Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Slower Traffic Keep Right

There seems to be some connection between my ever increasing age and my tendencies for unbridled road rage. I often have to ask myself "Do you really think you own the road?". Obviously I don't but it takes some self convincing at times, especially when there is an encounter with a rolling imbecile or blatant inconsiderate ass. I don't have the "pull over and let me kick in your teeth" kind of road rage but one that can be just as dangerous. I have the aggressive driver "I'll show you" kind of road rage. Generally, there is one driving habit that tends to set me off: Failure to get out of my way.

My father taught me how to drive. He taught me how to get where I'm going while also being considerate of other drivers. Courtesy is what I believe he called it. In particular, when you're in the fast lane of a four lane highway and someone is coming up behind you moving at a greater speed than you, it is common courtesy to move into the right hand lane to allow them to pass. This prevents a cluster of cars doing the interstate tango for however many miles it takes to break through the madness. It allows for free flowing traffic without bottlenecks. Failure to do so is failure to get out of my way and thus specifically is what usually sets me off.

I live in Murray County, Georgia. It just so happens to be the "failure to get out of my way" capital of the world. I have been living here for 15 years and I have simply never seen any place quite like it. Nor have I seen so many clueless drivers populating one area of the fine state of Georgia. On my commute to work everyday I drive from my hometown of Chatsworth in Murray county to Dalton in neighboring Whitfield county. Along this 12 mile stretch of 4 lane highway there are SEVERAL signs stating: SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT. They might as well have planted a shrub there as to put up those signs.

Now there is a LARGE Hispanic community in the Northwest Georgia area and they are a great addition to our diversity and culture, not to mention the fantastic labor pool we have because of them. However, very often it is a Hispanic driver that is not getting out of my way. I calm myself by saying "they don't know any better. They probably don't read English and don't understand the concept of being a courteous driver." Then I ask myself, "If all the signs at the local Wal-Mart are in Spanish as well as English, then why don't we have highway signs in both languages?". Surely this would help would it not? The answer is no, it will make no difference at all. These Hispanics have learned to drive by the examples that are already here. For every Hispanic that fails to "keep right", there are three yokel hillbilly morons doing the same thing. Understand that nine out of ten of those yokel hillbillies have a Murray county tag or a Polk county, Tennessee tag. I'll tell you about Polk County some other day. Now let me be clear in saying that I don't think all Murray county residents are idiots. I AM saying that it has more than its' share. If you are reading this, rest assured that I'm not talking about you. The folks I'm talking about probably can't read and definitely can't navigate a web browser.

As inconsiderate as they are, they are not the big problem. The big problem is me. It's my impatience, my rage, and my potential to cause an accident because I have an issue. So I now work on forgiving those "idiots". I try to remember that I love them as Christ wants us to love each other. I work on taking a deep breath so that everyone goes home safe. The Lord knows it isn't easy.


Eton! said...

My driving probably drives you FUZZ-NUTS when I'm up there visiting. I'm the casual driver and you can't pass because you are in the passenger seat. I suppose that makes things somewhat symmetric. When I'm riding in your passenger seat, my sphincter clamps tight for 3 days.

Vic Webb said...

Hahaha. Somewhat true. I sometimes think "why doesn't he go around this idiot". However, my focus is not so centered on it when I'm the passenger. I'm also a lot more reserved when I'm not the one in control. I would have bigger issues with someone that drives like me while I'm in the passenger seat.