Friday, July 27, 2012

Ladder 11 To The Rescue

We were two miles away from our pickup location in Texas, when an ambulance and fire truck passed me with lights flashing and sirens blaring. There went my excellent trip time - I was due to arrive four minutes after the hour, but now I was going to be late. Traffic was backed up for several lights, slowly moving in the left lane, as people navigated around the disabled car in the center lane.

Hopefully, no one was hurt, but when I see this I always wonder what was going on to have caused the accident. It's the middle of July, a bright sunny day, no precipitation, in a 40 mph zone. What the hell??

I attribute 95% of the accidents I see to stupidity. Either you're not paying attention, you're driving too fast, you're weaving in and out of traffic to get one car length ahead when you reach the light, you're texting, talking on the phone, beating your kid, you're a young punk, or you're an old geezer. Although, old geezer doesn't fall under stupidity, but young punk likely does. Texting, talking on the phone, speeding, and weaving in and out of traffic are classic young punk behaviors.

In most cases, even if the offensive driving doesn't cause an accident, I can tell before even seeing their face, if a person is an asshole driver or not. I can tell by your car OR by what your car is doing. It doesn't take much to peg the person who's going to cut over three lanes to get off an exit, or who's going to cut in front of you, inches from your bumper, just to slam on the brakes in front of you, happy they beat you to the light. People in pick-up trucks, Hummers and some types of SUVs are usually assholes (and the worst offenders). People in a big ass Buick, Lincoln Town Car or Mercedes Benz are usually old.

Worst case scenario is that the reckless driver kills someone. Next worst case scenario is that the reckless driver badly injures someone. Next, but least of the worst cases is that the reckless driver kills or injures himself. That seems to almost never happen - I can tick off five major traffic accidents that I know of where the driver lived, but many others died. Primarily because the drivers were assholes - drunk, speeding, or otherwise. If none of these things happen, it's a much better day, but I'm still annoyed at the fact that I have to be inconvenienced because someone else wasn't doing what they were supposed to be doing.

Every day out here on the road is truly a crap shoot. We put our lives in danger as soon as we start moving this vehicle. And many times, what might happen to us is at the hands of a strainger. You might say that anyone who drives, be it a truck, car, RV, motorcycle, etc. is in the same position. You would be right. But their exposure to danger is greatly reduced because they're not traveling the same distances we are.

We drive over 150,000 miles a year, in every weather condition you can think of, and in every corner of this country - from rural farm areas to congested city streets. Truck drivers are consistently ranked in the Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs lists, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more truck drivers die on the job than any other vocation.

So if you're driving along, do your best not to be an asshole on the road. Try to keep your life, my life and other lives out of danger. Mkay?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2011: It’s Got Lipstick Written All Over It
2010: Liquid Crack
2009: For All The World To See
2008: Studio Blue
2007: Eddie Tests His Spine Friday
2006: Almost Twenty
2005: Thinking


Gil said...

Lucky you weren't in Connecticut as the State Police 'CLOSE' the roads for hours sometimes all day to investigate the smallest of accidents!!! Years ago I used to think it was some jerks having sex now I think it is texting while driving...

Marlaina said...

Driving too fast, following too close, virtually ever crash -- they are not typically accidents indicating there was nothing to be done to avoid the situation -- is one, or the other or a combination. And it is starting to make me crazy how oblivious people are to what is happening around them and how close they come to being maimed or killed on a daily basis. It is nuts out there.