Tuesday, October 04, 2022

We all share the roads

| June 9, 2022 1:00 AM

Picture this. In any town USA, a commuter lives 20 miles from town and 5 miles from the highway down a two-lane road. The speed limit is 45 mph on that road. This commuter isn’t satisfied going 45 behind the driver (whom is probably a nearby neighbor) in front of them. They move into the opposite lane and accelerate to 55 to 60 mph and cross back over in front of the other driver showering their car with gravel and dirt that accumulates in-between the lanes. What if wildlife steps out on the road at that moment? Can’t stop in time now, BYE BYE BAMBI! TOO BAD TURKEY!

Both vehicles meet at the stop sign to pause to enter the highway. So far commuter has shortened his commute by zero minutes. Commuter then stomps on the accelerator, and aggressively enters the highway, and quickly closes the gap with the car in front of them. A couple of miles ahead the car in front turns on their turn signal, and begins to slow down to safely exit the highway onto a side road. Commuter punishes them by creeping up within just a few feet of their rear bumper until they make the turn. “How dare they slow me down just so they can get safely home to their family!”

Commuter quickly closes the gap on the next vehicle in front of them, and makes the decision to put everybody at risk by moving into the oncoming traffic lane, accelerating beyond the speed limit, and, if everything goes right, swerving back into the other lane before having a head-on collision, or forcing another driver off the road.

Fortunately, (and they had no say in the decision of the commuter to pass in the oncoming lane and put everybody at risk), the family driving the vehicle in the opposite lane are not victims of a misjudgment of the amount time and distance required for the commuter to pass the vehicle in front of them. This time. Sound familiar?

Consider this. A vehicle traveling at 60 mph for 20 miles will arrive at the destination in 20 minutes. The same vehicle going 70 mph will arrive only 3 minutes earlier (17 minutes) and at 75 mph 4 minutes earlier assuming there were no stops. Is it really worth potentially being responsible for somebody’s loved ones not coming home tonight so you could get to your destination 3 to 4 minutes faster? You won’t get a “do over,” you will just have to live with it. We all share the roads, and those aren’t just cars and trucks, they’re people, many of whom you probably know.



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