Is Bad Driving On The Rise?
There seem to be a lot more middle fingers and road rage incidents these days.
At least, that is the perception created by viral social media posts.
This week I am sure you all watched a motorcyclist kick a car, which caused a chain reaction of destruction.
Monday, I was traveling down Highway 24, not far from this weekend's deadly crash. I had been following a long line of cars from the light next to the old Kmart all the way when it finally cleared and the one car that had slowed everyone down was all that was left after the last few took the first Moxee exit.
We traveled around the corner and I had to press on my brakes again, though I had set cruise control to 50 on the bridge because that was as fast as traffic wanted to go. With only the two of us and a car quickly catching up from behind, I was not content to travel below the posted speed limit any longer.
So once around the corner I turned on my signal to pass when we finally were in a passing zone.
The little red car sped up to at least 70, because he was already to the next intersection before I even got a chance to try and get in the passing lane. I reset cruise to 60 as we passed that marker, just to have the little red car slow down as soon as a long line of oncoming traffic appeared.
It was truly bizarre behavior.
They slowed to 45 mph and the car behind me had caught up when I decided to pass again. After I was already in the passing lane, they floored it again. Now, I tend to drive cars that can go faster than most '90s foreign four-bangers, as most grown adults do these days. I left little red car behind me anyway.
Well, after getting a speeding ticket last month I hadn't planned on speeding. Instead of slowing to let me pass and driving 45-50 mph like he did the entire way from 82, however, I was still in passing speed as we approached the next curve, but I hadn't been able to slow. The little red car was so close I could not see his license plate.
So I slowed down anyway to take control of the situation. I pulled over. I figured I'd let the dumbass pass, take the back way to avoid people like this on 82 who love pulling in front of you just to slow you down. Whatever.
They stopped, too.
On the highway.
The little red car was right next to me and I can only guess they then saw how big I was and then decided to drive away, while his girlfriend hid her face in the passenger seat next to him.
I sat there and watched him turn left on literally the last road past Moxee before the S-curve.
A car behind coming up behind us slowed down and looked at me with the same confused look I had and we just shrugged at each other. We gave each other the thumbs up and went on our way.
For the life of me, I have no idea why that person found it necessary to not only do that in front of my vehicle, but to have slowed at least seven or eight other cars in between us before they reached their exits.
What is it that drives people to feel the need to slow other people down, get in their way? I have seen idiots do this to semi-trucks, too.
Especially on 82 near Granger, whether headed east or west, there is always an aggressive driver bulldozing through traffic and veering over to the Granger exit at the last minute in the afternoon.
Which is weird because I see a ton of law enforcement in that area, so much so I wonder if they get free food at the truck stop.
As for aggressive drivers, though, it seems to me that there are more of them on the road.
It seems to me that instead of making law enforcement wear cameras maybe we should apply the same national rationale that we did with safety belts and just make them standard on cars. Cops could download your day's driving history should you get pulled over or in an accident.
Of course, even with police videos the country can't agree on what we are watching.
I do know I appreciate the extra patrols, though I am not sure what the solution is. Emphasis weekends are a great start, but I do feel like there is a growing aggressive behavior problem as a whole in our country.
Guess I will just keep counting the days until people don't drive cars anymore and self-driving vehicles take over.
Keep laughing. The biggest threat to a truck driver's livelihood is self-driving semi-trucks.
I did some research and my perception was in fact confirmed by AAA. Nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year, according to a 2016 study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
According to AAA, the most alarming findings suggest that approximately 8 million U.S. drivers engaged in extreme examples of road rage, including purposefully ramming another vehicle or getting out of the car to confront another driver.