Tuesday, February 06, 2007

car chase

I watched two vehicles play a dangerous game on the freeway last night. As I drove north on US 75 a Scion entered the freeway from George Bush Turnpike. The road veers right & left due to ongoing construction and creates unusual blind spots for drivers, especially at night. The Scion didn't see the big Ford pickup traveling in the right lane and the truck had to quickly swerve into the next lane to avoid hitting the Scion.

The driver of the Ford pickup is pissed. "You sonofabitch!" He immediately speeds up, passes the Scion on the left, and cuts to the right directly in the path of the Scion. He then slows down so the Scion is riding his bumper. The driver of the Scion says, "What the hell??" and eases over one lane to the left. The Ford cuts quickly to the left in front of the Scion and slows down again. The Scion again attempts to move over and speeds up to try to get around the Ford. The Ford also accelerates and again cuts off the Scion. The Ford outweighs the Scion by at least 3000 pounds but it has enough power to more than compensate for any agility the smaller vehicle might have. I am going 65 mph and their speed is gradually increasing as they get farther and farther ahead of me. It's not yet 10 p.m. so there is still enough traffic that these two vehicles must also dodge several vehicles as they dodge one another. From Plano to McKinney is an almost straight 20-mile stretch of freeway so there is no telling how long they will play this game of russian roulette. Before I reach the city of Allen about ten minutes later the players are lost from sight.

As I watched this scene unfold I felt it could only end when one or another of the drivers was dead. It was scary. It's why I hate driving in Dallas. Some locals say there are two reasons they call LBJ Freeway a death-trap: 1) death 2) trap

Back in the 1980's the state of Texas promoted a "Drive Friendly" campaign by placing happy yellow signs along the highways and byways. You can still see a few of those old signs but they seem to be relics of a bygone era. Texas has become notorious for having worse drivers than California. It's odd how people can be so friendly in person and then turn into vicious sociopaths once they get in their car.

While the state's Drive Friendly campaign seems to have mostly given up the ghost, it still maintains a website to help people fight road rage. Go to DriveFriendly.org for tips on what you can do about aggressive driving.

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