Monday, April 2, 2012

Idiot Driver Day

          I know I'm not the best driver ever, and I should fess up right at the outset that I've had my share of driving episodes where I wasn't paying attention very well. All before cell phones and texting, I was just a distracted driver and did some things like driving right through an intersection where there was a stop sign, noticing the sign mid-way through the intersection. Did that at a red light (or two) as well, and each of these times my daughter Kerri was in the car with me (and was sure to let me know she noticed). On one occasion I was pulled over, only to have the officer come to the car and tell me that she had a call & had to take off, but it just wouldn't have looked right for her not to stop me when I'd so blatantly ignored the sign. Or light. Not sure which one that was...
          As I was driving this morning and encountering one obviously impatient driver after another, I thought about writing this, in fact sort of started writing in my head while driving. Attentively driving. These days I'm a card carrying speed limit driver. With my car nearly twelve years old, I actually drive about five miles per hour shy of the speed limit on the highway or it shakes. It's not a problem for me, but apparently is for plenty of other drivers.
          Today isn't actually Idiot Driver Day, but it could be. In fact, any day could be. At my last job where I had to take a 15 mile drive on the highway to get to work, I would often come in and announce it was Idiot Driver Day. I get the feeling that the people who are doing the Idiot Driving will not be reading this, but perhaps I'll feel a little better for putting it out there anyway.
          Idiot Drivers are not necessarily idiots, but they seem to behave as such soon as they get behind the wheel. Much as there are stereotypes, Idiot Drivers can be seen across every generation, race, sex, creed, whatever.
I just don't get it. Why do some people drive so close? Are they trying to see if the tag on my shirt is hanging out? I assure you, I double check that before I leave the house. Besides, if I miss it, I'll be okay. There are a whole lot of people out there who are confident they can stop quickly if I have to. Of course, not being a fast driver myself, they don't stay with me long. Probably see that my shirt collar is all set and move on to check the next driver.
          Maybe they want me to see how cool their low-rider is. Know what pal? I don't care. I do care that you are paying a whole lot more attention to pretty much everything BUT the road we are both traveling.
          When I encounter a driver going crazy-fast and/or in-and-out of whatever lane looks best at that minute, I say a little prayer that the person will not cause an accident and that those who are on the road at the same time will be spared from any havoc that could be caused by so much carelessness. Also for the driver to wake up and get a few priorities in order. I sigh as I pull up right behind some crazy speedster at a traffic light a few minutes later. Seems he or she didn't really buy any extra minutes after all, but put themselves and plenty of others at risk.
          Just stop it.