HIGHWAY STAR

Sadje at Sunday Poser # 97 asks the question of the week: “What’s your driving style?’

Based on my driving record – only one moving violation in 45 years – I’d say I’m a very good driver. I love to drive and do all the driving. I hate the way Bill drives and he knows it; too heavy on the brake and the choppy ride makes me car sick. I’m a much better driver than I am a passenger. 🥴

There isn’t much on the road that scares me but I don’t like those huge car carriers. I’m sure the cars are securely locked into place but I’m always thinking “What if one slides off right into traffic or the carrier topples over?” Some of those transport drivers are really hauling ass and you can see them swaying back and forth. One jerk of the steering wheel and WATCH OUT!! What a horror show that would be! 😳 The best thing for me to do is pass them as safely and quickly as I can and put them behind me. There are a lot of people who are hesitant to pass trucks and buses but I’m not. I’d rather be in front of them and as far away as possible. I like seeing where I’m going when I’m driving, not staring at the back of some big rig not knowing when it may suddenly STOP! 🛑

There’s another thing I’m not crazy about and that’s night driving. Bright headlights coming in the opposite direction cause me to squint and tense up, giving me a headache and making for an unpleasant ride. On the other hand driving on a dark country road with no streetlights – just my headlights – can be stress-inducing; encountering a deer in the road is no joke. It’s kind of freaky when it’s so hard to see, you’re not even sure if your own lights are on! 🦌

As long as I’m talking about pet peeves, let’s discuss another thing that gets on my nerves. Where we live we’re allowed to turn right at a red light unless there’s a sign forbidding it.🚦 It’s convenient and saves time; you just stop, make sure it’s safe to turn and go. There’s no law that says you have to turn right on red but it’s awfully rude for the people waiting to turn if the driver in front refuses to do so. What are these non-turners so afraid of? I don’t understand why they insist on waiting for the light to change to green before turning but I don’t honk them; I just sit and stew, quietly cursing them out. 🤬

When I’m driving around town running errands etc., I’m very cautious, especially if the grandkids are in the car with me. There are a lot of cars out and about these days and sometimes it feels like I’m driving in an obstacle course. Besides, you never know when a little kid will dart out into the street. There’s a great sign I’ve been seeing around lately; it says “Drive like your kids live here”. Now that drives the message home, doesn’t it? 👫 (no pun intended). It’s important to drive carefully in town but there’s such a thing as driving too slow and I’m not very patient with the slowpokes. 🙄 Sometimes being too slow is as dangerous as being too fast.

When I’m driving on the highway I admit I tend to drive fast but I’m not reckless and I’m in total control at all times. I don’t fiddle with the radio 🎶 or eat 🍟 or talk on the phone 📲 when I’m driving. I just mind my own business and keep up with the flow of traffic. Frequently you’ll see some big-shot highway stars changing lanes, speeding and weaving in and out of traffic. 🌟 Where are they going that’s so important anyway? However, if someone is going too slow, I’ve been known to tailgate and that makes Bill jittery. 😵‍💫 He always says, “If I see brake lights up ahead and I don’t feel like we’re slowing down, I get nervous.” I can see his foot automatically reaching for the invisible brake by his left foot while his right hand is clutching the door, white knuckles showing. I know what I’m doing but if anyone is nervous while I’m driving, it’s time to slow down and take their feelings into account. I want my passengers to be comfortable, not on edge.

Bill is absolutely right, of course, and I will never fault him for reminding me to back off or slow down. Ever since our major accident more than 20 years ago, I can’t blame him. That was a freak accident and a harrowing experience. If you’d care to read about it, here’s the link: https://theelephantstrunk.org/2021/12/21/a-roll-of-the-dice/.

Aside from that major accident, I’ve been involved in two minor incidents: on two separate occasions I was rear-ended by school buses on the first day of school in the rain at the exact same location! 🚌 What are the odds of that happening? It’s rather mind- boggling! 🤯 There are few things scarier than looking up at your rearview mirror and seeing a large vehicle barreling down on you. Oh, I forgot to mention the time I was rear ended by some asshole who hit me while I was stopped at a red light. It was a quiet street with no one around, no witnesses. After this idiot hit me, I pulled off to the right to check for damages and he pulled a U-turn and took off! Nice, right? 😡 What’s with all the rear-ending? That’s why Bill warns me about tailgating.

 Cars these days come equipped with some amazing features and I make full use of them. I would be lost (literally) without my GPS 🤷🏼‍♀️; when I have no idea where I’m going, it’s very reassuring to have a kind voice giving me step by step directions. There’s also the backup camera which is invaluable; I don’t know how I drove for so long without one. The lights on the sideview mirrors which flash and beep when it’s unsafe to change lanes are very helpful, too, especially to warn you about those drivers who love to hide in your blindspot.

I’m not a risk-taker when I’m driving but at the same time if I’m stuck in a jam and I see a way I can safely get myself out of it, I’ll go for it. Getting behind the wheel of a car is a huge leap of faith; we never know what the other guy is gonna do – intentionally or not. There are so many things that can go wrong. I’ve heard it’s safer to fly in a plane than it is to drive a car; I guess I believe that but I feel a whole lot better on solid ground than up in the sky. ✈️

Drive safely, my friends, and watch out for those rear-enders! They’re a real pain in the ass! 😳

NAR © 2022

13 thoughts on “HIGHWAY STAR”

  1. Vividly written, Nancy.
    When I began my journey with motorcycles 36 yo, there was something said to me by a very experienced rider (races, travel etc) that I treasure to this day.
    And I find this applying to all facets of living.
    “When you start riding and you are out on the road, you begin by holding two bags.
    A bag of experience, which is empty.
    A bag of luck, which is full.
    The bet is achieving to fill the first one before the second one empties. “

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard that before, Nick. It’s amazing! It should be printed up and handout with every driver’s license distributed to new drivers. We should frame it and hang it where we keep our vehicles to remind us every day before hitting the road. What an amazing piece of knowledge and wisdom you were given. Thanks for passing it on to me and now to everyone who reads this. Thank you, Nick. May guardian angels drive with you always. 🕊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I find so many things here as relatable, but driving in the night and viewing the rearview mirror have always been tricky for me. A beautiful write-up, Nancy 👌👌

    Liked by 1 person

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