I had some requests to do another rant, so this week, we're taking a look at bad drivers. I'm going to make it a letter so everyone can print if off, highlight the appropriate section, and hand it to anyone that you think needs to see it. Who knows, it could save some rage, a life, or just make you feel better. Awareness should never be overrated.
Dear Bad Drivers,
Hi there! I know we don't really know each other, but I hope this letter changes that. Here you are, reading it, and here I am, writing it. We're already closer; we're like two peas in a pod. If you want a little more of a connection, I can tell you that I enjoy long walks on the beach and zombie apocalypse preparedness. I also enjoy unicorns and drinking coffee while sitting on my front porch. Do you feel like we're friends now? You totally should. I rarely share my love of porches and unicorns, but I shared with you. That's friendship, right there.
Now, since we are friends and all, I want to talk to you about something very close to my heart. That's what friends do, they share things. I want to talk to you about your driving, and all the things you do that piss me off. It's not just you, but since we're friends, I'm going to tell you. Maybe you can spread it to all your other friends, who I'm sure are bad drivers, just like you. Shhh, it's okay. This will be easy. Just let it happen.
I want to talk to you about your innate ability to completely ignore everything going on outside of your car/truck. How do you do that? I know that must take some talent, so I'm giving you props on it to soften the blow of my words. Props. Okay, I gave you props, now hear me out: I listen to my radio, loudly, every time I get into my truck. There's something to be said for the joy that I get from blaring my music and driving with my windows down. Yet, somehow, even with my windows up, I am still aware that I am not the only person on the road, and there are other cars and things happening outside of mine. I hear sirens, I see other drivers, I notice things like driveways and turn-outs from stores, and I notice you, not noticing. It bothers me. A lot.
You sit there, in your car/truck, and block turn-outs and intersections; you don't get over for emergency vehicles, or pull over for funeral processions; you have a blatant disregard for the turning of traffic lights and the personal space of any car you get behind. You are annoyingly oblivious to the fact that other people use roads to commute from place-to-place. I don't know how you manage to do all this while driving, and still maintain a dent-free vehicle, but you do, and I hate you for it. We're still friends, right? I have more talking I want to do with you, new friend.
Now, I know that you think you're super cool, in your fancy new ride, with your fancy new paint job and your rims that cost more than my house, but you're just like everyone else. You have to maintain speed limits just like the rest of us. When you're driving along at 45 in a 55, and a passing lane opens up, people behind you (that you don't notice because of the aforementioned reasons) are going to want to pass you. It's rude to put your pedal to the floor for the minute or so that the lane is opened, getting to a proper speed, only to slow down again when the chance to get around you is gone. I really want to ram you when you do this, and I don't mean in a pleasing way. I just don't get why this is fun for you.
I also want to let you know that it really upsets me when you tailgate me. I am usually going at least 7 miles over the speed limit, so I know that I am doing my part to be safe, while still maintaining an appropriate speed. I check my mirrors and I find your windshield to be the only thing that's visible. Would you like my blood type and family history? I mean, you're getting rather close, don't you think? I'll invite you to supper with my folks if you'd like, but there are better ways to be "on me" than tailgating.
Since we're on the subject of tailgating, I would like to mention the fact that flying up on me, passing me, and slowing down to below my current speed, is not only completely uncalled for, but overly annoying.
This particularly bothers me when I am on the interstate. The speed limit is usually 70, and I am usually going well over that if I'm in the fast lane. Now, I understand that you are probably in a hurry, when I see that you're advancing on my rear end quickly and with purpose. What I do not understand, is how passing me and then slowing down is helping you get to your destination faster. Do you just want to mess with me? Are you in a bad mood, wanting to take it out on unsuspecting anonymous drivers? I'm not sure how that helps, but to each his own I guess.
The subject of interstate driving brings up a few more points I'd like to touch on in this letter, dearest new friend. I hope I am still able to call you that. Let's start with off ramps. When you get on them, please use the time, and distance, you're given wisely. Get up to the proper speed for a smooth transition into oncoming traffic. Stopping at the end abruptly is only slowing the process down, and can cause your car, and quite possibly your body, great harm. They are made to be conducive to an "ease of flow", and you're making it not-so easy. Please remember this the next time you hop onto one. Merging smoothly is your friend, not your foe.
This also applies to exit ramps. They are there for you to merge onto, and slow down, without disrupting the traffic flow on the interstate. I promise it's long enough, and you should have no trouble reaching a stop at the end. When you slow down on the interstate, you're slowing down people that aren't expecting to be slowed down. They may hit you, dear friend, or be a part of a huge pile-up that hurts a lot of people. It's not safe for you, it's not safe for me, and it's annoying as hell.
See? We're opening communication. You are such a good friend for listening, and I am such a good friend for informing you. I hope that we can keep this up, new friend. I have more to talk with you about.
Like why you feel it's necessary to leave 5 car lengths in between you and the car in front of you at a red light. When you and all your bad driver friends do this, it makes for a big angry mess for the people behind you. I miss the light, and am stuck waiting again. One of these days, someone is going to hunt you down, and beat the crap out of you. I don't want to see a friend get hurt, but if I see it, I'm not going to step in. Unless it's to help. Because OMFGIWANTTOHITYOUTOO!
When you do all of these things I've talked about, I want to harm you. I get road rage, not because I'm a mean person, but because you make it impossible for me to enjoy driving. I love it, and you're ruining it. If you were on fire, and I had a glass of water, I would drink it. That's how mad you make me. Is that any way to treat your new-found friend? No, no it is not.
I don't care if you're female drivers, elderly drivers, young drivers, part of the angry men drivers population, or just some jack ass that should never have been given a driver's license. If you do any of these things, you're on my list of people to hate. Male or female driver, new driver or old, you should respect the fact that a car/truck is just an over-sized tool; if you use it improperly, you're going to hurt yourself or others. I'm more worried about others, because I have a kid. If you were to cause me harm because you're incapable of driving with any common sense, it would be the last mistake you ever made.
Best wishes and hopes for a more conscientious look at driving safety,