Friday, April 8, 2011

Drive or use the phone? Make up your mind!!!

A few years ago, I was driving in the Blue Ridge Mountains between Virginia and North Carolina with a U-haul trailer. The speed limit is 70, but most people go 80, and cops are few and far between rest stops, which are also few and far between. As the U-haul was full, I was driving around 65 mph on a flat area (BTW, did you know that you're not supposed to drive faster than 55 with a trailer? Not that anybody drives that slowly; I'm just saying), when the road curved a bit. Just then, in my side view mirror (my rear view mirror was blocked by the trailer), I noticed an old station wagon (yes, they're still around!) less than one car length from the back of my trailer! That sounds bad, right? You're probably thinking, "Well, the traffic must have been congested for him to be tail-gating like that, right?" WRONG! This was broad daylight, on a clear, beautiful, summer day, and the particular stretch we were on was FOUR LANES WIDE (with virtually no traffic, EVER, don't ask me why!) with NO vehicles ahead, behind, or on any of other lanes (we were in the far right lane). So, why was this moron tail-gating me? I have no idea, but I slowed down to 65, hoping he would get the hint. No?
How about 60? Uh-uh.
55? Nope.
50? Nada.
45? Zip.
35? Still behind me.
25? Stuck like glue.
10? Oh! NOW he gets the message, and passes me as nonchalantly as if we were both driving horse and buggies. I waited until he was well out of sight before I resumed speed.

I have no idea why he felt it necessary to tailgate the one driver in, probably, a five mile radius! He wasn't on a cell phone, which causes most drivers to be magnetically attracted to the nearest moving object, even if that car ends up in an accident! Don't believe me? Once, on a Wash DC Metro, a guy with his ear permanently attached to his cell phone, followed me into the train and stayed on my heels every minute until we got off. Only then did he exclaim, "Oh, crap! I missed my stop!" He had missed it by 10 stops a half-hour before, all because he was distracted by his cell phone. If it affects WALKERS that way, I dread to think how it affects drivers (n.b., of the four accidents I've witnessed in the past few years, one was due to a drunk, the other three were due to inattention by cell phone use. Can we add a Constitutional Amendment for Cell Phone Driving Prohibition? Nah! we'd only get bootleg cell phone drivers!) ;)

P.S. Did you know that cell phone drivers use only half their bran? ;)