Home » Watch A Charger Driver Find Out Why Passing On The Shoulder Is A Bad Idea

Watch A Charger Driver Find Out Why Passing On The Shoulder Is A Bad Idea

Charger Crash Ts2b
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I was browsing social media the other day, when I came across a brilliant video that can teach us all how not to drive. And, surprise, surprise, the villain of the piece is driving a Dodge Charger. It was ever thus! Let’s dive in and learn why we should never speed and try and pass people on the shoulder, hmm?

The dashcam video in question was posted by TopDog Law on Twitter. It shows a young woman with a passenger driving on the highway, and rather wonderfully, it gives us vision in both the forward and rearward directions. The woman is driving straight, and attempts to switch from the leftmost lane to the one immediately right. As she does, the car’s blindspot monitor can be heard triggering, and she abandons the lane change as her vehicle is approximately halfway over the lane line. At this point, all hell breaks loose.

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As she returns to the original lane, she is suddenly passed by a Dodge Charger approaching from the rear at enormous speed. The Charger veers onto the shoulder, with the driver of that vehicle slamming on the brakes. Even while braking, with massive tire squeal, the Charger is travelling so fast it still overtakes the woman’s car, before slamming into a barrier. The Dodge then ricochets off the barrier, and into the front of the woman’s vehicle, which is then sent spiraling off into the grass. Crucially, the two female passengers are unharmed, though we don’t see what happened to the driver of the Dodge.

The problem here is that the driver of the Charger was closing at very high speed as visible through the rear window (repeating in the GIF below) and appears to have assumed the lane would be empty when the woman in the video began her lane change. Yet, at no point was the lane clear for the Charger to pass. When the lane change was abandoned—an entirely valid thing to do, given the traffic in the other lane—the Charger owner suddenly was left with few options due to their poor choices. They could slam directly into the back of the woman’s car, or they could try their luck on the shoulder. They chose the latter. They turned onto the shoulder, and then immediately had to slam on the brakes because there was a barrier dead ahead. Despite the woman recognizing the developing situation in a split second and making some room, the Charger was simply going too fast and thus couldn’t stop, nor maneuver back into the lane ahead of the woman’s car, and the crash happened.

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via GIPHY

Here’s the thing—you shouldn’t ever be driving on a busy public highway at those speeds. Nor should you be going so fast that when you slam on the brakes, you’re still overtaking other traffic. It’s perhaps the first time I’ve ever seen an obvious rear-end crash turn into something like this, all flipped around. Indeed, without a dashcam, it would have appeared that the woman was responsible, hitting the Dodge Charger from behind and pushing it into the barrier. Instead, the video shows the true state of affairs, with the Charger bouncing off the barrier and into the front of the woman’s car—truly an astounding turn of events.

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The woman driving abandons the lane-change about halfway through. Frustrating, maybe, but if you’re following behind safely, there is zero risk in this perfectly normal maneuver.
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The Charger driver is traveling so fast that they still pass the woman’s vehicle with the tires squealing under braking.
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The result? The Charger crashes into the barrier and bounces into the path of the woman’s vehicle. 

Of course, the Twitter replies are full of people criticizing the woman for her decision to abandon her lane change half-way through. Let me be straight with you here—this is total bullshit. If someone is changing lanes in front of you, you have all the time in the world to let them finish that maneuver. You should not be building up so much speed that if they switch back, you’re going to crash. Indeed, the way the Charger was driving, anyone switching into the fast lane would have put them in a similar situation. They were coming up too fast for other traffic to safely change lanes anyway.

Astute attendees of Cars and Coffee will get this video, innately. The vast majority of Charger owners are likely fine drivers, but cheap and accessible speed in the hands of a few bad seeds has given the model such a bad rap that it’s actively been banned by some events because of poor behavior.

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As an aside, a tip of the hat to the woman’s passenger, who stayed very calm in a minor crisis. She was able to calm her friend and advise her to stay safely in her car, rather than running out onto the road in a panic, and called the proper authorities for help.

Anyway, it’s a sage lesson to learn. Out on the road, you need to drive to the conditions. You shouldn’t be traveling so fast that you don’t have time to safely react to changes in traffic, especially perfectly legal ones. We can all be better than that, and we can teach others to be better, too. Rant over.

Image credits: TopGun Law via Twitter Screenshot

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Is Travis
Is Travis
3 months ago

Nerves of steel on that passenger.

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
3 months ago

FWIW In Germany they have a law which can get you into big trouble if you’re not aware of it. It is called “Failure to Clear to The Rear” and it means exactly what it sounds like. In this instance the car being passed by the Charger would be held liable for a percentage of damages. It is very foreign concept to American drivers but it really exists. Guess how I know! Oh, and don’t argue with the Polizei!

Toobs-N-Stuff
Toobs-N-Stuff
3 months ago
Reply to  Opa Carriker

in germany, there is no concept of 100% fault. your car could be parked legally and a drunk could fly off an autobahn overpass at 300kph and hit your car that was parked on a side street 100meters and 3 fences from the autobahn and you would still be assigned 5% liability.

Tesla
Tesla
3 months ago
Reply to  Opa Carriker

I believe you’re referring to the obligation to check if any vehicles are approaching from behind when one is overtaking — and to give way to those vehicles. I doubt that this would apply here since this woman was already in the passing lane. There’s no right in Germany to pass someone while they’re still in the middle of a land switch — and there are other laws in Germany that deal with aggressive dangerous driving, which this Charger driver would likely face (if this was Germany, which it’s not).

Last edited 3 months ago by Tesla
Zelda Bumperthumper
Zelda Bumperthumper
3 months ago

I think the passenger has earned a permanent promotion to co-driver.

Oldskool
Oldskool
3 months ago

Good idea about a dash cam comparison. As more and more cars can go 0-60 in just a few seconds, the amount of ridiculousness I see on a daily basis is staggering. I’ve really been thinking about getting a dash cam.

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
3 months ago

It’s a bit hard to be totally sure, but honestly it looks like the Charger was gearing up for a shoulder pass even before she started to abort the lane change. Even if she’d kept going, it would have been a close call at best.

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