You know what really grinds my beans (for you car guys, it would be what really grinds my gears)?
Red-light runners. I believe Phoenix is still the red-light running capital of the country. I see it every day! And I tell people to never be the first or the last through the intersection. Twice, I have been directly behind a car that got hit by a red-light runner. From here on out, let’s refer to them as just runners…of the worst kind. With the last incident, both drivers were alright, probably due to side air bags. As witnesses, we were at the accident scene for a half hour. Guess what? During that time period, there were three more runners! Come on. Police cars with whirling lights, cars where they shouldn’t be, people milling about. And you still couldn’t pay attention and stop? Unbelievable.
Were you too busy texting? Too engrossed in your phone conversation? Checking e-mails? Was getting that fancy pansy latte coffee sooner more important? Quit being so self-centered. You could destroy or end the life of someone and their loved ones. Do you really want to live with that?
Distracted driving puts us all at great risk. And let’s talk about the aggravation of it. Drivers who remain stopped, when the light has been green for quite some time because they’re not done with a text. I’m terrified that someone will get rear-ended. One time, I saw this guy going the opposite direction on a four-lane street and then he just stopped right there to text. I see a stampeding herd of cars coming his way so start hammering on my horn to get his attention. I did, in the nick of time. Unbelievable.
What really prompted me to write on this particular topic was what happened today. I’m sitting at a red light on a road with three lanes going each way. I’m first in line in the very right lane. The light is still very much red when a car from the lane next to me, without slowing or stopping, proceeds to turn right, right in front of me. In this case, too many rights make a wrong. I was flabbergasted! Such an anomaly. And why? Unbelievable.
During traffic school (yours truly was in a left turn accident), the instructor informed the class that 70% of accidents happen within 200 feet of an intersection. Most of these crashes involve left turns. His words of advice: no left turn, no left turn, no left turn. Do whatever it takes to avoid this. Further advice: drive the freeways instead of city streets when you can. Much, much safer. He will go five miles out of his way to do this. He has investigated way too many fatal accidents.
To my surprise, the deadliest roads are rural. Is it the deer, moose or elk? No. It’s us. We tend to drive faster on rural roads. The lanes are much narrower leaving less room to recover from a driving error. We get aggravated, if not belligerent, with slow-moving cars and attempt to pass when we shouldn’t. And of course, we’re texting & talking. With negligence, cars become weapons.
For forty years, I never had an accident. And then bam! Two left-turn accidents within two years. Right turns are my new best friends.
Let’s bring back civility and respect in this country, starting on the roads. Pay attention. Be kind. Be respectful. Make it believable.