Revved up by reckless driving


Kaylee Kean lets her frustrations come to a boil while navigating OU’s parking lots. 

You want to know what really gets my wheels spinning? Stupid driving.

By stupid driving I mean not carrying out those simple, obvious things that really shouldn’t be all that hard to accomplish: using your blinker, checking an area before you move your car to it, and following the general rules of common sense. Your life is in pretty clear and prominent danger, after all.

When you are driving carelessly, do you know exactly what it is you’re flinging and jerking around? A 3,000 to 5,000-pound hunk of steel. And you’re not the only one  my general observation has been that there are quite a few others who need to use the road as well, and that means 3,000 to 5,000 pounds multiplied by what I consider to be a substantial number. And that means the risk is multiplied, whatever the speed. So why the hell would you want to further increase that risk?

This summer I spent too much time driving to Detroit for another job. The first half of it was spent on I-94 for two to three hours of the day, and the second half, after I moved homes, was spent on I-75 for that time. I have seen my share of accidents, and my relationship with the road and cars in general has been deteriorating, to say the least.

I still have to take that god-forsaken freeway into work every Friday morning, and nothing has changed. Just last Friday I used my blinker, allowed it to flash three times before moving, then proceeded to change from the middle lane to the farthest right. As I did so I looked over one more time and saw a white minivan jerking over, and if I hadn’t stepped on the breaks and eased back, the woman driving the car would have sideswiped me and created an unnecessarily bad morning.

To top it off, the driver honked at me, glared with her angry soccer-mom eyes, and finished her transition into my previously claimed lane before jerking in front of me without using her blinker. She twitched yet again into the farthest left lane and sped away, her “My Child is an Honor Student” bumper sticker taunting me as it receded into the distance.

And by “into the distance” I mean roughly 10 or so feet ahead, because it’s rush hour and jumping lanes doesn’t do a goddamn thing.

Lane hoppers like her drive me insane. They are always there, weaving and hopping and jerking their vehicles around like they’re some badass action movie hero with a justified need for speed. Well, reality check, pal: you’re not a badass road god/goddess. You’re just an asshole driving in to a nine-to-five job with a slight depression and coffee addiction.

So screw you, soccer mom, and screw all of you other irresponsible drivers who can’t handle the slightest amount of patience and thought when it comes to being safe and responsible. I try to be nice and understanding with people, but this is an exception to the rule. I can’t understand someone who blatantly disregards the value of life and how easily it can be damaged or lost.

This is the kind of stupid that can be consistently found in human beings, unfortunately.

Let’s step on the brake for a minute, and think about it:

  • 21,795 passenger vehicle occupants died in 2012 in the U.S. (Passenger vehicles include cars, minivans, pickups, SUVs and cargo/large passenger vans.)
  • 27 percent of those occupants were younger than 25 years old  5,993 of them. 73% of the deaths were the drivers, and 71 percent of these drivers were male (sorry, fellas).
  • In 2012, 938 of the 33,561 U.S. deaths (counting all types of vehicles) were in Michigan.
  • For 2014, there is an estimate of 6,800 motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the U.S. in the January to March timespan. This is a 4.9 percent decrease from last year’s 7,150 deaths.

Remember that these figures are more than just numbers  they’re real people who are dead and gone because of a mistake made on the road. So please, find some scrap of patience within you and be responsible  not just for your sake, but for the sake of others as well.

Otherwise, I may have to strangle you with your seatbelt and add to those numbers.

Sources: For facts 1 and 2, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute.

Facts 3 and 4, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.