In case you can’t guess it, once again the drivers around my neck of the woods (Hampton Roads, Virginia) take the lead for this months Asshole of the Month. I am giving the award to the various morons and buffoons I see on the road lately.
First of all, I get it, YOUR time is important; but you know what? So is MY life. Your right to pursue your dreams of happiness does not trump my right to suck oxygen and push CO2. So a little common decency and mutual respect would be much appreciated while you’re driving your 4000lb penis “down” the road.
Why am I pissed? Two events happened today for me to write about this:
- I almost got into a very serious accident because of two people, a woman who decided she needed to cross two lanes of traffic and occupy the same exact space that my vehicle was using. And, some jerk-off in a mile high truck was trying to use my bumper to clean his license plate, effectively leaving me no room to maneuver. When the woman crossed the two lanes of traffic, all without so much as a blinker and about careened into me; I couldn’t go right, I couldn’t go left, I couldn’t speed past her, All I could do was hit my brakes and pray the jerk behind me saw what was happening and would quickly slow. Luckily for me, the jerk behind me was able to match my rapid deceleration until the woman crossed in front of me (she later cut off another driver). The jerk sped around me, all the while letting me know how much he valued my presence; even indicating to me that I was #1 in his life.
- A short time later, another person crossed a couple of lanes of traffic to make their turn off. Their speed was too high and they careened into the car in front of them. This accident was fatal for one of the drivers. My co-worker informed me of this accident; as they came to work after me. All I can say is, why? And what about that road rage event in Albuquerque, NM last Tuesday? A man crossed two lanes of traffic, got into a shouting match and ended up shooting a 4 year old? What the Hell? Are we really turning into that type of a society? Our culture (Yes, America does have a culture!) is built upon mutual trust and respect, the acknowledgment that we are all part of a greater good. Stupidity like this DOES NOT help our cause.
What is it about being behind the wheel of a car/truck/motorcycle/moped that encourages smart people to do dumb things? I don’t understand. This article is not about road rage, so I’ll end it there. So, as a refresher for my fellow drivers; I’d like to reiterate some safe driving techniques (Don’t worry Frank, you’re not included!) ….
- Be Safe. What does “be safe” mean? It means a couple of things. First, ensure a safe driving environment: adjust your mirrors, buckle up, use your blinkers to indicate your intentions, and keep a buffer zone between you and other drivers to allow for unexpected situations. Second, give room to cars on the side of the road (especially police / service vehicles). Move over a lane to provide a safe buffer for the person on the side of the road. If you cannot move over, decelerate to a minimum of 10 mph below the posted speed limit.
- Keep situational awareness. Know what’s ahead of your vehicle. What is the traffic ahead doing? Is it slowing, is it stopped? Don’t just look at the car in front of you; look further down the road so you’ll have time to react. Know the weather, the roads around here get slick when it rains, adjust your speed and distance accordingly. A rule of thumb for looking ahead is 12 – 15 seconds for city driving and 12 – 14 seconds ahead for highway driving (roughly 1/4 mile). The goal of keeping situational awareness: not getting caught off guard.
- Hang up the phone! Distractions happen. For those that you cannot control – just drive. For those that you can control (cellphones, plugging directions into google maps, eating); Just don’t. Focus on driving, not the Big Mac (yes, I can eat that Big Mac while driving…just saying). It looks like even the DR needs to change some habits.
My message Hampton Roads. Enough!! treat the other drivers around you with respect. I do not know what you are going to do. So, please, use your blinkers so I’ll have some indication as to what your plans are. Here is a link to a Virginia DMV approved defensive drivers course.
Still confused? Goofy does a good job in “Motor Mania” which I encourage everyone to watch.
Thank you, the good Doc.
What say you?