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Driving Rant (not to be confused with Driving Rain, the Paul McCartney album...) - Kurt's Life (or lack thereof) [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kurt Onstad

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Driving Rant (not to be confused with Driving Rain, the Paul McCartney album...) [May. 27th, 2002|01:03 am]
Kurt Onstad
[Current Mood |annoyedannoyed]
[Current Music |Is That Me? - Uninvited - The Uninvited]

Let's start here. I'm not the greatest driver in the world. I'm pretty good, though. I've been in some scary circumstances not of my own doing, and successfully gotten through them. I haven't gotten into an accident since the summer I turned 17, and other than organizational stuff, like registration and things like that, I haven't gotten a ticket since high school.

So, anyways, yesterday (today if you go by waking periods), I drove down to Maire's house, and she drove the two of us to Jen's. Maire's got a learner's permit, and needs the practice. She's a little over cautious, but that's to be expected where she is right now, experience-wise. All in all, she did fine.

Then, Jen takes over the driving as we go to Irvine to see Star Wars in digital (Maire and I didn't end up seeing this and saw About a Boy instead, because we joined late and didn't use Fandango...), and Spider-Man on IMAX. Jen is a truly frightening driver. We did speeds up to 90mph, and she consistently tailgated the car in front of her. It very obviously made me uncomfortable, but she assured me that because she "kept an eye on the cars ahead in traffic," that she was perfectly safe. I'm sorry, but that's not how it works. Yes, keeping an eye on what's happening up the road beyond the car in front of you is a good idea, but that doesn't mean it's now safe to be two car lengths or less from the car in front of you at those speeds. That car in front of you may have to brake unexpectedly for its own reasons having nothing to do with traffic in front of them, and if you're that close when they do so, you're going to hit them.

At one point, a van in front of us put on their brake lights, and I reacted with a sharp intake of breath. Jen then proceeded to bitch me out for making her overreact and almost causing an accident. While I'll admit that reactions like that can make things worse, I also know that those reactions aren't the fault of the person who has them. They're involuntarily. If a passenger of mine is having those kinds of reactions, I do what I can to make them feel safer, like slowing down or putting more distance between myself and the car in front of me. Jen continued her driving exactly as she was. Now, I'm home, neck and shoulders (even down into my biceps and triceps) stiff from tension, and all of that is from being a passenger in Jen's car. Never again. I'd rather drive alone in my own car than be in the car again with Jen behind the wheel on the freeway...

Kurt
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: euphoricone
2002-05-27 09:42 am (UTC)
i have a friend who tailgates every car in front of him, no matter if the road is a freeway or backstreet... he doesnt signal, he breaks at the last second at lights, he coasts through stops, and he speeds. (he's 26)
When I've commented on his driving in the past he acknowledges that hes a poor driver, but does nothing to assuage my fears and discomfort.
I suppose I just shouldnt let him drive me anywhere.... but usually he insists... and being that i am currently sharing a car w/ my mom and brother, its often either: let him drive, or sit at home and do nothing.

Gah. Where do people learn to drive?
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[User Picture]From: self
2002-05-27 03:05 pm (UTC)
In California, they usually learn... in California.

That's actually all it takes to make a bad driver out here.
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