White Line Fever

“Turn signals are a sign of weakness”
– Jenni Beigh MacDonald

This famous quote by one of my esteemed colleagues tells it all for a seasoned big city driver. I tend to be conservative when it comes to the roadways in spite of the fact that I participate in some higher risk sports. However, behind the wheel of an automobile, I tend to be very careful. I am a right lane hugger in most cities. Even though I have driven in most of the major cities in this country many times, I tend to rely on the I-Phone directions and conservatively ride the right lane. img_1137

Let’s start with the east coast. Boston- forget about it. Definitely the country’s most aggressive drivers. Storrow Drive is like the Twilight Zone. Moving to the NYC Metro areas and New Jersey- my knuckles start to get white by gripping the steering wheel as I arrive in the vicinity of the Garden State. I tell my sister, who lives in New Jersey, that they are not good enough to drive that fast. No wonder there are 26 car pileups on 76 East. I leave three car spaces between me and the guy in front of me. But in NYC or NJ, those drivers wedge their way in front of me like I left the space for them? This leaves 2 inches of space between cars and if anyone hits the brakes, big pileup. img_1134 The L.I.E- fuggheddabaddit.

Atlanta- they drive like it is NASCAR. Weaving in and out like their hero Dale Earnhart and leaving me helpless in the slow lane. Plus you have the transplants- New Yorkers pretending to be from Atlanta. Chicago- way too much traffic and construction. You get worn out just driving around. Bumper to bumper and construction everywhere. Denver in the winter on I-70 is either a parking lot or a blinding snow storm right in front of the Eisenhower Tunnel. One time last year- it was a white out and as I sat there, the heater brought in fumes from the cars in front of me relative to the new laws in Colorado. Hey- traffic? Light one up for the team. img_1136

Then we move to LA. Tons of traffic and no regard for the speed limit whatsoever. 6 lanes of traffic on either side of the highway and a half hour to Laguna Beach becomes an hour and a half before 10:00 am after 3:00 PM. If you want to see something nice, you have to pay the price.San Francisco- I am terrified of the Bay Bridge and either I talk myself over the hump to Oakland, or I drive 19 miles to the south to take the more civil San Mateo Bridge. I find that the older I get the more acrophobic and claustrophobic I become as I try to keep it between the white lines on those amazingly high bridges and guide my way in the right lane of a tunnel praying for the other end to come and not to bounce off the walls. Ridiculous.

I do have some shortcomings as a driver. My wife and son claim that the more I talk,the slower I drive. It drives them crazy but I make my point when showing them sites of interest along the way. I engage in a conversation and the foot in perfect harmony backs away from the accelerator.

It is a good thing I have four wheel drive because I tend to drive even more conservatively in the winter. I will venture out of the comfort zone to pass a stuck driver on a hill or venture over the snow hump between lanes but again, tend to drive slowly in the right lane and let the crazies fly by me. I see them later stuck in the berms or sideways in the road, and I always point out the folly of their way to my family as they raise their eyes in ridicule.

My friend Norm from Chicago will not let me drive. He gets too frustrated but I hit the imaginary brake frantically when he drives as he looks at me over the top of his glasses, explaining something to me in a rain storm driving 90 MPH on the I-55. Scary!!!

So, you probably would not relish a road trip with me because it may take longer to get to the destination. However, I have a good safety record and you could probably sleep with me at the wheel and feel ok. Jenni, Norm, and others-I would sleep with one eye open. My opinion- drive safely and arrive alive. Thanks for reading.

4 thoughts on “White Line Fever

  1. Janet says:

    You are definitely Better safe than sorry ! 👍

  2. gwynne morgan says:

    Hysterical, accurate & timely as America heads to the road for the holidays.

  3. Dan Ros says:

    Thinking about drivers and driving philosophies is almost as frustrating as politics and religion. Everyone has their own opinion somehow even though there are clearly stated laws. I actually enjoy driving. Getting behind the wheel for the first time by my self is something I will never forget. I also loved my first car which added to the excitement. I like to think of myself as a hybrid between conservative and crazy when I drive. Age and family have brought me closer to the middle from the nearing far crazy side of spectrum. There have been quite a few times an angel or luck or BOTH have been on my side. However, my only accident (lost my first car 😦 ) was due to lack of sleep.

    Long story short, I feel that I am an above average driver (if I know where I am going). I will take my time if I have it, but truth be told, if I need to be somewhere or am excited to get somewhere, I will most certainly be in the left lane constantly reviewing the risk/reward of the total citation amount vs. time saved.

    On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 8:10 AM, chroniclesofmccloskey wrote:

    > patmccloskey posted: “”Turn signals are a sign of weakness” – Jenni Beigh > MacDonald This famous quote by one of my esteemed colleagues tells it all > for a seasoned big city driver. I tend to be conservative when it comes to > the roadways in spite of the fact that I particip” >

  4. LindaV. says:

    I just try to go with the flow, but waiting to go through the squirrel hill in Pittsburgh on the way to airport in time for a departure is another story.
    There’s talk of a commuter flight again from the Latrobe airport and I’m all for it.

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