The other day, while driving down the freeway, I was attacked by lava rocks. Fist- and softball-sized stones bounced more than a story high on the blacktop then rained nearly straight down on those of us jammed together at 4:30 trying to stay ahead of rush hour.
It took me a moment to locate the source of the bouncing rocks since I was very busy trying not to get my windshield cracked. I finally saw the dumptruck racing up the fast lane a handful of cars in front of me. It had no cover on the back and rocks were flying out of it in random intervals.
Figuring the safest place was in front of the trail of projectiles, I raced past the truck. As I passed, I saw the sign on the back:
STAY BACK 200 FEET. NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OBJECTS FALLING OUT OF TRUCK.
What!!?? This truck was not just a hazard, but actually likely to kill someone. And they aren’t responsible? This is not to mention that you can’t possibly read the sign telling you to stay back 200 feet from anything less than 40 feet away. Since there’s clearly a sign with a warning on the back, you are enticed to get close and read what it tells you. Once you get close enough you can read that you just entered the danger zone and – though the truck company and driver are not responsible – you are about to die.
I want to know if that’s ever held up in court. Because if it has, I’m coming at you with a series of these ‘stay back’ warnings.
“Stay back 5 feet. Not responsible for fist.”
Can’t I just post that same one the dumptruck uses on my own car? Then I could randomly drop things out of the car and shrug off any responsibility. Right?
Or how about . . .
“Stay back . . . your guess is as good as mine. Not responsible for bullets leaving gun.” Of course, this warning—like the dumptruck’s—would be posted on the gun . . . thus, bringing you into range just to read it.
I used to like dumptrucks when I was a kid. Who knew that would turn into a deep hatred that grows with the crack on my windshield. Maybe I’ll post this on the back of my car:
“Stay back 200 feet. Not responsible for rocks thrown at the windshield of dumptrucks.”
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