When I turned 16, I could not wait to get my license so I could drive my mom’s '65 white convertible Chevy Nova with the brown leather upholstery. I’m sure I looked as cool as I thought I did but then again maybe not because I quickly learned that good-looking cars don’t automatically get the girls. I thought that was the key.
Today, I hate driving. Well, I don’t hate the act of driving a car, I hate that there are other cars on the road with drivers who seem to not follow the laws or etiquette of driving – like stopping at stop signs. Also, used to be, on a highway, you passed on the left and the right was left for “slower vehicular
traffic.” Not anymore. More cars pass me on the right than on the left. Which means, I have to keep both eyes on the road and my other eye on the passenger-side mirror looking for would-be Jeff Gordons speeding up to get past me.
Then there are the drivers who pass me on the left, and cut sharply in front of me so they can take that exit that we just almost passed.
I live in a neighborhood of streets that have a stop sign on every corner. You’d think that would be safe. On my drive to work this morning, two cars ran stop signs where I had the right of way. One slowed only enough to make the turn, he never even faked a stop at the sign. I remember when policepersons used to stop and ticket folks like that. Can’t remember the last time I saw that happen. And, I don’t see many troopers patrolling the highways anymore either (budget cuts, I’m sure).
Being a pedestrian isn’t any safer. On those same streets in my neighborhood, I have to watch out for cars when I’m IN the crosswalk. And, when I reach a more major intersection with traffic lights, when the light switches to red, I count to five before I cross because inevitably there is a car (or cars) that will run the red light (presumably to be sure he gets quickly to the next red light before anyone else because, idiots, THE LIGHTS CHANGE AT THE SAME TIME. You ain’t gaining time at all, if that’s your goal.)
There are routes I drive that, when I get to my destination, I kiss the ground I’m so thankful I got there safely – I just make sure I wait till I’m inside to do it so no one runs me over.