Wednesday, May 07, 2008

How Do You Treat Reckless Drivers?

So, about a half hour ago, I had just followed my sister to drop off her car for an oil change, and we were headed up a highway in town to go grab lunch at Chick-Fil-A. This highway (HWY 77 here in Panama City) is a 4-lane road, and on this particular stretch there is a middle turn lane and a "6th" lane on the right that is for turning into a number of restaurants, hotel, & flower shop on the right. Its sort of a strange constant turn lane.

From time to time, I'll be driving this stretch of road, and people will turn into that lane to turn right at the upcoming intersection (which is about 300 yards away) & speed up. Not only does it selfishly hog the turn lane for those who have to wait before they can get in the lane, slow down, & turn, but it is an accident waiting to happen with someone who will get ready to slow down & turn without seeing the person barreling down the turn lane at 45 MPH.

Well, this happened today. My sister & I are driving along in the right lane, doing about 35 MPH in a 45 MPH zone -- traffic was heavy, and gas prices are rather high for me to be doing a lot of accelerating. All of a sudden, this SUV turns into the right turn lane & speeds up. It starts accelerating & passes us doing at least 45 MPH in this turn lane (maybe higher, but I don't want to sound like I'm exaggerating).

So I went into diatribe mode with my poor, captive-audience sister -- "that's so selfish," blah blah, "and that's how accidents happen," yackity schmackity. You know...

And, all of a sudden, she turns right where we're going to turn. And when I finally turn there, I see that she's right in the Chick-Fil-A line that we were going to get in. And right as I pull up behind her, she rolls her window down to pour some ice out of a cup.

WELL! That's enough of an opening for me.

So I roll down my window, and I yell, "HEY!!" I wait for her to poke her head out of the window, and I holler, "That's NOT a passing lane!!"

She starts going, "Awww, gimme a break!"

And I said, "THAT is how accidents happen!!"

She says, "F@#& YOU!" And then gave me the finger. She ordered, and as she was pulling up, gave me the finger again.

As we pulled out of Chick-Fil-A, we took a short cut to go back to get Katie's car. All of a sudden, we pass this business where we see that car & that woman getting out of it. So I honked the horn at her a couple times. I didn't care to look back to see if she "responded."

My general working philosophy is this: people need to know when they've done something idiotic. And I don't mind being that guy who confronts them to let them know that what they did was stupid. If have to shame them with my horn, or my words, so be it.


Jordan said...

Being from a large city where people get shot for making such comments... I tend to just let it slide and back off. Sure it urks me, but I don't want trouble. I had a passenger do something similar once when I was driving and when we stopped at a gas station the car followed us. 5 men got out of the car with knives and yelled at us. I escaped that time, I will not be tempting fate again.

Matt said...

Missy doesn't like when I use the horn. I just tell it it is our car talking to their car.

Jordan said...

My wife doesn't like the horn either. It's a cultural thing though. In Italy they honk the horn instead of using a turn signal...

Lloyd said...

lol... our car talking to their car. fantastic.

i usually don't waste my effort. plus i'm not the safest driver on the planet.

I do get some enjoyment when someone flicks me off or says "F-you!" it means somehow i've gotten them so mad that they've run out of other options to express it. i can tell you from experience, when someone says that and it starts you laughing... it's like dominoes man. oh, and I usually carry my own knife with me.

seriously though, I guess the true question is what manner Jesus would use to react. I'm not going to opine on that, but it's worth considering.

III said...

Well, that's what I was getting at. My voice was a lot more shrill than what I imagine Jesus' voice would be ("Peace be still, my child. 'Tis more blessed to drive safely...").

But I do think Jesus would be willing to confront someone & say, "Hey, THAT is not good." He did it, in fact. And I didn't take her invitation to roll around in the mud with her -- calling her names or showing her a particular finger.

What do you think Jesus would do?