Ricky Bobby always wanted to go fast.
I can’t blame him, either. There’s something exhilarating about going fast when you are driving. But there’s also something about going at a slower pace and watching everything around you — especially as you get older.
In my younger days, I’d push the gas pedal a bit more than I do now. I’m not saying I drive 10 miles an hour under the speed limit or anything, but I have noticed my tendency to not go as fast as I once did.
I don’t think there’s one particular reason this happens, outside of the obvious ones — such as reaction time, not wanting to get into an accident, not wanting a ticket, not being is as much of a rush as I once was, and just because I don’t need to do it anymore.
I mention all of this because I’ve noticed, recently, how quickly and recklessly some people seem to drive. A lot of this is when I am going to or from work and people are coming in the opposite direction.
Again, I used to be a much quicker driver, but I always felt I was being safe. With technology and such, people are a little more careless with the two tons of metal they are driving.
I can’t tell you how many times people have come at me on my side of the road, or were weaving, or were texting (yes, it still happens way too much). My ride to one of the places I work is a back road and it’s a little more narrow. When people feel they need to take up more than their half of the road, it gets dicey. It also makes me wonder if they realize they are in as much danger as I am — if we go head-on, their car isn’t a miracle machine that will just allow my car to crunch and theirs to get away without a scratch.
Look, I know I’ve crossed a yellow or something with a car coming and I usually feel like a complete dolt when it happens.
But it seems like it’s getting worse.
People don’t seem to care or watch as much. What’s on their phone or whatever else is way more important.
Speed is out there. I often find myself saying “slow down!” or “Holy crap” as a car flies by me and they are on top of the center stripe — as I brace myself trying to figure out if I’m going to get swiped or not.
The worst is this happens in dry weather and bad weather. The other morning, we had a freeze. I let my car defrost, of course. When I hit the back road, somebody was in the middle, correcting at the last second to avoid one of us — or both — having a bad accident. The issue? Their windshield had one little spot scraped off… they couldn’t see where they were going. If you are running late … make it a little later to be safer.
Again, maybe I’m just getting older and I notice this more. I was impatient and fast when younger, too, but I always tried to be safe. With everything to distract a driver these days, it gets harder and harder for people to stray away from bad habits.