Reckless Drivers Soapbox

I’ve had my fill of reckless drivers lately.

Seriously. I’m ready to go all crazy woman on the next person who risks MY CHILDREN’S safety with their stupid choices. I don’t care if the word “stupid” offends somebody. When someone drives recklessly, it’s a stupid choice because they are not only risking injury or death for themselves, but for other people.

The road is a dangerous place already. The more vehicles on the road, the more dangerous it is because everyone has their own personal agendas and problems. Everyone has emotions. Everyone has somewhere to be – otherwise they wouldn’t be driving, right? Everyone has distractions.

I’m not writing this from a place of being the “perfect driver”. I’ve made my fair share of dumb mistakes. So please don’t read this and think that I’m over here being self-righteous and demeaning. Being a mom has made me much more conscientious of the consequences of my choices and seeing some awful wrecks on the road has instilled a greater desire in choosing to be an attentive, lawful driver.

It’s also made me hyperaware on the road.

I’ve never in my life seen so many drivers ignoring traffic laws and signals before moving to our current city of residence.

In the last two months alone, I’ve almost been hit HEAD ON by people driving recklessly. Like, it wasn’t just a mistake. They were literally, obviously, choosing to drive in a way that could have resulted horribly if I had not been paying attention.

The first one happened at night. Darkness just brings a whole new level of danger to driving. Anyway, I was driving along toward home when I realized that headlights were literally staring me in the face. This was on a well lit, four-lane road with a MEDIAN that has trees. It would be very difficult to drive on the wrong side of the road unless someone was doing it on purpose or passed out. I’m 100% confident that the driver of that vehicle wasn’t passed out.

I’m a little fuzzy on the details because a lot of life has happened since this first incident. I can’t remember if I honked or not, but I’m pretty sure I slammed on the brakes and started slowing down. The person pulled over into a different lane and again, if I remember correctly, pulled into the recreation center’s parking lot immediately after.

This morning’s incident was a closer call.

There’s this very brief, slight change in direction in the road (due to a short median) between our neighborhood’s street and an intersection. I was almost to this spot when I realized a white SUV was driving towards me, really fast and not at all safely. At first I thought he was going to jump the curb and drive on the grass to my right. But he didn’t. He suddenly careened back toward my left – the side of the road he should have been driving on to begin with. Thankfully, I stopped where I did – any closer to the intersection and we would have collided head on or he would have had to jump the median and there’s no telling what would have happened if he hit the curb wrong in that scenario. I didn’t move until the guy (I saw him very clearly – short and wearing a hoody. I know he was short because his head was barely clearing the top of the steering wheel. the hood was gray, but the shirt appeared to be colorful, possibly plaid.) passed me. I glanced into the rearview mirror, still trying to process what had just happened, in time to see him gun it and swerve crazily to get around a black SUV that had just passed me a moment before he did – it was driving on the CORRECT side of the road. He swerved in a way that made it look like he barely had control of his vehicle…like he was overcorrecting. Does that make sense?

That whole experience scared me to death.

Though I’ve described what happened, I don’t feel like the words are adequately drawing the picture. When I read what I just wrote, it doesn’t feel as scary as it was when I actually experienced it.

But I felt it. I felt fear and lots of other things.

There was concern in the moment. Would he hit me? Was stopping enough to keep us safe?

There was confusion in the moment. Should I have honked? What was happening? Why was it happening?

After the fact, there was some incredulity, for sure. Did that really just happen?!

There was regret that it all happened so fast that I couldn’t get a picture of his license plate. That fool needs his license revoked at least temporarily. I wouldn’t have blinked an eye at calling the police.

There was anger. Red, hot anger. He endangered the lives of not just me, but my children, too, and the stranger driving the black vehicle he passed! So, not counting him – he endangered four lives that I know of and possibly more. Typically, people driving large vehicles like that have children – why else drive such a large, fuel-guzzling vehicle? So it’s very possible that both the black and white SUVs had passengers that I couldn’t see.

I don’t know why he was driving like that, but unless it’s life or death…like, there is a passenger in the car who might be dying and needs medical attention (consider calling 911 instead of doing the driving)…there is no reason to risk the lives of others on the road. Driving recklessly is FOOLISH. It is SELFISH. It is DISRESPECTFUL.

I can tell you that he did NOT have his emergency blinkers on…he was headed the OPPOSITE direction of medical care…he appeared to be angry. If there was an emergency, he should have had his emergency blinkers on, communicating to other drivers there was a problem. If he was taking a kid to school, letting his kid be late/tardy is much better than risking the lives of his child and others on the road. If he was angry, he should have pulled over until he calmed down.

Things like this make me miss country life so much more. I’m not saying that wrecks never happen in the country or in small towns, but it seems to me that there are more people obeying the law on the road in the country than there are in the city.

Okay. I’m stepping off my soapbox. I’m admitting here and now that this post is coming from me in a highly emotional state, so it may be poorly composed. Whether that is the case or not, I’ve still spoken truth. Reckless driving is more than just a simple, bad choice. It’s potentially fatalFriends, if you’re reading this and feel at all convicted about reckless choices you’ve made when driving, please consider changing your habits for the better. It could save your life and the lives of others.

One more thing…I was convicted on the way home because I didn’t automatically thank God for keeping us safe. I was so wrapped up in the anger I felt after the initial shock that I neglected to recognize what He had done for us. I’ve since corrected that mistake. It was Him and Him alone that kept both foolish people from hitting us and I’m so very thankful for His loving, watchful care over us.

(Not to diminish the serious nature of what I just wrote, but I have to laugh about the number of times I just typed the word “us” in that paragraph. I don’t know why, but I find it funny. Maybe I just need the humor right now??)

If there are ugly comments posted on this, they will be deleted. I have zero tolerance.

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