American Drivers

If the way some people drive now is indicative of their mental health, America is in trouble. Every morning on my way to work, I drive the speed limit. We are mostly bumper to bumper. I am one of the few who leaves stopping space in front of me. Many cars use this space to cut in front of me. I then watch them jerk their car into the next available spot in another lane. They race up to the stop light where I catch up with them and wonder what was the purpose of that? Do they feel some compelling need to be first or are they just that anxious in their lives that they rush from one place to another and never stop to notice what kind of churned up lives they are living?

I’ve never felt the compulsion to be first. Frankly, I prefer to be second. My thoughts have always been “let me see what that does to you, and then I’ll try it”.

In the past, I have felt very sorry for people in wrecked cars as I passed by their accidents. Now I don’t have the same sympathy. I wonder how many times they’d tried that particular maneuver before they finally wrecked their car? I do feel sorry for the person they hit. Sometimes the thoughtless drivers manage to hit each other.

On a particular morning recently, someone was tailgating my car. I wasn’t having such a good day myself, so I slammed on brakes. I figured if that person wanted to be in my backseat that bad, I’d help them get there. They backed off and went around me. Bullies with large vehicles do this type of tailgating frequently. I see it and wonder why they want the person ahead of them to move over so badly so that they can be in their spot? There is nowhere else to go, but up to their spot. Everyone is moving with the flow of traffic. Until the bullies with their large vehicles can find a way to put wings on their cars, they need to get over themselves. They are no more important that the rest of us drivers on the road. They also have no way to know the mood of the person they are bullying.

I don’t know what it takes to make other drivers learn patience and to realize they will not get there any sooner if they jerk from lane to lane or try to make someone else move over so they can move up one car length. All I can think of some drivers is that they are in bad need of a mental health professional. Some of them look like they’re trying to commit suicide. Others of us are just trying to get somewhere and would like to get there, as we used to say, “in one piece”.


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