Thursday, February 7, 2008

Going down Memory Lane: Changing Lanes

Can you imagine this?

In the distance where the clouds spot the distant horizon, there you are riding along the beaten path. Your body bounces with the steed that carries you forward as every rut in the road and curve in the turn sends giggles of excitement escaping from smiling lips. Sitting deeper in your seat, the passing world has become only a blur of tranquil colors as you relish in this relaxing freedom.

Then it all comes to an abrupt end.

A metallic streak darts into the approaching path. Trying to avoid the collision, your feet hurriedly stomp down on the brake pedal. Four squealing tires now bring your galloping 240horsepowers to a sudden stuttering stop.

Pretending as if nothing had happened, the car that just veered into your path continues to speed down the street. The incident leaves you clutching at a beating chest as the honks of horns from other vehicles prod you to cautiously drive onward.

From time to time, everyone has dealt with a lane jumper. A driver who has total disregard for other motorist as they dodge recklessly through traffic. Oblivious to the near misses, these discourteous people seem under the belief that their destinations are far more important to get to than everyone else’s. This excuses them from any wrongdoing.

It’s a sad fact that many of us have to deal with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, sometimes knowing about such bad behavior doesn’t prevent us from becoming involved in it.

Many years ago, on a winter trip at a ski resort, I had injured my knee in a nasty fall. So I gave my brother the task of driving me home. However, the weather was not at its best and neither was the mountain road when we came up behind a big semi truck. All of the other smaller vehicles had already passed around the eight-wheeler.

It was our turn.

My brother pushed down on the accelerator. The car dashed into the opposing lane as it became a drag race between our car and the semi. Both vehicles rapidly approached the bend in the road as my brother sped up trying to get around the big truck while the truck driver sped up because he was tired of having people go by him. Then down the other lane appeared another tractor trailer.

My brother slammed on the brakes and twirled the steering wheel. The car shot back into the correct side of traffic and overcompensated. A flurry of snow blasted into the air as we plowed into a deep snowbank.

To this day, I can shut my eyes and see the shiny truck grille that we almost fatally crashed into which would have changed our four-door sedan into a mini coupe. Also, I know it was because we were in a rush to get home that had caused the accident.

After such a close call, I have a lot more respect now when it comes to being courteous to other motorists who share the highway. My only hope is that other people will do the same while keeping in mind that no destination is more important than someone’s safety.

If only we could all live in a world where everyone uses some commonsense when operating a motor vehicle.

Can you imagine it?

1 comment:

  1. People are busy multitasking when they know they shouldn't be. Their on the cell phone, they are bending down to look for crap in the glove compartment, drinking a coffee, having a donut, changing the dial for the song playing in said car, turning on the AC (when it could have been done before they pulled out the car), and so many other things. Human's can be capable, if only they would focus 100% on their driving. Nobody does though.

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