I’ve had incidents like that also. You’re always at the mercy of others when you’re in the car. Very frustrating. I’m definitely extra mindful when I have our girls in the backseat also.
Most interstates are 75 in Kansas and Nebraska. 80 in South Dakota. I think it’s similar throughout the West except in the mountains and in urban areas.
I wish everyone drove like you, @ChristienMurawski. As a pedestrian, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve nearly been run over by people not paying attention to crosswalks, taking corners too fast, etc. A week or two back it happened three times in one day.
Seconding this. As someone who was actually hit by a distracted driver. Lives are changed by a moment of stupidity.
OK, so 80 is the fastest American cars need to go. :)
This happens all the time when walking my dog, and it would drive me crazy when I was more of a runner. You can almost always tell what driver isn’t going to bother with the stop sign.
I live on a tiny little street. It’s super narrow and about a block long. I often have this fantasy of transporting into the cars of drivers who speed down my street and asking them how much time they think they are actually saving by going 35mph down my street instead of 25. Or even 15. How much time? In my fantasy we time it and do the math. And then I get to make them slam on the brakes when a kid or a pet runs in front of them at any of those speeds. And we run those numbers. Was the extra couple seconds you saved really worth it?
My dad taught me that when he was teaching me to drive. How much time are you going to save by going 70mph instead of 60 over a specific span of time. How much time will you have to drive before that adds up enough to be worth it?
This has nothing to do with what Kelly was posting above, of course, but I’m trying to teach my kid these philosophies of driving as we go along. Because I think they are worthy lessons.
If you’re going to go 60 in a 65, just be sure to use the right lane so the rest of us can pass you.
Seriously though, safe driving is worth it, but we all slip up now and then. When I use a crosswalk, I make eye contact with the front drivers and am watching for the cars behind them to stop. I’ve been honked at many times because it looks like a SUV barreling down the road might just plow into the car in front of which would slam it into me.
I assure you I know how to use the passing lane. And I don’t go 60 in a 65. I’m old, but not that old. However, rushing down my little street at 10mph over the speed limit does far more harm than good. For anybody. And I don’t get why people cannot grasp that.
Now if you want to talk about how to use the HOV lane, that’s another discussion altogether. I love the dingdongs who think the HOV lane is another passing lane, just because it’s the farthest left.
I agree with you that we all slip up now and then. That certainly is a case. It’s just annoying to be on the pedestrian side of the slip up, as the margin for error on that side of the equation really sucks.
I’m 36 years old. I’ve been driving since I was 18. I still have never had a major accident, and only one minor one that was barely more than a fender bender and agreed by all sides it was not my fault. I feel that this is because I drive reasonably and carefully. It makes me so angry when I see people driving like idiots, and as the years have gone on I feel like it’s a higher and higher percentage of people doing it. I don’t care how much of a pain in the ass it will be for passengers/etc, all cell phones need to lock anytime they are moving faster than 10mph or something. Make it a hardware level thing so that texting and driving is completely impossible. I feel like 50%+ of the people I see on the road are staring at their phone nowadays. How the hell do they not realize how incredibly dangerous/irresponsible that is?!
Yeah I used to tell the kids I worked with In AmeriCorps who would walk in front of cars like there was no tomorrow because they had the right away. “Congratulations, you had the right away but between you and a car, you are going to lose.” Now if they survive long enough to sue and get a payday… well good for them, but I’d prefer to keep my bones right where they are.
I’ve always said, “Sure, state law is on your side, but the laws of physics are on theirs.”
Oh that one is better. I’m going to have to steal that from you. When my nephew go from looking both ways to f it i have the right away perhaps.
Pretty sure it’s right of way or right-of-way, by the way. :)
You are, of course, correct. :-)
That’s age and empathy. I’m just like you and I annoy my wife constantly by studiously going the speed limit in residential neighborhoods with wide streets that would easily support safe driving at higher speeds. To my delight, my daughters seem to appreciate my caution.
