Friday, April 19, 2019

Watch Out for Crazy Drivers

It’s taken several decades, but Tassanoxie has a by-pass. It’s grown from two lanes going around part of the city into mostly four lanes going around the entire city. Things being the way there are, a lot of businesses are located along the by-pass. Mostly on the oldest portion, but even the newest sections are hatching new businesses right and left.
Since the speed limit on the by-pass is 45 mph, most drivers buzz along at 55+ mph. These are the ones who believe the myth that you only get a ticket if you’re more than 10 miles over the speed limit. Not sure how that works, but some bozos think it holds true even in school zones.

Knowing that folks speed, even in school zones, it seems anyone jogging or walking along the by-pass (or any road for that matter) would think, gee, I should face traffic. That way, I could see who’s coming. Notice if they’re texting while they drive and swerving back and forth across the road.

Or drunk and running off the sides of the road, where, oops! I’m walking.

But noooooo, that doesn’t seem to be the thought process for some joggers or walkers. Perhaps they have no thought process.

I know I do.

My thought process includes, what’s with jogging or walking along a highway? The draft from the first large truck to pass could blow you right off the highway into a cotton field. Or into a ditch full of yucky, muddy water.

I especially started thinking about always facing oncoming traffic a few months ago. Here I was sitting at a red light on a downtown side street waiting for the light to turn green. It’s one of those old ones that is set to let Main Street traffic go for quite a while and then blink to green long enough for three cars (if everyone’s paying attention) on the cross street to make it through before it turns red again.

While I waited, I glanced in my rear view mirror and here comes this car around the corner at the end of the block behind me. I am not lying when I say the car shot around the corner, across the street–luckily no other vehicle or person was in the street–bounced off the curb, over corrected, and ricocheted back across the street to now run up on that curb before straightening into the lane behind me.

It was like watching a crazy car chase from an action movie. Only there wasn’t any villain, there wasn’t any cop, and there wasn’t anything between me and that phone-wielding nut.

And yes, I saw the phone as she slammed to a halt behind me.

The light finally turned green, I eased into a left hand turn, and drove slowly to the light a block away. Crazy lady (yes, it was a female) followed me. My whole body tensed as I waited for her to smack into me.

I sighed in relief when she didn’t ram my car. The light turned green, I went straight and she peeled off to the right. I relaxed. She was someone else’s problem now.

I already walk facing traffic, but now I watch anything coming at me from any direction. Once you see a driver bouncing around the street like I did, ain’t no way I’m not watching any vehicle around.

You might want to do the same.