In the past thirty days, I would bet I’ve been cut off on the freeway a dozen times. Of those twelve times, I’d bet that a quarter of them were by semi trucks. Of those three trucks, only one driver made any visual, audible or psycho-kinetic representation of an apology. The other five truck drivers are asking for it*. So there’s half of the people that have cut me off in the last month. The other half are much smaller than semi trucks. In every other (six) instance of being cut off on the road, it’s from one of three groups, which I’ll identify now.
1. The first group (I estimate 1 of the 9 non-semi-trucks) of people that cut me off are freeway stock car drivers. Though they’re driving the same models of car that everyone else on the road could be driving, they seem to be able to go 120 mph and swerve in and out of traffic without mechanical, legal or psychological issue. Part of me thinks that’s awesome. The other part knows that these people will be responsible for (though they would never take responsibility for) taking the lives of others.
2. The second group (another 1/9) of non-semi-truck cutter-offers are the oblivious. These people are probably very nice. I’m assuming these are the people you and I work with or live near or go visit at the retirement home every Saturday. Something inside these people says that they don’t need to watch their mirrors because mirrors are for beginners**. They change lanes when they need to and assume others are watching because, after all, we need to share the road. Most of these people are over the age of sixty, drive very large cars and haven’t always used the new “unleaded” gas.
3. The remaining seven people that cut me off are texters. I know it’s really, really “in” right now to be against texting and driving. But it’s also ‘in’ (to a surprisingly lesser extent) to be alive right now. The texters are worse than every other group. I know they’re not driving gigantic, extremely flammable tanker semi-trucks. I’m 99% sure they’re not AARP members. And they’re probably not under any impressions that their Dodge Neons and Pontiac Sunfires are stock cars. The only real danger texters cause that I can think of is the art of being oblivious. Eyes on the road are better than eyes off the road, even with cataracts. Texters drive the speed limit (or a little faster) with one hand on the wheel, both eyes on their phones and no brain in their head. To me, the worst thing about the texter isn’t that their OMG and LOL and TTYL is more important than my life and the lives of countless others. The worst thing, in my opinion, is that 99% of the time, they don’t have accidents. Now, they cause more accidents than they’re in, statistically speaking. But the fact that numbers tell them that they’re 99% safe REALLY sucks. And I think I’ll have a hard time containing my rage*** if I ever do encounter a texter in an accident. A REALLY hard time.****
*What ‘it’ is, I have no idea. However… at the moment of being cut off, I always seem to come up with something good that these irresponsible drivers must be asking of me. I also have questions for those drivers in the few moments after being cut off.
**People who don’t know what they’re doing.
***My plan of action is two-fold… First, ask to use their cell phone, then throw it into oncoming traffic. And second, plaster their name, address and insurance info all over everything I can. Because nothing says ‘I won’t text and drive again’ like identity theft, public shame and humiliation.
****Just as a brief explanation, I was run off the road this afternoon (in a construction zone, no less) by some dumb teenage girl that had extremely important things to say over text. Probably telling her boyfriend that she couldn’t text because she was driving. That’d be responsible, after all. By the way, I was fine, my van was fine, and I eventually calmed down. So life moves along.