Modern Driving Dangers

I have a driving phobia when it comes to driving places I have never been, or driving on super-highways and in large cities. I am not sure where it comes from, and I have not been able to relate it to any specific trauma in my past other than the time I threw up my breakfast in the back seat of my father's Mercedes, which was not pleasant as he and my mother were pissed, and had to turn around and go back home, canceling our weekend in the country. Somehow that does not seem bad enough to have ruined me for life.

My colitis has been acting up, and the past several days I have been a knot of burning guts and stomach...and other things. I don't know if it has been the stress of my aunt dying, or the stress of my having to drive round trip to Queens....part of the way in the pouring rain.

I made it there and back, and even had a nice drive last evening out of Queens...and a ride back home today..though the traffic today was a bit thick on the Thruway.

Some observations that made me angry.....and feel even more unsafe on the road:
  • People on cell phones. Whether talking on a handset or headset, studies show that you are 4x likely to have an accident. No matter how much you think you can multi-task, you are putting yourself and others at risk. 89% of those accidents involving people on cell phones involved other cars. I don't want to risk being killed because you can't pull off the road or do your business later.
  • Texting-see above, only more so. I know three accidents in which friends/family/teens had accidents because of texting. Fortunately two of them did not involve much more that slight injuries and totalled cars, the other sadly cost the lives of several young women.
  • Reading; Reading of any kind, maps, books, newspapers, etc. is not a good idea as well as looking through your iPod for music etc.
  • Tailgating when traffic is doing a brisk pace. Someone slams on the brakes ahead of you, and you have just done a major metal butt munch. At a high speed-you might not live to talk about it, and I hope you have a good lawyer and insurance for the injury/whiplash lawsuit from the person ahead of you. (btw-I have been rear ended low speeds, and I was sore from it...imaging if it were above the 10-15 mph that it was..)
Now I have to admit, I am no saint. I do put on lipstick in my car from time to time, , but I have it down so that I can do it w/out looking in the mirror. I change my radio stations, but my stations are pre-set buttons that I can push w/out much more than a quick glance. And the photographs..the camera is in the console. One click of a button, and I don't look in the viewfinder...I point and shoot, usually when I am in slow moving traffic. Most of the times the photos suck and I have to delete them. One out of 10 is about the success rate.

But when I hauling ass down the thruway, or driving in heavy or fast traffic, listening to my Garmin (which is a feat unto itself paying attention to that thing--which is a necessity for me) off goes my phone, my music sometimes, as I need every ounce of concentration on the highway.

Oh, and for the highway dept. When there is a construction lane switch....especially on the freeway, do you THINK you could put lines down? At one point there were six sets of lines on the three lane highway all the same value/color and I had a real hard time figuring out which lane was which....

Off my soap box..getting ready for the long drive to the Cape.


PS of the dangers we can't control..storms, and a photo of the Tappan Zee..which I consider not aesthetically one of the nicer bridges that span the Hudson, though it is really cool how it looks like you are driving into the Hudson as you descent to the west bank.


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