I was coming to work this morning, I normally ride my scooter to work and I pay very close attention to the world around me as no one sees a scooter or motorcycle until too late. However today I needed to pick up some supplies so I took my wife’s car, now I am not the most careful driver in the world and I don’t always pay as much attention as I should. This morning though I paid close attention for some reason, I noticed that everyone was passing me. I thought that I had perhaps not sped up as I got on the main road. It is only 35 and I can usually judge how fast I am going, so I looked and yes I was going 35 MPH. People are passing me left and right, the light turned yellow so I slowed down to stop and the person behind me honked the horn. I look in the rear view mirror and I can see her cussing and ranting at me in the mirror. Obviously she thought I should have sped up to run the yellow light so she could too. It is not like we were anywhere near a normal start time for work, it was 7:12. Plenty of time to get most places in the semi-small town of St. George. When the light turned green she got in the other lane that was moving faster and sped past me, giving me one final honk to show her displeasure. I got to the side road that cuts through town to go to the college where I work, turned left slowed to 30 MPH and started the leisurely drive down this lovely lane. I get about 3 blocks and look in the rear view mirror and there is someone right on my bumper. Had he been any closer I could have lip read his angry words that he was saying. So I decided then and there to try a little experiment. I pulled over, that’s right. I always get to work a little early and I had the time, so I pulled over to let this angry person by. He speeds by and flips me the bird just for good measure. Just to show me that I had in some way made him late for his very important meeting by doing the legal speed limit. ironically there were 3 or 4 cars behind him that felt the same way as they all sped off when I got out-of-the-way. I pulled back onto the road, and continued on my way, not much traffic at that time of the day. I was coming up to another stop light and this one turned yellow, I was too close so I went through, but I felt guilty that I had thought bad of someone doing the same thing that I had just done. Then I realized that it was totally different. I legitimately didn’t have time to stop safely so according to the rule book you should go through. The other time I had plenty of room to stop, which I did, and got honked at.
So all of this story led up to this part. Where has the patience gone in the world. Are we that much of an instantaneous society that everything has to happen RIGHT NOW!!! Are we so much in a hurry that we need to endanger our selves and families while driving? Seriously how long is a light maybe 2 minutes? Are you that booked up that you can’t afford 2 minutes? Should you have left a little earlier? Has the advent of our technology led to this? Where you drive and talk on the phone, or worse text someone? Where your live is so full that you have to speed from one place to another?
I don’t remember my parents having road rage when I was young. I always remember my father keeping his cool and making sure that we arrived safely at our destination. I remember him stressing how important the speed limit was. How even 5 miles over could result in a terrible accident. Now it seems that if the speed limit is 35 people expect you to go 40, if it is 45 then 50 is the norm…. I guess I am not in that much of a hurry, I am not that important to have to save 30 seconds on a trip…
What are we teaching our kids
This also folds into what we are teaching our kids. We are teaching them to obey only the laws that fit at the moment. If you are in a hurry it is okay to speed, or run a red light, or follow too close to get the other person to go faster. Road rage is okay, it is fine to cuss and scream at another person for a percieved wrong. Is this the message that we want to send our kids? Is this the way that we want to teach them? I think not.
So when you are driving down the road… think about how you are driving, think about what your children are seeing you do, trust me they are learning…