August 12, 2004

Driving me mad...

I don't know if it's the fact that my daily commute is 2+ hours, or that part of it includes the worst freeway bottleneck in the nation, or that I'm just getting more paranoid as a daddy.... But I've been bitchin' a lot about drivers and their vehicles lately.

My wife, kid and I have driven the 800 some-odd miles back to our home town of El Paso several times since moving to 'trafficopolis' five years ago. On our last drive back she and I both noticed a disturbing trend-- DVD video screens within the DRIVER's view. Now, I can personally attest to the vast nothingness that spans the horizon during a 17-hour drive on I-10. I actually enjoy some of that 'nothingness' after staring at miles of tail-lights in LA every day. Regardless, what's the one thing we've all heard for as long as there's been cars? Say it with me-- "Keep your eyes on the road."

USA Today: "This year, 33 states have considered 83 bills dealing with distracted driving, Sundeen says. Though 22 of those bills focused on the use of handheld cell phones, others looked at television monitors, DVD players and other car gadgets."

They should "consider" a little faster, else court precedence absolve us of any responsibility-- Driver cleared of death crash while watching DVD.

As for all the recent gripes about SUV's, LA traffic, fuel consumption, tax breaks for WMDs (wagons of massive dimensions), driving habits, etc. Think about it-- Do you ever get as irrate with such vibrant language and gestures as you do behind the wheel? When I'm at the bank or post office, I don't start swearing a blue-streak when someone gets into the line before I do. I don't start running with my shopping cart and whip around slow-moving customers at the grocery store. Now, I'm actually pretty good about not doing that all the time in traffic. But it still happens (especially when someone takes my parking space!)

So what's up with that? Is it really about the act of driving? or is it actually about the things we can/can't control while getting where we're going? ... where we're going in our relationships, in our careers, as individuals, as a nation?

Just how much road rage is really about "something else"?

I'll ask my wife, the Psychologist to blog on this some other time.

For now, how about we just chill the hell out and not kill each other and our families with several tons of flying steel? I'd really appreciate it.

- Lito

Posted by Lito at August 12, 2004 11:33 PM