An open letter to my fellow Nashville Drivers

Nashville Drivers

Nashville Drivers

As one of the commuters who shares the roads with you every weekday morning and evening I feel that we should have a “come to Jesus” talk. There are many concerns I’d like to discuss with you but I’ll stick to a few that seem to be coming up more often than most.

1. Driving in the rain/drizzle/sprinkle/imagined watery precipitation. I realize that seeing any sort of moisture falling from the sky is apparently an indication of Armageddon but wouldn’t you rather enjoy the end of the world from the comfort of your home/office? It appears that any time that it rains or even when the pavement might be damp you feel the need to go 40mph on the freeway rather than the normal 70. Now, if it happens to be pouring so hard that I can barely see the blinking hazards of the person who is one car length in front of me then I’ll understand your need for such slow speeds. However, unless it’s raining that hard please don’t make me go slower than I do in school zones. Trust me, the damp road isn’t going to kill you unless you drive like an idiot.

2. ZOMGSNOW! Much like with rain, snow tends to freak most of you out. Again, I’d like to point out that it’s simply another form of precipitation and should be treated with caution rather than gas-pedal-freezing terror. The snow won’t hurt you. Your sudden desire to crawl along at 10mph in the fast lane will.

3. Ice. Ah, ice. It’s something we’ve seen more of than usual in the past couple of years. Yes, ice is dangerous. If you are not comfortable driving on it and don’t desperately need to go somewhere, then please stay home. Or carpool with someone who won’t go crazy when faced with it. If you do need to drive on it please keep a few things in mind:

                1. You need to hit that gas pedal to get up hills. Yes, you’ll slide a bit. Yes, it can be scary. Yet, if you try to crawl up it at 2mph you’ll be more frightened when you realize that you’re sliding backwards toward the car behind you. Trust me, you need the gas to get enough traction to get up the hill. I promise you, you’ll be fine if you are just careful.

                2. Please don’t brake suddenly. When you see a red light or someone stopped ahead of you, brake slowly, early and gently. When you hit that brake pedal suddenly your car will not like it. Nor will the person you hit. (For the record, I’ll never understand why people want to use their brake like crazy people on ice but are terrified of the gas pedal.)

                3. When you slide, don’t lose your head and yank the steering wheel the other way (unless spinning out is your goal…and it might be).

4. The space between me and the car in front of me. This one almost always results in me screaming at another driver. I’m almost positive that most of you have forgotten what you had to learn for your written exam to get your license. Unless they’ve changed things in the past few years, there should be a section talking about the optimal amount of space to leave between you and the car in front of you at each speed to allow for braking without getting in an accident. So keep in mind that when you see a space between me and the car in front of me that is barely big enough for your gas-guzzling SUV I’m not really saving a space for you in my lane. I’m really trying to avoid having an accident when dealing with folks like you. The moment you cut in front of me and force me to slam on my brakes you become the immediate recipient of every swear word I know in English, Japanese, French, German, ASL and Klingon. You’ll also become the new target of my amazing tailgating abilities. Yes, I will be happy to ride your ass for the next few miles. Though maybe that’s the only action you’ll be getting anyway….

I could go on for days but I feel that I’m reaching the limit of your attention spans, my fellow drivers. Perhaps when we next meet (on this Monday evening’s commute home) you’ll keep some of my pointers in mind.

And if not…well…don’t be surprised when you see a screaming red-head riding your ass and giving you the ASL gesture for “Dickhead”. (No, I’m not saluting you…but if it makes you feel better to think that, be my guest.)



~ by rumielf on January 31, 2011.

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