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Friday, August 24, 2012

DRIVING

I love driving.

Go-Karts, motorcycles, cars, trucks, doesn't matter. Love 'em all! If I added all the miles together, I have probably traveled 800,000 miles by now and look forward to more. I've enjoyed driving through West Virginia during a downpour, through Venezuela in a bad rental car, as well as going up Pikes Peak. If I have a wheel in my hands, I am happy.

It's not without frustrations however.

It's frustrating when we are all just trying to get where we are going and some knucklehead isn't paying attention or doesn't care that he is in the way. Why does he go slow in the middle or left lane when everyone is passing him? There IS a lane built especially for his type – the RIGHT one!

It's frustrating when people don't take their driving seriously. Safety does NOT mean you have to drive SLOW! Being aware of what and who is around you is the most important thing. The rearview mirror is not only for checking your hair!

Driving in the northeast is far different than anywhere else in the country. In Colorado, when I came up on someone going much slower, they pulled over and let the faster car go by. What do they do here? Slow down and give you the finger of course... UGH.

It's not only the drivers however. The “rules of the road” sometimes are counterproductive to travel as well. Using the guise of “safety” has construction zones expanded to twice their actual size, speed limits much lower than they SHOULD be, and red lights popping up like weeds in your flower bed.

I hate red lights.

The complete lack of logic in their use and having to STOP in our travel boggles my mind. Why would you schedule a STOP when you could avoid it? We aren't even trying to find another way of crossing traffic. Why can't we go over or under? I guess it all comes down to money. UGH. Put me in charge and I would eliminate as many lights as I could. Traffic would flow and safety would be even better.

I also hate speed cameras.

They were created to make money. Don't let the faceless politician tell you different. Billions of dollars are paid by motorists in the misnamed “interest of safety”. The line that REALLY gets under my skin is “as long as it saves ONE life...”.

Total crap.

If that were the case, we would be driving at 25 miles an hour and have no pedestrians around. Unrealistic right? So we can admit there IS a price on a single life! Years ago the co-called “experts” warned of a flood of fatalities if the speed limit was raised. What happened when highways went to as much as 75 mph? Deaths on the road have been going down every year.

Do I think everyone deserves to drive? NO. If you can't handle the car in an emergency situation, you should not drive. Period. Unfortunately, we are not offered training to handle emergencies in normal drivers education. How awful is THAT? There are advanced driving courses available and I encourage every parent to enroll their child in one. It will show the kids the capability of not only the car, but of themselves. Very useful to know! They WILL find out someday.

I'm also frustrated by folks not taking care of their car.

It's dangerous, not only to the driver but those around him if he has bald tires, bad brakes, or bad steering. Yes, it is expensive to keep a car in top condition. Yes, in most trips you take, there is no emergency situation for you to avoid. It only takes ONE. One heavy rain that makes you slide into a family of five in their minivan. How would you feel if they all were killed because you couldn't find a set of tires cheap enough? One stop you COULDN'T make, hitting a pedestrian, because you can stretch that brake job out “one more week”?

It only takes one awful day to make you regret for a lifetime.

I understand not everyone loves driving as much as I do. We are all different and have different ideas on everything. For most, driving is a task that must be endured. All I ask is, when you are doing it, feel some compassion for other people. Keep traffic flowing. Pay attention and keep it moving.

After all, we are all just trying to get somewhere....

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