nin137

Nick's Journal
2009-09-26 04:56:56 (UTC)

One Can Only Marvel

sometimes, when i drive in this city, i am taken back to a
chilly fall morning during my second year of law school.
there i was standing groggily, cursing myself for having
scheduled constitutional law (of all courses) for a 9 am
start time. as i was watching my fellow bus travelers who
all seemed to be cursing whatever hell they were riding to,
i noticed, out of the corner of my bleary eyes, that a car
was turning against a one way street.

now this one way street was particularly dangerous to turn
into. this was because it tended to slope down and bend
into a hard right deep into a tunnel. a tunnel, out of
which, at any moment, my huge commuter bus was due to hurdle
out of. it took me two seconds to realize the magnitude of
what was about to go down and then i ran screaming towards
the car,
"YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!"
the elderly couple inside were bewildered to say the least.
in fact, so much so, that the husband angrily waved me off
as some fool who loved to chase cars.
they quickly found out what the deal was when the bus came
blaring up the hill...

i would say that, people are completely irrational. they
fear terrorist attacks and swine flu as if both were lurking
around every corner to do them in. yet, when they are
driving, they are as serene as anything. of course, i have
read all of the books about why we are like this,and just
about anyone who has taken intro to psych knows that we
humans develop heuristics to deal with our lives.

these heuristics then allow us to serenely hurtle down a
crowded interstate, balancing a bowl of cereal on one knee,
holding the newspaper in the other, while talking on a cell
phone.

so i can really only marvel at how recklessly people drive.
a great part of it is due to the fact that we americans
drive EVERYWHERE. in fact, we do it so much that we see as
though we have no other choice BUT to do our other menial
tasks while driving.

what's more, people will cry about guns and pit bulls but
not think twice about how MORE danger that soccer mom puts
the general public when she is swatting at her two brats
while merging recklessly onto the highway.

being one who doesn't like to just complain...i would like
to offer the following three solutions:

1) set age limits: 21 to start driving and 65 to stop.
after and before you get other people to drive. i say 21
because 16 is just too damn immature and 65 because, if that
is about the time that you stop working, then you probably
don't have the reaction time to drive either.

2) every car should come equipped with that cool new blind
spot indicator that this new car has. it is a red light
that blips on your mirror to let you know that there is a
car in your blind spot.

3) everyone has to drive stick shift. being one who drives
stick, i can tell you that you are just more aware of your
surroundings and just more engaged.

i swear, if we were to implement the above three i'm sure we
could reduce traffic accidents significantly.

oh...and anyone who drives with their dog on their lap
should be pulled over and beaten with a shovel until the
handle breaks off. i don't think i have seen anything
dumber than when a little dachsund started licking his
owners face, only to have the stupid lady look up and away
from the dog, only to rear end another car.