Friday, March 4, 2011

Drivers, drivers everywhere....... by Carol

I drive.  I drive almost every day.  I drive on secondary streets and I drive on the highway.  I drive on the highway almost every day.

Carol, what is your point?  you might be asking...we all drive almost every day.... 
Well, I want to talk about the stuff I see and experience while I am out there on the road. 

For example, yesterday while I was on the highway, some dude cut me off, and I had to slam on my brakes to avoid rear ending him as he just barely squeaked in front of me.  This happens to me frequently when I get on the highway. What the hell is wrong with these people????  Where did they get their licenses?  Did they take Drivers Ed?  Do they even have a license?  Are they just idiots??

Okay, now I will be the first to say that I am NOT holier than thou.  I am not a perfect driver.  I speed.  I do.  I drive too fast.  Pretty much every time I drive on the highway I drive 5-10 miles over the limit.  I admit that. BUT I don't tailgate, I use my turn signals, I keep a safe distance, etc.

I took drivers ed when I was 16.  It was a program offered through my high school.  We had to sit in little car simulators and look at a big screen and "drive".

I know they still offer this in High School here in Virginia.  Whether or not is is free is up to each school district.  My stepdaughter's school offered the behind the wheel portion through her school at a modest fee of $75.00.  My son's school does not offer this, and WE are the behind the wheel teachers, or we have to pay approximately $120.00 for a person to come pick him up in one of those drivers ed cars, and teach him how to drive.  We are teaching him.

The rule in Virginia is:

"If you are a Virginia resident under age 19, you must complete a state-approved driver education program and hold your Virginia learner's permit for at least nine months.
If you are a Virginia resident, 19 years of age or older and you have never held a license issued by any state, U.S. territory or foreign country, you must hold a Virginia learner's permit for at least 30 days or show completion of a state-approved driver education program."

So I know these people have had drivers education either here or in another state.  So at some point they learned the proper way to drive..and yet....

Raise your hand if you have ever had anyone tailgate so closely you couldn't see their headlights, because you were going "too slow" for them? (raising my hand)  Okay, put them down.  
Now raise your hand if you have ever had someone cut in front of you and you had to slam your brakes on to avoid hitting them??  (raising my hand)  Okay, put them down.
Raise your hand if you have ever seen someone texting while driving?? (raising my hand)  Okay put them down.
(Did you all really sit at your computers and raise your hands???? ) I did.

That is my other rant......people texting while driving.  Or talking on their phones and having no clue what is going on around them.  (Now again I am not holier than thou. I do talk on the phone while driving, but my car is equipped with a blue tooth, so I can talk hands free, and don't even have to use one of those blue tooth things in my ear.)

Sorry, I am not funny today.  I am not feeling very funny.  My friend Susan (my blogging partner) got plowed over by a driver not paying attention while driving.  She was walking, he was driving, he ran her over, literally. A year later, she is still suffering with pain and facing possibly more surgeries.

How many of us know someone who was injured in a car crash due to negligence??  My partner was injured in a car crash about a year and a half ago.  She was rear-ended driving in a tunnel.  The worst part was I was just a few cars in front of her, and I heard the squeal, and saw her get hit.  I was helpless to do anything to stop it.

The strange thing is I have seen the phenomenon of decreased driving skills in my own stepdaughter.  She has her permit.  She has been driving for two years.  She does not have her license yet because she wastes her paychecks on dumb stuff (that is a whole other post), and can't afford to help pay for her insurance,  (a mandatory rule in our house for drivers).  When she first started driving she was timid..careful......took her time with turns and drove slowly and carefully.  Fast forward two years.  Now she speeds, has to be reminded to yield, doesn't always signal when she is making a turn, and generally is less careful.  When asked why the change, she just shrugs.......  sigh.....

So what happened?  Why did she get complacent?  Does she not realize that she is driving a machine that can kill?

Now my oldest son has his permit.  So far he is careful, and takes his time.  Only time will tell......

I would like to end with a video. Don't worry, it is not gross, or graphic.  But it may give us a clue as to why some people drive the way they do......  behold:

Have a great day, and be careful out there!!!

Carol- mother to two teen drivers, and two more to go.....


  1. I think the simple fact that there are too damn many people driving these days contributes to the problem. Mix in technology (phones, ipods, etc...) and it's a wonder we ever get where we are going.

  2. Nancy,
    Thanks for your comment. I totally agree. I live in Southeastern Virginia, and we have lots of bridges and tunnels. If one of those is non-functioning and we have to use alternate routes it is a nightmare!!!



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