Thursday, January 7, 2010

driving in the snow

as a driver for more than 20 years, and the parent of a child in driver's training, i know--and have recently relearned--a few things about driving. i'm not bragging. i tend to be nervous. i have been in accidents. i'm cautious. i don't text and drive. if i talk on my phone, it's always on speaker, and i rarely do. i usually have a minimum of two children in the car and often four. so i pay attention while i'm driving.

my dad always preached "drive defensively." i don't really do that. i try to anticipate when people are going to pull out in front of me, change lanes without looking, and so forth. i watch my husband--road-rage-aholic--try to punish people for their driving errors, "should have gotten in the right lane, asshole, i'm not letting you over." and many many more, but i digress. i disagree with that. i try to be a compassionate and forgiving driver. i make excuses for most people. i decide they must be in a hurry to pick up a sick child, or something that i can understand. i figure if they're wrong and i'm right it doesn't really matter, i don't want to any of us to end up dead.

now, all that said, in driver's ed, which we all have to take in ohio, one of the first things students learn is that in adverse weather--snow, sleet, rain, all of which we've had daily for the last month--you should 1. decrease your speed 2. increase your following distance. so. WHY DO PEOPLE INSIST ON TAILGATING? i've seen bumper stickers about it. they're generally lewd and profane. i mostly agree with them. i advised a tailgater yesterday via the rearview mirror exactly what i would do to her in no uncertain terms if i did not have two small children in the car. i did not use profanity or hand gestures. but for a brief moment i did contemplate following her to her destination and punching her in the mouth. that would not be compassionate though. so i went home. intact. and i pray that if i have to drive my children to school tomorrow i will have the good fortune of again driving with the slow, safe pack of drivers i was blessed with this morning. all but that asshole behind me.

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