Driving Miss Crazy


The one thing that unites all human beings regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnic background is that we all believe we are above-average drivers. ~Dave Barry

I’m not sure what it is the past month: warmer weather, the sun in warlike Aries, a couple new Dunkin’ Donuts franchises now open where I live. I’ve almost been run off the road and/or killed half a dozen times. And those were just the times I went grocery shopping.

A confession before I start ranting here: I like to consider myself a good driver AND pedestrian. I obey speed limits, spend 80 percent of my road hours in the far-right lane, and never try to type the manuscript to my novel on an iPad or read the Wall Street Journal while driving an automobile. I’ve never even gotten a ticket aside from having a headlight out. That’s got to count for something. As for being a pedestrian, I don’t jaywalk and I always obey Mom’s advice to look both ways. It is what it is.

So, in the course of minding my own business, I have almost lost life or limb more times than I can count recently. I’m sure every resident of every major city in America will say that his or her fellow residents are the worst in the country. Here, it’s actually true. Maybe people in Chicago or Miami or Denver also engage in such foolhardiness while driving. I’d have to see it to believe it. Some of my would-be assailants here in the Volunteer State include: a guy texting and doing 30mph in a parking lot behind the wheel of a massive pickup truck, a woman who thought it would somehow be a good idea to give herself a full makeup application doing 70, and a trucker who might have mistaken my little sedan for a rat that needed to be stepped on.

I have such a love-hate relationship with cars. At present I need one to get to work, being that I live in an area without reliable public transit. If I lived in a city with a decent subway or bus system, by all means I’d use it. Have you seen the prices of gas and car insurance recently? At the same time, there are few things I enjoy more than hopping in the car, taking a good audio book, and enjoying a drive through country roads.

The problem is, of course, other drivers. I do consider myself a good driver, as I said before. It doesn’t exempt me from the possibility of getting into a wreck. The few times I’ve almost crashed, it’s invariably been some poor animal wandering out into the road. I imagine waking up from a coma, in the hospital, and my first words being “But did the squirrel make it?” It’s unpredictable out there. Chaos theory tells me that no matter how careful and prepared I am, the odds will eventually send a soccer-playing kid or a flying Port-a-John into my path.

That’s not to say I won’t stop driving, though I am considering an eventual move to a place where owning a car won’t be so necessary. (Mackinac Island, Michigan, looks promising.) In the meantime I suppose I’ll just have to deal with the insanity that is daily driving in America. I’m just glad I have a full arsenal of audio books and old George Carlin CDs to help me deal with the pain.

Just one note to all those other drivers: simply paying attention should be Rule Number One. And count me in whenever there’s an anti-cell-phones-in-cars push going on. Shut up and drive…and stay safe out there!

What have been some of your experiences while driving or as a pedestrian? Any horror stories to tell?

crazydriver

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on April 27, 2013.

6 Responses to “Driving Miss Crazy”

  1. I am no saint when it comes to driving, but one thing that drives me crazy is people who still drive while using their phones. I refuse to answer mine while driving. I figure if they want to talk to me so bad they can leave a message.

  2. These days I leave a lot of space between myself and the driver ahead of me. It’s the one tail-gating behind me that has me worried!
    Take care out there!

  3. My daily commute would be a lot easier if other drivers would LEARN HOW TO USE THEIR INDICATORS!!!

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