Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Me Drive Pretty One Day

Confession: I sometimes make mistakes while driving.

How many driving mistakes am I allowed per year? I’m not talking about the kind that result in accidents. It’s the near misses. The getting honked at moments.

I commute a total of two hours daily on a five-lane highway. Making a concerted effort to drive well, I drive conservatively. Like an old lady, some might say. My goal is to get to work and home in one piece.

I stay with 5-7 miles over the “speed limit,” since it goes without saying that to drive the speed limit would actually cause wrecks as NASCAR wannabes jockeyed to get past me.

When changing lanes or turning, I engage that underused device, the turn signal.  I allow several car lengths of space between my car and the car in front of me. Before changing lanes, I check the rear and side view mirrors, then glance, sometimes twice, over my shoulder.

I plan miles ahead, especially for left turns. I don’t talk on the cell phone. Well, really, really rarely and not for long when I do. I never answer the phone or make a call in traffic. I don’t text while driving.

Further, I don’t apply makeup, change clothes, scold children, braid my hair, tidy up the car, balance my checkbook, or watch DVDs while driving. Yes, I have noted other drivers doing all of the above while in motion at highway speeds. A friend even reported she’d seen a man watching porn on his DVD player as she passed his car one night. IIICCCKK!

In parking lots, I stay in the marked lanes rather than roaring across parking spaces without looking left or right. My preferred parking spot is one I can drive through to the outside, so I can pull out rather than back up when leaving.

In spite of my generally careful ways, occasionally I make a driving gaffe. Last time it was moving from the fast lane back into the slow lane. Even after I looked in both mirrors and over my shoulder, I didn’t see the car in my blind spot and got a brisk honking from the irritated driver.

Truly, it was my bad, I was sorry and embarrassed, and I actually appreciated the honk. When I make a blunder like that, I need to know about it! The honk scares me into even more vigilance on the road. Can I really be too vigilant?

Probably not. At least I try to be a decent driver. Does that count for extra points?

How about you? Will you admit to making the occasional driving boo-boo or no-no?


  1. You sound like me - generally very cautious. My most recent error, though, was a doozy. I was lost in thought, and didn't realize that the turn lane I needed was coming up so fast. When I saw it, I hit the turn signal and my brakes at the same time ... before I looked into the side mirror or started to move over. That's when the SEMI directly behind me, blasted his air-horn at me, inspiring me to stomp on the accelerator. It scared me something fierce, and I felt like an idiot for long minutes as he continued to follow me up to the next place where I could slide over and circle back.

  2. I jump out of my skin when I get the horn, especially from a truck. Nobody's perfect, and at least you put your turn signal on! I tend to berate myself after I make a wrong move driving, but I think we all, if we're honest, have those moments. Thanks for stopping by!