Bad drivers need to clean up their act

Commentary Featured Opinion Opinion

Dave Hon, Editor in Chief

Over the summer I made the trip between St. Joseph and Platte City over 50 times. Now let me be clear, I love nothing more than to drive. Put a good CD or radio station on, fasten your seatbelt securely,  and you’re ready to roll—except for watching out for those horrible drivers.

Now, being 20 years old, I won’t try and pretend I’m a driver of the capacity of, say, Speed Racer. I drive a 2001 Chevy Malibu, which is far from the Mach Five. I think what makes me a better driver than most is the fact that I know that I’m not the best driver.

Yes. Conundrumed, I know. But I know the problem that a lot of drivers have is that they are over-confident of their reaction impulses. You see, if you’re less than a car’s length away from another car on the highway, going 70 miles per hour, there is no way you’re going to stop in time if things go wrong. I don’t care if you’re a goal keeper for Manchester United, no one’s reaction time is that fast.

The biggest problem I have with drivers on the highway is the lack of abiding by speed/car length ratio requirements. You see, if you’re traveling 70 MPH, you should be at least 7 car lengths away from the car ahead of you. Now, in cases of heavy traffic, this is impossible. But on the open stretch of road between Platte City and St. Joseph, there is no excuse.

For those of you with the same frustration as me, I have a solution: slow down. If someone is ‘tailgating’ you, decrease your speed to the minimum 55 MPH on the highway, and watch what happens. In most cases, the driver will quickly swerve into the left lane, without using their blinker.

When they pass you, two things could happen. You might see the driver on their phone, oblivious to the fact that they are driving a ton of metal down an asphalt path at 70 MPH. You see, they are too hung up in their pointless conversation that is has consumed their concentration. Don’t get me wrong: I’ll talk on the phone and drive, but if it starts to impede my ability to focus, I’ll hang up.

Besides someone being on the phone, the other thing you might witness is a look of disgust. This gaze will say, without any words spoken, “How dare you drive THAT slow on my road.” As if they are the only one on the road. Furthermore, the fact that they supported a political candidate and want to adorn that statement on their bumper, gives them the right to drive fast.

For those of you that are reading this and feeling their ears burn, I want to remind you of something. The left lane is called the “Passing Lane” not the “Fast Lane.” Just because you’re in the left lane doesn’t mean you can go 80 MPH.

For any law-enforcement professionals that are reading this, please crack down on aggressive drivers. In my opinion, an aggressive driver is more dangerous than a driver going five miles over the speed limit.

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