‘Wildflower-gazing nomad nearly caused me to crash’

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wildflower season danger
Grey nomads stopping to look at stunning wildflowers like the Sturt's Desert Pea need to do so carefully! PIC: WA Visitor Centre

The stunning wildflowers blooming in many parts of the country are bringing much joy to many, many grey nomads … but they can also bring danger.

Travellers, it seems, can sometimes be ‘caught up in the moment’ and let the beauty of where they are cloud their judgement.

Veteran truckie Heather Jones says she was driving on a highway recently when she spotted a caravan ‘stopped dead’ in the middle of the road ahead. The van was apparently being towed by a grey nomad who had stopped to look at some Sturt’s desert pea by the side of the road — a decision that could easily have proven fatal.

Ms Jones told told news.com.au that it was a heart-stopping moment …. and one that’s becoming all too common.

“I can’t tell you how close I came to writing off the caravan,” Ms Jones said. “There was so much adrenaline my legs were shaking, and I thought, ‘How could you be so stupid?’ And it happens all the time.”

Ms Jones, who lives in Western Australia, said poor behaviour from drivers — including international drivers and older drivers — had led to several near misses on the road.

She said there were several occasions when she thought her life was in danger.

“You’ve got a split second to make sure that where you are heading off the road doesn’t have any culverts or trees — you have to work out where you are going to go,” Ms Jones said. “There’s no time to do anything, so you just hold the steering wheel and pray.

She told news.com.au that some older Australians took to the highways without necessarily having the adequate experience to handle larger vehicles, while overseas drivers could become confused by the road rules.

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7 Responses to ‘Wildflower-gazing nomad nearly caused me to crash’

  1. This could have been anyone. How does this woman know they were grey nomads. Because they were towing a van???

    • Grey nomads is a loose term. Don’t think it makes it any difference! The main thing is it wasn’t ok to stop and “smell the flowers…so to speak”. That trucker also would like to get home to the family safe as well!

  2. Agreed a stupid thing to do. However if more lay-bys were provided by the council or dept of road works this behaviour probably could be avoided. We travelled with our van in tow thought WA last year and while the flowers were spectacular there was nowhere to pull over to view.

  3. I have also learnt the hard way the common sense is not all the common any longer and age does not always make people more wise. I am often dumbfounded by what I see some people do. It is often the skill and temperament of the other innocent unintended participant who saves to day.
    I have no answer or solution, unfortunately. We just try to stay safe and avoid mindless dangerous travellers.

    Stay safe and keep smiling. Peta

  4. I wonder if this article should read “the manner in which I drive my truck nearly caused me to crash” ….just saying…because if it wasn’t someone stopped on the road, or a child or a bike or a camel or a cow or whatever…just putting another perspective on the situation that’s all…because if you are shaking so much after a near miss maybe…just maybe…there’s more to it than just a van stopped in the middle of the road that may have contributed to the near miss.

  5. For anyone to stop their vehicle on a roadway for anything other than an absolute emergency is just plain idiotic. Semis can’t just stop dead for anything be it a cow, camel or caravaner. Travelling at 100 or 110kph on the open road takes a long time to stop & should they have to try to avoid anything in their path it could have fatal consequences including jack knifing or tipping the semi & entire load over. I can entirely sympathise with the truckie & hope she had time to blast them with her air horn.

  6. Unbelievable stupidity- why would you do that or even presume nobody else is using the road!,Berger’s belief. Sorry for the Truckers near miss!,

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