Lately on the boards there have been quite a few threads about bad drivers. Quite understandable considering most of us have to deal with them everyday and there seems to be enough bad drivers to make us wonder if the mafia has called a hit in on us.
But just to change the pace for a moment I thought I’d relate a story about how a good driver saved my butt.
Good drivers are easy to overlook. You don’t think about them because they don’t cause you any reason to pay attention to them. You don’t remember the 100 drivers you shared the road with that caused you no problems, you remember the one jerk who swerved all over the place - passing you three times because he was in such a hurry and had a knack for chosing the lane that would slow down a moment after he entered it.
The key to a good driver is predictability. Being too predictable in many things would make you dull and tedious. Predictability is a career ending flaw for a mystery writer - a fatal flaw for a military strategist. But being predictable as a driver will go a long way to keeping you out of trouble. If other drivers know what you’re going to do before you do it, they can adjust for it and everyone can avoid doing the twisted metal mambo. My story is about a good predictable driver who suddenly did something unpredictable.
It was dark and I was driving down 75 South in the middle lane and got behind this other car who was moving along at a good clip. We came up on a slower car and so the car in front of me signaled and past it in the left lane. He kept good distance at all times, he made nice smooth lane changes. I have a long trip to work, so I was behind this guy for some time. He was easy to follow. He never tailgated the car in front of him, only braked when he actually had to.
Suddenly he swerved into the middle lane. No signal, no apparent reason. It was behavior that simply didn’t fit in with the careful way he had been driving. I only had a split second to decide what to do. I checked my mirror, saw the middle lane was clear and bolted into the middle lane. As I made my move I saw lying in the left lane a giant chrome bumper. The kind they use to make back in the 70’s. Fifty pounds of iron that could double as a boat anchor. It would have ripped my tires off, chewed up my underside, and probably used my muffle as a toothpick.
So following a good driver saved me from a really bad day.