The colder months in Phoenix bring out the qualities exhibited by the worst drivers in the country.
Check that first sentence again. I didn’t say the snowbirds were to blame, even though they aren’t blameless. Being a working professional of the Valley for the last dozen or so years has painted a pretty convincing picture of this fact. When the temperatures drop and the mercury is scant, automobile operators around the country (of all ages) seem to take their eyes off the road.
Awful pun, had to do it.
The other morning, I was running a few minutes earlier than usual. Always nice. So I jump into the QuikTrip on 19th Avenue just south of the Loop 101 for a Hotzi and a 32-ounce Diet Coke. A power breakfast if there ever was one, it’s about the closest stomach-pleasing breakfast besides a full brunch made by Gramma. Munching on the Hotzi sandwich, I’m pulling out of the QT and onto the frontage road that’ll take me eastbound on the 101. It’s about 9:35am. Traffic isn’t very heavy, usually.
When I’m about to get onto a freeway, I don’t dick around with anything else in my car. No radio, drink, food, cell phone, nothing. Focus is to get into the lane that I want to, that’s it. And yes, I learned this one the hard way through a few various traffic incidences that were more time consuming than taking an extra minute to decide not to fuck with any those aforementioned distractions.
I’m accelerating onto the freeway like normal, and there’s a white Chevy pickup that’s staying about a car length behind me in the far-right lane on the 101. However, he’s speeding up. Four car lengths ahead of the guy in the Chevy is an Acura, who is rolling along at a steady 55 miles per hour. He’s slowing down though. The Chevy decides to speed up during the quarter-mile that I have to get onto the 101. I’m blocked in. The jerk in the Chevy is gestating away at a cell phone conversation that he’s having.
Usually, when someone is on a cell phone, their speed tends to slow, as they aren’t really looking to speed up. The dude in the Chevy is not only messing with my ability to be an unprofane motorist, he’s also evidence to the contrary of this statement.
I could give a shit about the octogenarian in the Acura. My driving skills are above reproach in dealing with older drivers. This son of a bitch in his late-model Chevy Silverado caused me to get boxed into the acceleration lane for the entire quarter-mile, and prevented me and a soccer mom in her Ford Aerostar (or whatever the modern Ford van equivalent is called) from getting on the 101 at all. It took us both out of our zones.
Now, is this a really big deal? Hell no. Are assholes who drive Chevy Silverados while they talk on cell phones on the freeway total douchebags? Yes, they are.
It’s the value of time that each of us treasures in the morning while we do our various tasks and chores. Parents get their kids ready for school. Professionals get their good clothes on to be dapper enough for the day ahead at work. We each have a routine of sorts, and the last thing any one of us wants is to get combative with a moron driver who exhibits selfishness and pure baffoonery.
You know who you are. Stop doing it.
And that’s my giving a damn.