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C'mon America, Drive Better: Part 2

Ellen Levitt

Posted on April 18, 2021 13:11

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Continuing on my occasional theme of bad driver behavior and its impact on our society.

America needs to improve itself a great deal, even in 2021: rampant gun violence, racism against African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and other groups; violence against women still too prevalent; Covid-19 still plaguing us. But once again, I will focus my essay on Bad Driving.

One weekday morning last week, shortly past 10 AM, I drove my car and slowed down for a yellow light. Another driver behind me honked several times, and when I stopped for the red, this driver (in a minivan) sped past me.

I don't care why this man, who was dressed as a religious man (judging by his headwear) felt the need to honk at my correct decision, nor why he felt the need to speed through a red light. I do know that he was annoying and then morphed into a lawbreaker. Fortunately, he didn't collide with any other cars or pedestrians at that moment.

Bad judgment calls; recklessness; arrogance; carelessness. Don't think to yourself "Well, we all do this, so what?" That lousy attitude leads to accidents, injuries, damages, and deaths. It leads to a continuation of bad behavior and more weak excuses.

What will it take for the typical selfish driver to stop doing this? And what will it take for the driver who is driving and texting at the same time to stop?

Last night I had an eerie dream that relates to this topic: my husband, daughters, and I, along with my cousin's son, were being driven in a for-hire car. It was nighttime and the driver wouldn't turn on his lights; angrily I reached over and turned them on. Then I realized that the driver was speeding when I glanced at the speedometer. I demanded he slow down and he didn't until I yelled at him. 

Suddenly we were at a building, and I told my husband not to pay the driver because he had been so dangerous, and had taken us to a place we didn't request. At that point, I woke up. 

The last time I wrote for The Latest about bad driving, I described the times my brother and I had been hit by cars but weren't hurt. I do know people hit by cars who were hurt. I know about people who died due to reckless drivers who caused accidents. We all do. 

I work part-time as a driving educator, and usually, once weekly I teach the New York State five-hour pre-licensing course. I speak in depth about bad driving behavior, in its various iterations. I show a 15-minute video about reckless driving and the graphic deaths and damage it can bring. Students reveal to the class how afraid they are to drive, and I focus on the ways to drive properly and safely.

I hope that I reach most of these nascent drivers; I know that as horrible gun violence can be, more people will be hurt or killed by bad driving, by preventable accidents. Take responsibility, American drivers.

Ellen Levitt

Posted on April 18, 2021 13:11

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