Here's a scary lesson I was retaught today, happily at no cost to myself nor anyone else:
A driver that DOES NOT see your car
looks EXACTLY like a driver who DOES.
While I was driving 25 MPH in the right-lane of a one-way, two-lane ramp that ends at a stop light, I saw a light-blue Infiniti QX pulling up to a stop sign at a parking lot exit at my right. For some reason it caught my attention more than usual, maybe it was just the size of the thing, or maybe they weren't driving normally and somehow I picked this up.
Then, after checking for oncoming traffic, they pulled out just as I was starting to pass the exit. They didn't hit me instantly because they pulled deep into the shoulder, but about a quarter over the line. A smaller car may have pulled it off without crossing the line, but it still would be incredibly stupid, since the shoulder was tapering to the curb further toward the light. Luckily this was all at low speed due to the stoplight. I reflexively entered the left lane to avoid being pushed into it, luckily the lane was empty and no one was in my left blind spot, which I was too distracted to check.
During this time I was looking out my right side to see the driver calmly staring ahead as though everything was hunky dory. Their line of sight appeared at the time to be like a foot over the roof of my car, and straight ahead. No cell phone. No leaning over to reach controls. No stressed expressions. Nothing. Just as though they were still sitting at the exit, listening to Jimmy Buffet on the radio.
So we rolled to the stop light. I'm halfway over the line into the left lane. They're pulled up to the front of my rear right wheel, halfway into the right lane. From the rear, it probably looked like an accident. At this point I'm so dumbfounded I'm looking out my rear windows trying to see what they look like but my sight is now blocked by my rear pillar and roof.
I assume their expression would have emitted one of the following:
1. Where the F*** did that car come from?
2. Where did the F***ing lane go?