Safe Following Distance

There is none.  Really.  At least not in Jacksonville.  Because every time you try to leave enough space between you and the car in front of you that you might be able to safely stop in an emergency … somebody sees that space as a target of opportunity.

I’ve observed this phenomenon other places as well … but it seems to be particularly pronounced here.  

And it can make you more unsafe a driver than you need to be.  I hate finding myself following the car in front of me too closely because the other lane is moving more slowly and I know somebody’s going to try to dump into it given half a chance.  How do I know that?  I’ve been the one jumping into the faster-moving lane.

I often don’t understand why we drive like we do.  I try really hard to not be a jerk when I drive, but there’s something about being in control of a couple of thousand pounds of automobile that brings out the jerkiness in us all.  It seem like just getting behind the wheel makes us all king of queen of all we survey … or we just aren’t paying attention or just don’t care.

But when you’re trying to be responsible, trying not to drive like a moron, leaving proper distance … or at least SOME space, and some jerk on a phone takes all that space away with no signal of intent … well … that would tend to make anyone a jerk. 

I think the most irritating thing is when they cram into a space that really isn’t big enough.  I hate having to slam on my brakes because somebody wanted to put their car in a space that wasn’t quite big enough.  And it happens almost every day.

And that doesn’t begin to address the ones that race up in a lane they know goes away and try to force their way into the through lane.  Nothing will make me a bigger jerk than that.  I’m sorry, but the fact of your existence doesn’t mean you’re more time is any more important than mine.

The bad news is, I don’t know that it ever gets any better. The enormous trucks and SUV’s are the absolute worst.  Sometimes it seems like the bigger the truck, the jerkier the driver.  Maybe as gas gets more expensive and people are driving less, or at least less fast, in smaller cars, it won’t be as obnoxious.    

We can always hope.


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