Tuesday, November 13, 2018
It’s no secret drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs cause numerous accidents and fatalities on our roadways, but there is another type of impairment not being addressed by government statistics—stupidity.
Distracted driving (texting while driving, applying makeup, doing anything other than actually driving, etc.) is just as bad as driving drunk, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.
I’m referring to blatant recklessness.
Each time as I get behind the wheel of my car, I wonder if it will be my time to fall victim to someone’s haste or carelessness.
Every time I drive, whether it’s a short trip or long, I see someone doing dangerous things without fail.
I see vehicles blow through red lights and stop signs like they’re not even there
I see drivers cutting off other cars without signaling and I routinely get tailgated.
I see people drive around railroad crossings as the arms are coming down.
I see people pass in no passing zones.
I see people zig-zag in and out of traffic like they they’re in a NASCAR race.
These aren’t occasional occurrences. They happen more times than I can count every single day.
It seems speed limits and other traffic laws have become merely suggestive. This isn’t just dangerous, it’s also rude, but that’s a story for another day...
I’ll admit I’m not a perfect driver.
Like everyone, I do exceed the speed limit (only a little) once in a while.
But when I drive the speed limit, or slightly over, the majority of other cars will pass me like I’m sitting still. That’s a problem.
And let’s not forget the nasty looks I get from other drivers when I obey traffic laws. Being safe seems to be an inconvenience to others.
The problem doesn’t seem to be lack of enforcement. I believe it’s a lack of education (and common sense).
Many states, including Kansas, no longer have requirements for driver’s education courses.
This leaves instruction to come from those who may not be the most skilled drivers themselves, if they even actually receive any. In many cases these “teachers” may never have attended a formal driver’s education course themselves.
This should scare anyone who drives a car on public roads.
When you factor in how many drivers on the road don’t even have a license or are suspended or revoked (which are many), it’s even more concerning.
Simply put, there are way too many people on the road who shouldn’t be driving.
There is no simple fix to this problem, but you can do your part to help out – stop driving like a raving lunatic. We all want to get where we’re going in a hurry, but we also want to get there alive.
—Marty Augustine is a Shawnee based writer and safety educator. You can read more of his writing by following him on Facebook at: Facebook.com/MartyWrites