There was a comedian once who had a bit about driving. He said that there ought to be a national speed limit that was tied to your age: you should never be allowed to exceed that limit as a youngster and never be allowed to go below it as an old fogey.
As a bike-commuter, I’m even more cautious. I see lots of my fellow bicyclists weaving in and out of traffic and even cutting off cars when they feel they have the right-of-way, somehow confident that their own skill and the fact that they have the law on their side will protect them from these massive steel machines and their cellphone-distracted pilots. Madness.
Quick story: In the early 90s I used to do tabletop wargaming at the house of this really young guy who had taught himself programming. He was only 20 or so, and a college drop-out, but he had managed to get a job at a local start-up company as a coder. The company paid for shit, but they tossed company stock equity around in lieu of actual salary and raises and whatnot. Eventually, the company achieved a reasonable level of success and this kid became a paper millionaire while having practically no actual money.
One day, this kid decides that his ancient, dying Jetta was going to have to be replaced. So he decided that he wanted a Jaguar. And not just any Jag, but a 10-cylinder monster of a car. He would sell some stock and buy it with cash. One issue with that idea was that he couldn’t get any insurance on the car - he didn’t make enough money (salary-wise) to convince any insurance company that he could actually pay his premiums. So he actually had to sell MORE stock and place the funds in a trust that was guaranteed to be used to pay his insurance money.
It was a beautiful car - a nice deep green with a hood roughly the size of Vermont. When it was idling you couldn’t actually hear the engine, but you could still feel it rumbling through the ground.
But in the end he was still a 20-year-old nerd with a deep desire to impress girls. The cops pulled him over at 3 AM doing 130 mph on Rt 28, which at that time was still a highway with a bunch of stoplights. They impounded the Jag, took his license for a couple years and as part of his plea agreement he had to sell the car. And about a month later, AoL’s stock tanked for that final dive. I think he moved to California; I should look him up sometime.
For me that issue is motorcycles. Here in California, motorcycles have the right to drive between lanes of traffic. This is called “lane splitting” and I think it developed because of overheating in two-stroke motorcycles back in the day. To avoid that and even worse traffic problems, the state allowed lane splitting; I think CA is the only state that does allow it, but I may be wrong about that.
Anyway, I respect their right to do it but it freaks me the fuck out. The margin for error is so thin on the freeway, and zipping between lanes of cars just seems crazy to me. I always give them extra room, and it’s gratifying to me when a cool biker does that little finger wave (they do a peace sign most times). I worry about motorcycles because I grew up learning to ride dirt bikes when I lived in Colorado, and my dad used to take me on his bike when I was a kid in Massachusetts and Virginia. Also, my girlfriend used to ride one. There’s these big digital signs on the California freeways–see the movie LA Story for proof–to warn of danger ahead, or to signal an Amber alert, and when those things aren’t happening they generally just have Public Service Announcements on them. One of those is about looking twice for motorcycles.
What drives me crazy is when I am so cognizant of their safety and some asshat on a bike cuts in front at a light or zigzags to maneuver to make a turn at the head of the line of cars. I’m all, “Wait. I have to look twice to protect your ass when you can’t be bothered to pay attention even once?”
To be honest, part of it is jealousy. I’ve always wanted to own a street bike, but honestly, being a dad just rules that out.
My ex-neighbor, a highway patrol officer, off duty at the time, lost his leg when a truck driver got pissed off because of his “legal” lane splitting and ran him off the road.
California has just reviewed the law and agreed to keep it. There is no reason to allow it other than the motorcycle lobby wants it.
You and my wife both. She rails against this constantly. Me, I am grateful for the reduced traffic. If they want to trade safety for speed I am cool with that, especially since it’s just their safety.
Ah, the Jaguar XJS. My dad had one. It was 12 cylinders, of course, mated to and old GM 3 speed automatic. It was not very fast. They also had terrible reliability problems.
Was it 12? That’s what I wrote at first, but when I checked to see what model that might have been, the sites I saw indicated that they stopped making the 12-cylinder engines in the 1980s, so I changed it to 10, doubting my memory.