crosswalk? There are all kinds of potential negative consequences to this guy’s poor decision making.
As you drive down the road you can see evidence of this kind of decision making spilled and smashed all over the right-of-way.
If he destroys his brand new water heater, that is on him. I could always enjoy a good Laurel and Hardy kind of laugh.
If he victimizes someone else, that is an unnecessary tragedy.
Typically when I interviewed a guy like this at the incident scene, he would say something like,
- “Hey, a guy has got to do what a guy has got to do.”
- “Huh. That is the way I did it.”
- “I don’t have any insurance or job, but I will pay the victim for his car damage and medical bills.” While this sounds good at the incident scene, rarely does this kind of guy make good on his promise.
Let me add a kicker. The hardware store DELIVERS water heaters, FOR FREE!
I know. I am not supposed to be judgmental or politically incorrect. On the other hand, I am retired and heading towards my 8th decade which means I am blessed with regaining my freedom of thought and speech.
Let me say it this way. If stupidity was a crime, this guy would be “doin” time.