Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Traveling

During the last three weeks, I have put in a lot of 14 to 16 hour days by the time you count the one hour of driving each way I do to get down and back from the farm. I don't mind the drive so much because it gives me time to gear up or wind down depending on which side of the day I'm on and I've been traveling those roads my entire life. Half of my journey is down a road between two county seats and gets quite a bit of traffic. The other half of my journey stretches out through a couple rural towns in the corners of their respective counties and gets very little traffic. The driving styles along both roads couldn't be more different.

I'm guessing if I averaged out every incident, I've had at least two to three cars (per day) pull out in front of me to the point where I have to hit my brakes to avoid hitting them on the busier half road of my journey. In the three weeks that I have been making the drive, I've come across about one wreck a week where two cars have recently been involved in a wreck. Almost every single time where I've had to hit my brakes, had the person just waited two more seconds until I had passed, they had a clear stretch behind me to turn onto the road and accelerate at their leisure. Looking back through my driving career, this to me seems like a fairly new phenomenon.

I'm guessing it has a lot to do with our increasingly busy lives where we are always in a hurry to go from one place to another. I also think that when you drive among a lot of traffic daily, you (collectively) tend to absorb everyone else's driving styles and that tends to get more aggressive all the time. The route where all these cars pull out in front of me (and I presume others) is also hilly and only two lanes. However, every couple miles there are passing lanes going up the larger hills to allow faster traffic to overtake slower traffic. Again, I see lots of aggressive driving where people driving slowly do not pull over to allow someone to overtake them or drive slow until the passing lanes begins and accelerates to not allow people to pass them until they make it back to just a single lane where they slow down again. Pretty soon there is a long stream of traffic following them and tailgating occurs in the mild form or full blown road rage occurs in the aggressive form.

I for the most part just follow knowing that getting around someone or letting someone around me is only going to change either of our commute times to the other county seat by a minute at most. Many times I have seen someone tailgating me until the first pullover in which they can get by me only to still have them in site when we reach the other county seat 20 miles down the road.

The last twenty miles of my journey to the farm has almost no traffic and I've yet to have someone pull out in front of me or see any forms of aggressive driving on it. Someday if I live out my dream to build a home somewhere to retire in, I'm storing up this knowledge because I certainly don't want to live along a road where I have to deal with aggressive drivers hurting and sometimes killing each other for the sake of getting to work a minute sooner.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I'm glad to hear your observation that this is a fairly new phenomena. I thought maybe my own road rage was just growing. It really irks me to be tailed and, as you stated, they rarely save themselves any time once they roar past and get ahead of you. I often end up behind them at the next light or intersection.