The competitive sport of civilian driving

From the Editor's Desk

Is it just me, or is driving a competitive sport?

Have you noticed driving down Broad Street, that the stop light at the North Catherine to South Catherine intersection has morped into the starting line for a race that ends at the next light at the Margaret Street intersection? The goal of drivers in the lane next to you is to not let you reach the end of the street before them at all costs. And if those drivers suspect you might cross over to the lane they are in, they will surpass dangerous speeds in a school zone and ram your car should you muster the courage to change lanes.

Since when did switching lanes become an extreme sport? It’s like Russian Roulette, except every chamber is loaded. I have been minding my own business more than once to look over and notice the driver in the lane beside me intently watching me with vicious eyes, snarling lips, sweat on his forehead and drool on his chin as he matched me, speeding up when necessary to ensure I stayed in my lane.

Has this become akin to racism, where the whites have their rooms and the blacks their areas to congregate? If so, who am I in this new world of driving in which lane assignments are determined by some sort of social order I have yet to understand?

The funny thing is, I wasn’t trying to pass anyone. And even more confounding is we arrived at the same destination at nearly the same time, excpet I believe I exited my car in the parking lot before him, not that I was keeping track, but that dude had my Spidey sense tingling.

I’ve noticed too that if I am pulling out of a street or business, say from Sibley onto Rugar or from McDonalds onto Route 3, vehicles in the lane I am pulling into will significantly increase their speed to ensure I don’t pull out in front of them. More than once I’ve had plenty of time to pull out but when I attempt it I notice the car in the lane I aim to enter suddenly racing toward me as if I had unknowingly enlisted in the demolition derby. This is life threatening when there are cars behind you also waiting to exit, because for some unexplained reason they feel the need to kiss your backside with their front bumper, as if our cars were soul mates unwilling to let the other go, which of course prevents me from backing up before the derby driver coming my way scores 10 points by ramming me.

Reach Editor Stephen Bartlett at stephen@denpubs.com.

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