Currently, for at least twice a week my eldest son has to get up an hour earlier than his siblings so he can get to band practice. Sometimes he drags his butt out of bed at the last minute and rushes off to school. Like most others who are late, he’s in a bit of a panic. He’s only thinking about his arrival deadline and hopes he won’t be late and if he is, hopes his teacher won’t penalize him for his tardiness. Do you ever have the same feelings when you’re on your way to work in the morning?
I remind him that being 3 minutes late and 10 minutes late have basically the same penalty. The stress he and others put on themselves to rush to their morning destination can affect more people than themselves. While he’s running to school, he may bump into other people as he weaves in and out to get there on time and I know he’ll forget things. I often see the similarities between his actions and the actions of morning commuters. Have you?
The other morning while I was on my way to my office I had a tailgater. It didn’t seem to matter what I did, they were riding my bumper. Since I was on a road that had a single lane in each direction, there wasn’t another lane for me to pull into to let them pass, nor was there any place to move into to let them pass. The only thing I could do was increase my following distance from the driver ahead of me, check my mirror more often and look well ahead to anticipate any traffic slowdowns so I could respond early. I didn’t want to get into a rear crash because the driver behind was in a hurry. Their lateness affects my life too.
Once I got onto another road, the driver behind passed me and began tailgating another vehicle; which was a loaded school bus. There are many issues here. First; because of the size of the back of the bus, the driver couldn’t see what was ahead of them, including the color of the traffic lights. Second and more importantly; if the driver of the school bus had to stop suddenly, the driver driving behind the school bus would rear end the bus and possibly injure some of the kids on the bus. What would possess someone to tailgate a school bus?
Respecting other drivers, their passengers and the vehicles on the road is a problem on today’s roads. It’s not being done as often as it should. Being in a hurry seems to be the problem of many morning commuters. A few solutions may help; leave sooner so you won’t feel so stressed and take unnecessary risks. Use logic when you’re approaching a red light and begin to slow early. It’s only a red light, so what’s your hurry? Keep a good following distance while in traffic to allow you enough time to see the brake lights of the driver ahead, time to move to the brake pedal and time to stop. A rear crash will only delay you longer, plus it will empty your wallet. Why tailgate if you have more to lose than gain?