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Opinion

Distracted drivers fail to live up to rules, standards taught back in driver’s education courses

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November 18, 2011

Driving is such a dangerous thing. This is not only because of dangerous driving conditions,
but because of dangerous drivers as well. Some people may cause their own accidents. A tire may go flat, someone may be tired or just not pay attention; things like that happen. However, when some drivers only care about themselves and where they need to go, they have no respect or consideration for any other driver on the road.

Having my own car now, I realize just how rude so many drivers can be. This is not targeted to every driver, but to a good portion. I understand that people have places to go, and may get a late start, but wouldn’t we rather get there safely? I’d rather be a little late getting somewhere than getting into an accident, or causing an accident just because I don’t care. I have seen this way too much in the past few months.

Sometimes I even get nervous driving now because I never know what is going to happen. I don’t think that some people even acknowledge the fact that there are any other drivers on the road besides themselves. I mean, they may be aware, but they sure do not act like it. I was driving back from Eau Claire one weekend, and it was a windy night, so I was going 65 mph exactly. I was in the slow lane, and I still had people on my tail trying to pass me. There was another time that this car was following me so closely that I could not see his headlights, or his license plate. That was a scary drive. I was so scared that he would ram right into me.

We all learned in driver’s education classes that we need to leave a certain number of car lengths in between cars. It seems to me that a few drivers may need to learn that lesson again. There are even times on the road when I see cars almost getting hit because another car doesn’t leave enough room to get in front of another car. I have people pass me honking and giving me dirty looks because I am not going fast enough. It is so irritating. I try to ignore it, but it just gets on my nerves the way that people do not care about anything when they are driving.

When driving, people may be trying to change lanes and just glide across rather than looking to see if anyone is behind them. Those cars that are behind that driver could get run off the road, or get into a bad accident. I’m sure we have all seen this once or twice while driving. We as a society have to start watching out for others around us on the road. Leave enough space in between you and other cars, use your turn signals when changing lanes, and just be an overall courteous driver. If we don’t start becoming more careful drivers, even more people could get hurt.

Samantha Harkness is a journalism major at UW-River Falls. She loves reading, writing and watching movies.