By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Drivers are paying too much attention
A driver struck the UPS Store last year on South Main Street. - photo by Bulletin file photos

As often as twice a month someone in Manteca takes out a fire hydrant with their vehicle.
Manteca motorists also strike buildings on a fairly regular basis. Some even have been known to drive almost all the way through them.
How can you run over fire hydrants or crash into buildings if you weren’t sent flying into them by someone crashing into you, weren’t under the influence, and thought you were paying attention?
Actually the problem in many of the cases are drivers that were paying attention a little bit too much.
“You can get too focused,” Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion said.
A driver sees a fire hydrant when they are turning. They keep an eye on it to make  sure they don’t hit it but because that’s the only thing they are focusing on they are drawn to it. The way to avoid that from happening is while you make sure you know where the obstacle is you look to where you are going.
“I learned the importance of doing that when I was a motorcycle officer,” Obligacion said. “You’ve got to look at where you are going.”
Obligacion said in motorcycle riding skills competitions he has seen rookie motorcycle officers go through the cone course and repeatedly strike the same one over and over when turning.
They become so focused on the cone and avoiding hitting it that they become over focused and are literally drawn to it.
Obigacion said you want to be aware of everything around you but you’ve also got to keep your eye on where you are going. It’s like the old advice about the best way to walk a straight line is to keep your focus straight ahead and occasionally looking down to where you are stepping.
As for running into buildings in cases were motorists aren’t incapacitated to a degree, they often will become so focused on stopping that they won’t realize their foot is on the gas and not the brake. And when the car is lurching forward over the sidewalk or a parking pillar their initial reaction is the brake isn’t working so they hit it harder.