Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pet Peeve

I wanted to write about something positively uplifting tonight - perhaps another of my favorite things, but I was caught in traffic on the way home from Nutcracker rehearsal and have just walked in the door. My delay gave me fodder for this daily madness for which I have dedicated myself, so all is not lost.

There were apparently two accidents on I-20. My husband called at ballet and told me about them (heard about them on the radio) and suggested I go around. I got distracted leaving the Arts Center and got swooshed out onto the interstate going straight for the accidents. Traffic came to a standstill immediately. I started trying to think of another way to go around the accident, but there wasn't really much I could do for a mile or so. It took me about 30 minutes to go the mile. I had a lot of time to watch people in that thirty minutes. What I saw wasn't particularly positive.

First of all, why do people insist on rushing at full speed down a lane that is obviously closed, just so they can get in line ahead of all the others who are waiting, just so they can wait? Do they not know that merge lanes in accidents are to help ease traffic flow? Can they not understand the concept of the time wasted when they have to needle their way back into the slow moving traffic, especially when those people they need to let them in are annoyed because they went around? Do they not realize that they have gained only a few seconds of drive time?

Secondly, when eighteen wheelers need to get over they need more room than a VW Beetle. Wouldn't traffic flow better if that eighteen wheeler was allowed some space to make a safe transition? When a truck and trailer turn on a blinker they are asking for a kindness. Why is everyone in such a hurry to wait that they can't help someone?

Lastly, why do so many people insist on using the shoulder to try to speed ahead of all the patient souls who are trying to help by maintaining discipline during a frustrating situation? Don't you realize that the shoulders are used by the emergency vehicles and that if you and your 100 friends are in the way the tow trucks behind you won't be able to get to the accident to clear it quickly? Don't you realize that the added time for ambulances to get to the scene could be someone's life?

Maybe driving a happy, yellow bug car is responsible for my positive attitude, but gracious sakes alive I can just visualize a happy roadway in which everyone works together so bad situations are less stressful for everyone. I honestly think everyone would get home sooner.

4 comments:

Frankie said...

Excellent observations. You described many of the reasons I hate driving in big cities. I've never understood all of that except that it's a me-first mentality that many drivers have. Sigh.

JoVE said...

I have thought all of those things at one time or another. Some people seem to be in such a hurry to get wherever they are going that they think every second is going to matter. In fact, their behaviour probably delays all of us and could cause more accidents.

m~ said...

I think the roads would be a much safer if everyone showed a little courtesy. What the big rush about anyway? I have precious cargo in my truck.

ZILLA said...

I need you to teach me more phrases like "gracious sakes alive." I think if I were saying things like "gracious sakes alive," I'd actually turn into a nicer, happier person. Not that I'm unhappy.

You make all excellent points here.

Living in a tourist town, we have a few traffic issues, too, even when there hasn't been an accident. My pet peeve is the driver who does anything in his power to win the race to the stoplight that is one city block away. If I weren't trying to be a nicer person, I'd probably gesture at such a person and yell, "See ya at the stoplight, JERK!!!" I'm going to try to be nicer and say, "Gracious sakes alive, where's the fire?"