A Good Deed Gone Bad

Yesterday Alicia, my oldest sister, and I went to Madison for a Paint Nite event.  We had a wonderful time painting and chatting with the people around us.  Our pictures turned out very nice.

On the drive home, we got in what I call a tangle of cars – not an accident but a grouping where everyone has to slow down because the lead people are going slower for whatever reason.  I was in the left lane and a minivan was in the right lane.  He had his blinker on and I let him in.

As usually happens the tangle cleared up as people passed the slower vehicles on the right and those going slow in the left got over.  Unfortunately the minivan I let in continued to go slow.  I waited, gave him some time to move over.

When he didn’t get over, I turned on my blinker and passed him on the right.  I’ll admit, I went a little faster than I would have preferred but I didn’t cut him off.  Still he blew his horn at me and sped up to get really close behind me.

I don’t play games on the road.  Vehicles are too costly and lives are too fragile.  After we passed another vehicle in the right lane, the minivan sped up, nearly hit me from behind, swerved into the right lane, sped around me, and got in front of me.  He then slowed down to the point where I was stepping on my brakes.

I set my cruise, go along and leave people alone.  I’m a fairly considerate driver, letting people in when I can.  There was no opportunity to go around this guy and he was playing games.  If I slowed down, he did.  If I changed lanes he did.  My exit was coming up so I ducked in behind a semi and let the minivan go ahead of me.

Driving isn’t a race nor is it a competition of any sort.  I wish I could ask that driver why he thought he was justified in being such a prick about driving.  According to him, I did something wrong enough that he felt he had to teach me a lesson.  I bet the lesson I learned was different from the one he thought he’d teach me.  I’m sure he thought he’d teach me to not pass on the right or to not cut over as quickly as I did (though I maintain I had plenty of room).

The lesson I learned is that sometimes it doesn’t pay to be nice and let people in.  I’ll probably still do it but it will certainly make me think twice in the future.

Put Your Electronic Device Away…

Getting in my car tonight at the end of a busy, dificult working day, I watched as a woman walk between two cars with her focus on her cell phone.  She stepped out into the traffic area without looking to see if there were any cars there.  This is a busy parking lot full of cars and at a time when many people were leaving.

I get that people are busy.  I get that sometimes we have to answer these phones.  Here is the thing, if you get hit by a car because you weren’t looking that call, email, text or whatever you’re looking at won’t make a bit of difference. 

Check your cell phone before you walk out the door and then put it away.  I know that sometimes you have to answer the phone when you are driving but really for your own safety put the phone down while you are walking.