Thursday, December 27, 2012

Zen Driving

I am generally a mellow driver.  I wasn't always. When I was younger (and arguably dumber) I drove aggressively.  I tailgated slow drivers, I swerved around people, I took off from every stop like I was in a race.  As I've aged, I've mellowed.  I leave enough space while driving on the freeway that I usually get people jumping in front of me, even when I'm in the fast lane.  I only jam on my horn when someone is being exceptionally stupid or dangerous. I don't race everywhere. There are worse things in the world than being five or ten minutes late due to traffic.

All that being said, I hate stupid drivers.  There are two major classes, excluding the Seattle specific issue of being unable to drive in rain, snow or any other form of precipitation that falls from the sky. 

ONE: The dangerous, ridiculous ones.  Like the guy who made a U-turn in the mouth of the freeway on ramp. Like the one who made a three point turn in the middle of a two lane road.  Like anyone who is oblivious to the fact that there are other people on the road and after making a wrong turn/missing a turn/oopsing, they don't follow through the mistake and get off the road to get turned around. Instead, they insist on bringing everyone else to a halt so they didn't have to go another five minutes out of their way to correct their mistake.

TWO: Speed and speedless demons.  Like most people, when someone goes flying by on the freeway at 95, I shake my head and hope I'm far away when they crash, which they inevitably will. I get angry when someone decided to legislate speed.  If the sign says 35 MPH on a road in town, that is what everyone expects you to be doing.  Not 20, not 25.  Driving too slow is just as dangerous as too fast.  The speed limits give us all expectations.  No one assumes someone to be dragging ass when they time their turns into and out of the road. Additionally, the folks doing 60 on I-5 in the left hand/fast lane.  I realize the speed limit is 60MPH but it's a big highway and speed is, for the most part, dictated by the congestion at any given time.  If the freeway is packed, the speed limit is about 15MPH.  If it's empty, the fast lanes moves about 70 or 75MPH.  Don't be an idjit and go 55 in the fast lane.  If you want to go 55, FINE! DO IT IN ANY OTHER LANE!!!

Recently, I've had my patience tested by other drivers.  In one drive home last week I saw six stalled or broken down cars (both in the lanes of traffic and on the side), plus two accidents.  This was a reminder of why I practice zen driving, keep up on my car maintenance and honk at people who are stupid.

Personally, I think we should institute a stupid driver marking program.  If you have gone three or more years without a violation you get a paintball gun with two colors of paint.  One color for speed/lack of speed issues, one for stupidity/unsafe practices.  If a perpetrator is driving too slow, light them up.  If they are texting while driving, light em up! and even if it doesn't equate to tickets, at least it lets other drivers know that person is a moron and to be avoided. Of course there will have to be some recourse for those with paintball guns who get lit up themselves.  While there is a part of my that understands paintballing moving vehicles isn't a safe practice either, I want there to be a public shaming!

1 comment:

  1. Hehe...the paintball idea definitely sounds fun if not anything else!
    But it'll only end up giving every car in the world a rainbow-coloured least in India where most people are cases of unchecked-extreme road-rage and maniacal driving and nobody ever gets a ticket!