Friday, March 27, 2009

My fellow motorists

Are a bunch of blazing idiots.

I had to drive about an hour and a half (each way - morning and afternoon) today for an activity I take part in every year. I enjoy it, it's good PR for my department, it's "service to the profession." So it's good.

The drive there and back, though, NEVER is. Today it was worse, because it was misty and cold in the morning, and we had enormous, heavy downpours (at a couple points you couldn't see much more than 10 feet in front of the car).

And yet, people continue to drive, dee-dee-dee, as if nothing were different from a bright sunny summer day.

Driving up, I had to deal with twin terrors: first, the drivers who figure since it's "not night any more" they don't need their headlights. Even though it's totally overcast, misting, and the sun might as well not have come up. Oh, and these folks usually drive gray or light blue cars. Cryptic coloration is not a smart evolutionary strategy in this case.

Second, the drivers who HAD THEIR BRIGHTS ON SO THEY COULD SEE AND BY GOD THEY WILL NOT TURN THEM OFF FOR ANYTHING, not even oncoming drivers who get blinded.

In both cases I "flashed" my lights at them but heaven only knows if they figured out what that actually meant ("Turn your lights on, stupid!" or "Turn off the brights, stupid!"). I suppose given the different meanings of the gesture, some of them were wondering where the cop was set up with radar, or if I was actually someone who knew them.

Then there are the big-rigs who come RIGHT UP ON YOUR TAIL before huffily pulling out into the pass lane and passing you. Um, being able to read "Mack" backwards doesn't make me any more prone to go over the speed limit, thanks.

Coming home it was even worse. We had unbelievable, torrential rain (at a couple points, if there had been somewhere safe like a parking lot to pull off into, I would have pulled off and waited, but there wasn't).

And yet, there are still people SPEEDING. And this is on a two-lane. With a set limit of 65.

I was going 45 and even 40 at a couple points because that was literally as fast as I felt it was safe. (Granted, my tires are maybe a little bald, and I found that out today, but still). And yet, I still had some loser riding my tail for miles and miles. It's like, dude, either pass me or hang back a little. If I have to stop fast you WILL rear-end me, and we will BOTH be unhappy, but you will be unhappier because you will be in the wrong and your insurance will have to pay for the repairs to my car - which incidentally is bigger, heavier, and better made than yours, so you will probably take more damage.

I also was passed at one point by a truck pulling tandem semis. That was scary and unpleasant - can barely see, am trying not to let Speed Racer on my butt run up my tailpipe, and then this TRUCK comes blaring into the left-hand lane, blowing roostertails of water up into my field of view.

Just as the rain would abate a little, and I'd be thinking, Thank God I came through it, it would start again. So I was pretty exhausted and stiff (I tend to tense up when it's bad driving) when I got home.

It was bad enough with the bad weather but the other clueless and impatient drivers made it worse. I guess they didn't have dads like mine - when I was learning to drive, one thing he impressed on me is that it was ALWAYS better to be late somewhere than to get in an accident. And that you need to take road conditions into account when driving, and drive slower (and not use cruise control) during heavy rainstorms.

(Fortunately, he also taught me not to freak out and how to get out of it when the car hydroplanes; that happened several times today.)

1 comment:

Kate P said...

Oh, man--what is it, spring fever out there? Props to your dad for his good advice, and hope you did something relaxing when you got home.