74 People Will Die Today

car_crash_texas
One of my favorite things to hate is driving. Not that I’m bad at it, or that its boring, but because it is truly scary.

Reasons I hate driving:
1. I’m paranoid.

I spend nearly 10 hours driving every week. Most of the time, thank God, by myself, just going to and from work. If I do have my kids with me, on the other hand, I’m worried BEYOND paranoia. I have to say beyond because I’m paranoid all the time anyway.

I’m the guy who leaves 10 car lengths between me and everyone else. I like my padding.

I’m the guy actually driving slow through a school zone or a construction zone or a neighborhood with kids in it.

I’m the guy who waits on a green light or at a four-way stop to see if anyone is going to run it.

I’m the guy braking every time he sees another vehicle because he expects it to be on his side of the road or to pull out in front of him at the last minute.

2. Because I am courteous.

I let people go even if it means I lost a couple of seconds. My reward, a honk, a finger from someone behind me. Though I usually value the waves I get more.

Arkansas on-ramps are horrid, vehicles merge at 20 MPH where the speed limit is 70 MPH. I don’t blame them. It isn’t their fault, most of the time. Most of the time it is because either someone in the right lane has a chip on their shoulder or the left lane is so packed full of vehicles back to back that there is nowhere for them to go.

3. Because I don’t tailgate.

I don’t tailgate. People hate when you won’t tailgate. They will tailgate YOU if you don’t tailgate the slow driver in front of you. They will tailgate you for the sake of tailgating you, too. I’ve seen drivers tailgating in the right lane when the left lane is empty. EMPTY!

It must be so satisfy to tailgate someone in bumper-to-bumper traffic. That’ll show ’em!

Know how to get to your off-ramp faster? Tailgate the driver in the right lane! Intimidation always works in Arkansas.

I drive in Arkansas every morning, and it has terrible traffic and equally terrible drivers. The left lane is the not the passing lane anymore, as once it was dubbed. It is the extreme-speeding lane plus tailgating party lane. It’s the highway lane to hell.

Because some drivers truly drive too darn slow. If you can’t see the stop sign until you PASSED it, you really shouldn’t be driving. If weather permits, drive near the speed limit or go a different route. Driving at half the speed limit on a sun-shiny day with the birds singing in the trees and with your emergency lights off… AHH!!!! Why the heck did you pull-out in front of me, causing me to SLAM my brakes, hearing them squealing like a stuck hog, to drive HALF THE SPEED LIMIT!?

4. Because I don’t weave in and out of traffic at stomach-turning speeds.

Swerving in front of people at 90+ MPH must be a real blast. There is always that thrill that you or someone else is going to die because of your own genius.

I can’t wrap my head around the purpose of racing towards traffic that is moving way, WAY slower than you are. I must be dumb or something.

5. Because I hate motorcycles.

If I had a death wish, I would get a motorcycle and I would drive at reckless speeds in excess of 100 MPH, over twice the posted speed limit, around corners, while trying to show everyone that I can lay and stand on my bike. We know how to live, and we know how to die.

Because when I drive at night, I weigh more than a deer and my head is tougher than their antlers. So are my six-pack and the film of my eyes.

6. Because I appreciate good truckers.

I make a point to never cross a trucker. I almost NEVER pass a truck near an on ramp, for the simple fact vehicles weren’t meant to occupy the same exact space simultaneously.

I am horrified to see a trucker tailgating someone. I see this on the HIGHWAY at 70+ MPH. We all know 18-wheelers can stop on a dime and turn on them, too. I feel like rolling down my window and screaming, “Murderer”.

7. Because I pay attention.

Reading a newspaper, a book, putting lipstick on, talking on a cell phone, or, even better, texting while driving down the road is SO COOL. I wish I could multi-task half that well and still drive GREAT. Unfortunately, it’s not something I’ll ever need or want to be capable of. Oh, and it is the leading cause of crashes.

8. Because drivers like me are dwindling.

Road rage is on the rise. There has always been stupid drivers. But they had kids, lots of them, their seed has increased within them or some such of biblical proportions, and they far outnumber the drivers who haven’t got a death wish.

Am I the only one that sees how bad these situations can turn out. I don’t see how someone could not believe in divine intervention, I see it everyday on the road.

Here’s a 120 MPH crash test. In a head-on collision, this is about what two vehicles driving 60 MPH would look like. Maybe less, but not enough.

9. Because I don’t like to hit animals.
What more of a better way to show man’s superiority over Nature and it’s creatures than by hitting the gas and splattering them all over the road.

Sometimes it is unavoidable, it happens. Sometimes. I’ve hit one animal. One. I tried to center it to the vehicle. Stupid low-riding car hit it anyways. Tore out my air conditioner, radiator, air condenser, 500+ dollars of damage. Get a pickup truck.

10. Good drivers NEVER have right of way.

I’ve found that bad drivers always have right of way. They will risk a wreck and fatalities for a second or two. I can say I’ve only ever had one wreck when I slid on ice (and it was my first time on ice), but I’ve had countless near-crashes with bad drivers.

Want to be a good driver? Good drivers must yield or crash.

11. And most of all, because fighting back is still fighting.

So, I’m being tailgating within an inch of my life, I’m probably already driving at or over the speed limit, but, as you know, that is never enough. What do I want to do? Slam my brakes, slow down to a crawl, flip the finger at them.

Then, there is what I should do… That kind of response only leads to more road rage. And that goes without mentioning people who respond to road rage by shooting people. Is it really worth it from either perspective? So, the next time you are riding another driver’s bumper or cutting someone off or even brake-checking someone that is tailgating, think “what if this other driver is some kind of maniac with a gun”? Is it really worth it?

123 people will die in their vehicles today, aggressive driving will be a contributing factor in 74 of those deaths. How many of those are kids? Is it really worth it?

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