Last week some friends were in a head-on collision.
Someone crossed the double yellow line to pass the mail truck. Bam.
Both cars were totaled, but everyone involved walked away uninjured except for one broken toe.
Our friend who was driving said, “She was passing the mail truck, and all I could think was, ‘She’s going to hit us.'”
Brooke and I were driving along that same stretch of road yesterday afternoon.
The car in front of us, a black VW bug with NY license plates “MY VW”, was swerving all over the place. Almost in the ditch and then back across the double yellow.
He was talking on his cell phone.
In the three miles we followed him, he nearly took out three other cars coming the opposite way, a live horror show of near misses.
As we approached the stop sign at the bottom of the hill, I thought about trying to get out of the car, run up to him, grab his cell phone and smash it on the ground. Maybe throw it down the road as far as I could. Then punch him in the face. (I was having a bad day anyway.)
But he ran the stop sign and was gone.
This is not so much about Mr. MY VW man, or Mrs. Too-in-a-rush-to-wait-for-the-mail-truck woman.
It’s not about saying “be careful, they’re out there.” Well, maybe it’s a little about that. But on some roads faced with an asshole coming across the double yellow, there’s just not much you can do, no matter how careful.
This is about resisting the temptation to be that asshole.
Slow down. What are you really going to do with those extra five minutes it’s going to take you to get there?
Hang up and drive. If you’re so important that your phone calls can’t wait until you’re out of the car, get a goddamn chauffeur. Can’t afford a chauffeur? Then you’re probably not as important as you think you are.
And for god-sake, don’t pass on a double-yellow. I see plenty of that around here, too.
It’s not about you. If you do these things and die, you got what you deserved. It’s about the people you’re going to take out with you.
Just. Don’t. Do. It.