Sunday, May 27, 2007

Don't Be a Jerk

I get to do a lot of commuting from Sandy to Utah County these days, and so I see a wide variety of driving skills. One day, as I was leaving Verite and turning left onto 500 West in Sandy, to get on I-15, I could see a car waaaaaaay down the road coming toward me to the left. I had plenty of time, so I pulled out at normal speed. As I stepped on the gas, I noticed the oncoming car was rapidly picking up speed, and even veering a little bit toward me. I barely got into the lane without him hitting me, and my estimate is that he was going 55-60 MPH as he barely missed my bumper. Soon after I narrowly missed being killed, I reflected on the following points:

1. This guy was trying to teach me a "lesson" for what he considered an egregious offense (pulling out 100 yards in front of him.)

2. He was willing to risk actually killing a complete stranger (me) or seriously injuring me to teach me said "lesson."

Why do people turn into hyper-agressive jerks with no patience and murderous tendencies when they get into their cars? Why is it seen as an affront to your masculinity or pride to let someone turn in front of you, no matter how far away you are from them or how much time you leave them to drive by? Why is it that when you're in the fast (left) lane, and someone tries to pass you on the right, because you didn't obey the law and get over, that you speed up to not let them pass? In the past, I've been cruising along on the freeway at 75 MPH behind a guy in the left lane for 10 minutes, and then when I give up on him getting over (did I mention it's the law to keep right except to pass?) and get over to the right to pass him, he speeds up to 90 MPH? (this actually happened— I wanted to see how fast I would have to go to pass him)

I am open to suggestions. I am in no way suggesting that I never do jerky things. I like to go fast. I hate it when people slow me down. That is all. Don't be a jerk.