I was driving home from work today on I-40 and there was something that was really annoying me: impatient drivers. There is a stretch of road that I drive home where the right lane ends. It has been that way for as long as I can remember, yet it still causes traffic every morning and afternoon. It really baffles me about why people don’t realize that the lane is ending and just go ahead and merge over. Sure there are some drivers that may be driving that stretch for the first time, but many drive it every day. What I have realized is that it gets backed up every day due to impatient drivers. People who try to zip around people in the right lane for as long as they can and then get over at the last minute. This causes cars behind them to hit their brakes and then a traffic jam ensues.
Today as I was driving home, a car whipped out of the left lane into the middle lane to fly around some cars (one of which was a sheriff). The sheriff then merged to the middle lane. Finally justice would be served for someone driving like a maniac. Then, as if the first car planned it, another car pulled into the middle lane in between the first car and the sheriff. Now the car was going to get away. Traffic was already starting back up and the sheriff was boxed in. I was sitting there waiting for him to turn on his lights and go after the car, but it never happened. I was legitimately disappointed. It always seems like the crazy drivers never get pulled. When I am around them sometimes I wish I was a cop so I could pull them over and make them pay for their crazy driving. Then I have to remind myself that anger is not a good thing and have to ask for forgiveness and usually say, “God please bless that person,” trying my hardest to actually mean it.
I used to be a somewhat impatient driver. I wasn’t as crazy as some people out there, but I certainly wasn’t patient. That changed almost two months ago when I was hit by an impatient driver going full speed on I-40. I can easily say that was the scariest thing that has ever happened in my life. Angela, pregnant with our baby, was in the car. When the car finally came to a stop, I didn’t even know what to say. Apparently I was able to get out, “Are you OK?”
That wreck put a lot of things into perspective for me, and one of them was that saving two minutes travel time by driving impatiently is not worth the consequences of a wreck. I used to average driving about eight miles per hour over the speed limit. Now I go about two to three. I used to never be in the slow lane of a highway. Now I spend most of my time there. I’ve always valued my life, but I’ve never really had a moment where I realized how much. Not only that, but how much I value Angela and our baby’s lives. There isn’t anything that I want to do to ever put those lives in danger. If that means driving safer and taking a few minutes longer to get somewhere, then that is what I am going to do.
I have to admit, I feel a bit like an old man now when I’m driving. I’m OK with that. I should go ahead and pull my seat really close to the steering wheel and lean forward while I am driving. At least I still go a little over the speed limit I guess.
until next time…
RIP Mazda 3 – 1/2014-9/2014