I overheard two women talking in the bathroom yesterday. I had stopped at a rest area off I-30 outside Dallas, Texas.
I overheard one woman ask the other, “Do holidays made people stupid?”
Just then, I realized I harbored the same question in the recesses of my own mind.
Over the last 24 hours I’ve seen more reckless driving behavior among 4-wheelers than I’ve seen in the last six months combined.
Does A Holiday Set Aside For Giving “Thanks” Just Piss Some Folks Off?
Is setting aside a day to remmber what you’re thankful for, so troublesome to some people that they go temporarily insane on the roadways?
OK. I’ll admit that I’m being factious. But honestly, it would seem that so close to a holiday that’s all about being thankful, people would overall… be a little more considerate of one another in many ways. Not less.
I’ll give you two – and only two – examples of things that have been going on over the last 24 hours, starting with “Red truck in Austin”.
I was coming up I-35E on the lower access ramp in Austin, Texas.
If you’ve never been through Austin, there’s an UPPER and a LOWER ramp that go through the city in a particular section… I was on the “lower”.
There’s quite a bit of twisting and winding curves to go through on the lower ramp. There are freeway fly-overs overhead by the dozens (it only seems like it). Cars are moving in and out of the main flow of traffic from on-ramps and off-ramps. This little section is a cluster of craziness at all hours of the day.
It was around 11:45pm when I went through. There was a good bit of traffic and congestion.
I needed to be in the left lane. Having already been cut off once in Dallas, earlier in the week and forced to miss my turn, I wanted to get in the lane I needed well in advance.
I looked back to check traffic.
It was clear to make the lane change and I made it. And then…
A little red truck that we behind me when I changed lanes (whom I did not cut off btw), suddenly sped up. Whipped around me on the right side. Sped pass me and narrowly missed my right bumper. He came as close as could possibly be managed without hitting me. Got in front of me. And then…
…promptly slammed on his brakes directly in front of me.
There were barely 20 feet separating my bumper from his little red pickup-sized arse.
The driver of that little red truck apparently decided that he wouldn’t push it too much and put his foot on the accelerator and sped up to get out of the way.
40 tons of rolling steel doesn’t slow down at the same speed as a car or small truck. Not even close. In fact, while a car can stop in as little 100 feet (200 more the usual), it can take up to 650 feet for a big truck to stop. Now, you tell me what the chances are that a BIG TRUCK is going to stop fast enough when someone gets emotional and decides to do what this guy did?
With a 100 foot drop to my left and thick traffic to my right there was nothing I could do, except hope the driver would get his head out of his tail-pipe in time.
Coming up on the official Thanksgiving Day celebrations around the country, I can tell you I certainly have something to be thankful for… I’m thankful the driver of that little red truck put his foot in it and got out of my way…. after having put himself in harm’s way to begin with… I’m still thankful I didn’t have to run over him.
I’m thankful that emotional road-rage stupidity… didn’t turn out to be lethal.
I’ve come to realize that a lot of people who drive pickup trucks, think they’re invicible. Don’t know why – but there it is. Jai and I own a pickup ourselves. And we love it… but have come learned that even our 13,000 lb. Chevy Dually is no match for a BIG TRUCK. No match at all.
Okay… One more example and then I’m off this subject…
The BRIGHT LIGHT Chicken…
In a little town in Kentucky, I was heading up 1008 to a customer.
As I came up this two lane road at 3:00am, there was a pickup (once again!) coming in the opposite direction… with bright’s on.
I flicked my brights to ask in the parlance of good drivers… if the driver would turn down their headlamps.
I flicked once more. A quick on and off to ask again.
This time the driver came across the center line and headed straight for me.
Once again, there was nowhere to go to veer out of their way.
At the last moment, the driver veered back into their lane and passed me.
What can I say?
It would seem holidays can make “some” folks really stupid… or perhaps it has nothing at all to do with holidays. Eh?
In any case, I’m thankful that at least two people are (as far as I know as I write this), still alive after making truly dangerous and stupid decisions around a BIG TRUCK, on the roadways this last week.
May your holiday celebration be bright and wonderful, shared with family and friends and may the turkey (or whatver you choose to have for your holiday meal!) taste great!
Keep the shiney up!