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If you can't drive, it's not my fault

Posted: November 28, 2009 in Cars & Driving

Why is it that the majority of the time people flip you off on the road, it's after THEY'VE done something completely and utterly stupid.

Last night Jess and I were on the road home from the Kennedy Center after seeing the Nutcracker. I got a bit turned around in DC, because they sent us out the wrong exit, but I finally found I-66 which takes us to the GW Parkway, then home. The ramp from I-66 to the Parkway is just a piece of elevated highway, designed to be taken at speed. It's a VERY gradual turn, that's banked, and could easily be taken at around 80 in most cars without breaking a sweat.

Last night there was a Toyota Prius in front of us. Everything was fine until we got to that ramp, at which point he dropped down to the low 40's. I moved to the left to take a peek around him and see if there was anything in front of him that I should be worried about (debris, road damage, animal, etc) and noticed him slam on his brakes. I was following at a good distance, so I didn't even really have to take my foot off the gas. He's now down to about 35, and the brakes slam on again, this time harder. Again I was far enough back to be able to just coast and move my foot over the brake pedal, but didn't really need to use them.

By now we're in the high 20's, and I start to worry about someone rear-ending us on this high-speed ramp. We finally make it to the Parkway, and he FLOORs it, unleashing all 5 of his Briggs & Stratton horsepower (not a very green thing to do for a Prius driver). I decide that he's either drunk or texting, so decide to go around him. As we pass him, he shakes his middle finger at us frantically. I still have no clue what his problem was, unless the view out the back of that car makes everyone look like they're tailgating. As such, the incident calls for a few driving tips:

  1. If you can't drive, it's not my fault. Take lessons and remember, there's always public transportation.
  2. If you can't manage more than 35 on a ramp marked for 55, it's not my fault. Find a wet parking lot to practice in, or take lessons. Don't forget about the public transportation option.
  3. If you own a Prius and feel like everyone's tailgating you, have a friend follow you at a safe distance. If he looks like he's tailgating remember he's not, and neither were all those people you've been flipping off since you got the car. They probably think you need psychiatric help. If you just flipped off your friend, you probably do.
  4. Remember when you slam on your brakes going 35 in a 55, your action will accordion back through traffic. You could cause an accident and should probably stick to using public transportation. Road rage kills, and so might you.
  5. Also remember that flipping off someone else for your screw-up doesn't make your screw-up go away. It just means you screwed up twice.

Thanks for reading, and remember that what's going on in front of your car is always more important than what's going on behind it. Keep that finger where it belongs, and keep your foot on the gas.

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There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

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