Here I sit. Just typing on the computer.
I often wonder where I should go, or where I want to go.
Whenever I think about embarking on a road trip, a voice in the back of my head wonders whether I’ll make it back alive.
Traffic nowadays. It’s horrendous. So many careless drivers. Too many deaths.
I didn’t drive much when I was overseas. The city I lived in had an adequate public transportation system, though every once in a while I could hear a train derail.
But when I do get the chance to hit the road in my car, I go to DEFCON 1 (maximum readiness).
It’s a miracle that I have never been in an accident. Though, there were a number of close calls.
One time, on my way back home, a woman had thrown her drink out the window, hitting my windshield at 50 to 60 miles an hour.
Did I panic? No, I casually brushed it off, which (surprisingly) aggravated her more. Bad day, perhaps.
What did I learn from that experience?
Well, the important thing to do while driving is to remain calm.
Pay attention to your surroundings.
Monitor what other drivers are doing.
And, most important, DON’T STOP in the middle of a highway for small animals like a bunny. One bunny is not worth the deaths of 30 human beings!
Another close call involved a large black vehicle that tried to ram into me. Out of nowhere, she merged into my lane while I was right beside her.
What was she trying to do? Force me off the road? Hilarious.
However, instead of getting angry, I calmly (but quickly) checked my rear-view mirror.
No cars. Good.
I placed my foot on the break and decelerated enough to avoid a collision. Afterward, I memorized her license plate number.
Oh, here’s another fascinating experience.
A long time ago, on a bright sunny day, I was taking my mother to see her doctor across town.
The highways were clear. No traffic at all.
But then, I saw an Asian woman enter the ramp and cut across four lanes. She didn’t even pause between lane changes.
Going at 70 miles an hour, I had very little time to react. We were already next to each other.
Her car took only two seconds to come into proximity of mine.
Again, I anticipated a possible collision, checked my rear-view mirror, and decelerated.
Turns out she wasn’t paying attention to her surroundings because when I rang my horn, she jolted in the opposite direction.
You know, I’ve been citing a lot of instances with female drivers. Most likely just a coincidence.
Nonetheless, there have been several male-induced near catastrophic collisions.
It was late in the afternoon and I had finished finalizing plans with my significant other.
Being the romantic I am, I wanted to surprise her by arriving early, so I left ahead of time to avoid rush hour.
Well, lo and behold, I got stuck mid-way between our two cities.
Drivers on the left lane came to a dead stop, while those on the right lane proceeded slowly.
However, these sorts of unidirectional two-lane situations worry me the most.
On one side, you have traffic that’s at a standstill.
On the other, you have traffic that’s stagnant but flowing.
My fears were realized when one guy (driving a trailer anchored to his truck) “hopped” into my lane with the front of his vehicle protruding halfway.
And get this, I was only ten feet away…traveling at 40 miles an hour!
Mathematically, I didn’t have enough time to stop. So instead of having to deal with the insurance company, I swerved around the front of his vehicle.
He became upset when I rang my horn to let him know what he had done wrong. Ridiculous.
Several miles down the road, I noticed him pull up to the side of my vehicle.
I pretended not to notice him, and after a few minutes of doing whatever he was doing, he bolted down the highway.
These are the types of people on today’s roads.
Careless. Reckless. Inconsiderate.
I can’t wait for fully autonomous vehicles to come out. We, as a species, need them.
It’ll personally bring me greater peace of mind. Maybe I’ll finally want to travel a bit more in the United States.
Some might suggest that I fly rather than drive.
In response, I have only this to say:
Don’t get me started on the airline industry’s abysmal safety track record (e.g., United, American, Delta).
Anyway, perhaps the best driving tip is not to drive at all.