Driving Habits

I don’t know what has gotten into people lately, perhaps its buck fever brought on by the cooler fall weather, whatever it is has affected their driving habits for the worse. I have watched drivers drifting across lanes, running red lights, blowing through stop signs, cutting other drivers off, and speeding at insane levels (greater than 90 in a 55 during rush hour) to name a few. What I witnessed this morning was one of the worst examples of reckless driving I think I have ever seen.

I was driving in to work when a pickup truck flew past me on Walnut Grove Road somewhere between Germantown Parkway and Farm road. I was in the right-hand lane maintaining 55 mph; given how quickly this guy passed me, I would guess he was going 80 mph or faster – in a 55 mph zone. The truck he was driving was a copmany truck that had one of those large yellow “How’s My Driving” decals on the back but I didn’t get a chance to read the toll-free number, much less the vehicle ID since this guy passed me and was out of sight so quickly.

The traffic light at Farm Road had just turned green as I approached it and I could see that the truck that had been going so fast had been stopped by the light. Traffic was pretty heavy from the Humphrey’s overpass to the junction at I240, I watched the guy in the truck dart past other cars and careen into and out of different lanes as he worked his way to the ramp off of Walnut Grove onto I240, which is where things got really ugly.

The line of cars trying to get onto I240 was bumper to bumper, there was an SUV that had a little blue car following close behind it – there was less than a car length between the two. The white pickup truck decided that was where he wanted to slip into the line of cars, nevermind there was less than no room for him to get in there. I watched as he swerved toward the lane two or three times I assume with the intention of forcing the blue car to brake hard, creating an opening this guy could get into. The blue car wasn’t playing that game and stayed tight on the back of the SUV. The white pickup truck finally turned his turn signal on to let other drivers know that he wanted over but the blue car had obviously had enough of this guy’s antics and did not make an opening for him.

This is all taking place in the space of about fifteen to twenty seconds; I was far enough behind all of this action that I had a very good view of everything that went on. It is also worth noting that there was ample room behind the blue car that the white truck could have slipped into had he been willing to slow down just a little and let the blue car go ahead of him. Not that the person driving the blue car couldn’t have seen that this guy was out of control and could have slowed down himself to let the pickup truck in.

The guy driving the white truck abrubtly swerved into the lane occupied by the blue car, the blue car had to brake hard and swerved toward the curb, almost hitting the curb; the driver of the blue car layed into his horn (I probably would have done the same thing) so the guy in the white pickup truck – a company truck with a logo on the side and tailgate along with that “How’s My Driving” decal – rolled down his window and flipped off the guy driving the blue car. Normally, I would get onto I240 here but I didn’t want to be anywhere near these idiots so I stayed on Walnut Grove. As I drove past the exit ramp, I was only able to get a partial number and ID off the “How’s My Driving” decal (800-800-???? and Y4V???). I wish I had a photographic memory because I would have definitely called that number to let someone know just how safely and courteously this driver was behaving.

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