I had to make a sudden and unexpected trip last Friday which ended up taking me from the St. Louis area all the way past Knoxville, Tennessee. Although I have made this trip before, this one was extremely taxing as well as disturbing in many respects.
In my 40 years of driving, I have probably logged millions miles on the road. Although professional truckers would call that a “good year”, it is still a lot of miles to predominantly be made in a car, van or small truck.
My troubles this trip came not from weather or high gas prices, but rather from fellow drivers. Perhaps because I am getting older by the day or due to my physical woes my tolerance level has dropped; either way, it is getting more and more difficult to drive according to the rules of the road and not get run over in the process.
Some of the questions I am left with as I unwind here tonight from this exhausting trip are:
1. Why do we have speed limits in this country? No one obeys them unless they are over 55 years old or their vehicle can’t go any faster. Where on earth could people be going at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning that necessitated them going 90-100 miles per? Somehow I don’t think it was to church.
2. What is the purpose of law enforcement if they don’t enforce the law? I personally witnessed vehicles speed past parked state police vehicles easily going 85 mph without bothering to even tap the brake and without such enforcement vehicles leaving their parking spots.
3. When was the law passed that says, the bigger the pickup or SUV, the faster it is allowed to go and never leave the passing lane? It is truly a source of great consternation to pull out on an Interstate to pass a semi and within 5 seconds a gigantic SUV going 100 mph is two inches from my rear bumper flashing its lights and honking its horn. Just what does the driver expect me to do anyway?
4. If this country is in such a horrible recession, why could I not find a parking place in the course of 30 minutes Friday Night at the Grand Ole Opry Mall in Nashville, TN? Once I did find a spot, it took me nearly 15 minutes of walking to get to an entrance. Once inside, I honestly thought the entire city of Nashville was crammed into the place. Obviously there are still plenty of people with tons of money to spend.
5. If the country is in such a horrible recession, how could the line of vehicles near Pigeon Forge, TN stretch for miles on a Saturday in JANUARY? Every attraction, shopping venue and restaurant was packed. If times are so tough, why is it that everyone seems to have plenty of money to spend, time to waste and bags of “stuff” packed in their cars?
I came to the conclusion this weekend that the so-called recession which supposedly is causing such pain and suffering is pretty much a myth. I am sure there are hurting people out there in America somewhere, but there must not be too many of them driving on Interstate 40 in Tennessee or frequenting the malls there.
When gas prices were $4 per gallon I noticed traffic did slow down on the Interstates, but now that gas is cheap again, the old habits of this country have returned as there remains no impetus to obey traffic laws. Most people who drive 85-100 mph can easily afford to pay the speeding fines and have good a good attorney who can get the points taken off their driver’s license. Furthermore, I think there is a secret agreement made for I never see any $60,000 SUV’s or luxury cars pulled over for speeding. Usually I only see older vehicles or minivans.
Thank you for allowing me to vent some vent up “road rage”. Happy trails as you try to obey the speed limits in this country while surrounded by millions who absolutely could care less how fast they are going because of their mistaken belief they are better than everyone else on the road.