"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

Unsafe Driving – Blue BMW X5 Alberta Plate PRA-592

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The National Post, June 11 edition, in an article about airing very person things by twitter, had this to say:

What is going on? Psychologists suggest that Twitter has a particular appeal to peopel with limited self-esteem, in that it gives them recognition and a theoretically infinite platform for their thoughts. “We live in the most narcissistic age ever,” says David Lewis, a cognitive neuropsycholgoist at the University of Sussex.

It never fails to amaze me as to the high degree of selfishness a large portion of Alberta drivers display every time they drive. The unsafe behaviours leave one speechless, and the number of ‘one vehicle roll-over’ accidents you hear reported just reinforces that (it is difficult to flip a vehicle on its own, unless you combine high speed and a loss of control – single car roll-overs are almost always the result of aggressive, dangerous driving). From the lane-changer who roams across all three lanes of the Whitemud weaving in and out, to the horrific habit of darting out of a slow or stopped lane of traffic into a moving lane.

So, this AM (to be precise, 0755L) on 97 Avenue just through the intersection with 104 Street, I was driving my daughter and her friend to school. Traffic to the right was stopped, my lane was moving about 15 kph. Just as I came through the intersection, a metallic blue BMW X5, Alberta plate PRA-592 (who was stopped in the intersection) darted into my lane. If I had been a bit slower on my brakes, I would have nailed him in the right rear quarter panel, in the middle of his very unlawful lane change. I honked, he flipped me the bird, and went on his merry way.

Incidents like that leave me speechless. I’m sure if this inconsiderate lout ever reads this, he (adult male, 30’s, brown short hair, 5’10”) will blow it off as whining. The reason is a narcissist can’t conceive of anyone else’s reality beyond their own. To him, this was getting ahead (and perhaps even ahead of a loser who wasn’t quick enough to get ahead of him first). There would be no understanding or care about how close an accident might have been…or what might have happened if I had been texting, or putting on makeup, or doing any one of the many other unsafe things that happen on the road.

That’s the part that leaves me just furious – that such people wander through life unaware that the only thing stopping a dramatic transfer of kinetic energy to their frail human frame is the reality that there are still a majority of considerate and attentive drivers on the road. We stop in time to permit your risky behaviour because we’re paying attention. Some of us pay attention because we’ve seen the impact of accidents up close.

My real fear is that the “get ahead at any cost” attitude of Alberta’s booming economy will take us to a tipping point, where the number of safe drivers will be outweighed by just enough idiot drivers, that the accident rate will go ballistic.

When I’ve got two young ladies in the backseat of my car, and I’m driving surrounded by other people’s loved ones, I treat my passengers and everyone else’s with the same respect. That lack of respect will eventually result in mr PRA-592 having an accident, or worse, killing one of those innocents.



Written by sameo416

June 22, 2012 at 8:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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