Friday, September 15, 2006

Me First!

When I got my driver’s license for the first time, my mother advised, “Always watch the car in front of the one behind you.” And my mother never drove! She knew how to drive, but never took the road test to be licensed. She had six children to raise.

I often thought of this quote over the years. You often think that other drivers aren’t to be trusted, but you have to think of your own driving, too.

I think that there are more impaired drivers out there than you think. I am not talking about the obvious (bad sight, severely mental retarded, those who had too much to drink, etc), either.

I am talking about the “me firsters.” They cut in front of you. Your heart stops, you slow down a little, and breathe a sigh of relief when you return to a safe driving distance (or mutter a cuss word under your breath as you recover). Or those on the highways…they are in such a hurry that they are passing everyone and once you reach city limits, they are right in front of you. All that hurrying didn’t get them that far after all. Did this save them time? Again, I could hear my mother saying, “They are late for their own funerals.” They are an accident waiting to happen.

Let’s not forget road rage. This can be aggravating. Perhaps a requirement for Driver’s Ed. should be anger management. Okay, maybe this is a little extreme. But not without merit.

This is one other reason, besides common sense, that finally drove me to give up driving for good. I didn't want to take any more chances. My guardian angels were working overtime trying to keep me safe. With my limited vision, my reaction time would not be up to par with anyone with good vision. All those “me firsters” out there make it unsafe. Driving is not a competitive sport. Who’s racing? Leave that for the Nascar drivers. If you are late for work or something, then be more responsible. Get an earlier start. And be more patient. It only takes a split second for something to happen. Don’t take chances. You may not get another one.

And for all those drivers out there, who like me, were reluctant to give up driving-no matter how careful you think you are...there are other alternatives. You may not like it or want to hear it. I don't like it either, but it's better than being sorry. Don't take chances. Some of those "me firsters" may have a valid reason to cut in front of you or pass you if you are driving too slow or too cautiously. I am not saying that it gives them the right to do that. I know it may just be plain irresponsiblity or "invincible" thinking of the "me firsters," but it's just food for thought.

Will anyone listen? Will anyone care?


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