A lack of direction

| 22 Sep 2022 | 10:05

    Why don’t Mr. Gallmann’s neighbors use their directional signals? Because they have lost their way.

    The American road is a perfect laboratory to test the true nature of man. Drivers are anonymous (especially with all the illegally tinted windows) and law enforcement efforts are barely noticeable nowadays. This means drivers can do whatever they want without social or legal consequences. Without consequences, many descend into a state of anarchy, like the world of Mad Max, letting loose all of their pent-up feelings of anger, impotence, and entitlement. These are the aggressive drivers that speed, tailgate slower cars, weave between lanes, pass on the right, drive on shoulders to bypass traffic, merge at the last possible moment, fail to signal, honk, yell, gesture, even shoot or ram other cars. They see other cars as obstacles to be overcome, not share the road with. They see other drivers as competitors, not as neighbors to be respected or even just tolerated. They see rules of the road as restrictions of their freedom, created to coddle the weak who should really just get off the road. They are soldiers at war on the streets, dodging enemies all around them, fighting to get ahead.

    Studies have revealed startling statistics about driving. A reported 20-40% of licensed drivers could no longer pass a permit exam, while a statistically impossible 70-90% of drivers consider their own driving skills to be above-average! There are approximately 6 million car crashes every year causing aggravating and time-consuming traffic jams, damaging property, and often resulting in injury or death. (Car crashes kill twice as many people every year as gun violence, but you wouldn’t know it from the newspaper headlines.) The most common contributors to these accidents are speeding and tailgating. If only these drivers understood (or cared) that their efforts to get ahead are causing many of the accidents that end up slowing everyone down. So are these really “accidents,” or are they crimes willfully committed by ignorant, overconfident drivers claiming the open road as their birthright?

    Many will say that the fierce independence and competition revealed on the road are the same character traits that helped make America great. But the history books tell a different story: all great civilizations developed as a result of cooperation between citizens, not everyone just looking out for themselves. Unfortunately, the aggressive drivers that need to know this probably don’t read editorials – they’re too egocentric to take an interest in the opinions of others, most of whom they probably consider to be a morons, as well as bad drivers.

    David Wexler