How’s your driving?

We see the question on many commercial vehicles, “How’s My Driving?” I thought I would modify this to describe drivers that I have encountered lately. My word, in a nutshell, is terrible. Texting while driving, demanding the right of way when one does not have the right of way, and lolly gagging instead of paying attention to the road and the task at hand-driving. If you are going to have a problem, it is probably going to happen on the highway. Defensive driving is the responsibility of every driver, not the caring few.

You may ask, how do I know that a person is texting? First of all, a swerving vehicle with no apparent cause for the swerving is an indication. Texting while driving has been outlawed in many states, and that trend needs to follow suit nationwide. A person does not even have to be texting but simply distracted by trying to dial their phone. Another indication of texting is when a person looks down while driving. My wife encounters this often as drivers do bizarre things at her school crossing. If you absolutely must have this conversation, then you need to pull off to the side of the road, at a safe location.

Concerning the right of way issue, I would compare this to bullying on the highway, by using your vehicle. Whether it be while merging into traffic, or turning onto one road from another, I constantly see people driving with no due regard for anyone’s safety. As a reminder, the merging vehicle normally does not have the right of way, but must yield the right of way. It is one thing to request the right of way, but most people demand it by their driving actions. If you sit at a four-way intersection, and you are making a left-hand turn while there is a car across from you making a right hand turn; the car making the right-hand turn has the right of way, no matter how long you have been waiting. In a four-way stop situation, everyone needs to be cooperative.

I traveled to the western part of the state this past weekend and saw two traffic delays on I-81. One appeared to be a vehicle that attempted to pass an oversized load truck at a narrowing part of the roadway. Vehicle destroyed, driver to the hospital via ambulance and long back up for everyone headed that way. My question is, was it worth it? I think not. We have a situation like that close to home. The railroad bridge on Jefferson Davis Hwy near Colonial Ridge Apartments causes the highway to narrow for two vehicles. I do not know how many times I have watched two vehicles squeeze through because someone is in too big of a hurry. Two vehicles do fit, but not by much.

The leading cause of death and serious injury to the 25-44 crowd was due to motor vehicle collisions. I would venture to say that that the age has dropped to 18. I do not say this based on updated facts, but simply in what I see and hear on the news. The bad part of this is that just about every accident is preventable. We have not even broached drinking and driving; we are just talking about non-thinking or pushy people. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to go from place to place without an accident in the middle.   

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