Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Broken Road Confessionals: October 7, 2014

**There's this show on TLC. Four Weddings. It's a train wreck. If you're unfamiliar, four brides who don't know each other, get to attend each other's weddings, judge them, rate them, and the winner gets a honeymoon. I spend each episode laughing at the catty comments, horrified at the amount people spend on weddings, aghast at some of the lengths to which people go to throw a memorable party (you know, rather than focusing on the promises they are making that are supposed to be forever), and being really eternally grateful I'm done with ever planning another wedding. I cannot stop watching this show. I need help. (No, this is not a plea for my husband to delete the remaining twenty episodes from the DVR.)

**I feel a bit bad for those who spend every day fishing for attention on social media. But not enough to stroke their egos.

**Few things burrow under my skin more than those bumper stickers that admonish me to "WATCH OUT FOR MOTORCYCLES." Listen. I will give motorcycles no more or less attention than any and every other vehicle on the road in the same time and space as me. I watch them all equally. If I'm being completely transparent, it is only in small part out of concern for the safety and well-being of my fellow citizens. I'm more concerned about the safety and well-being of *me* (and any passenger I may have), the state of my almost paid off car, my pristine driving record, and my low-as-I-can-probably-hope-for auto insurance. Don't give me that look of shock. I've *seen* the way people drive. Back on point, I am not saddling myself with the responsibility of paying extra attention to motorcyclists who create lanes and spaces for themselves, like some special God given right of being on fewer than four wheels, riding like a bat out of hell, double the speed limit, without a helmet, at the expense of the other vehicles on the road. If they're not all that concerned with self-preservation, why must that burden fall on me to be extra vigilant as a result of their foolishness?

**People really will complain about anything and everything. Exactly how many times will I need to relearn this lesson?

4 with their own thoughts:

Kelly Dane Tuesday, October 14, 2014 12:53:00 PM  

I've been thinking about this post since I read it last week. I'd like to respond to the "Watch for Motorcycles" bumper stickers that infuriate you.
My husband I are riders, The volume mass of a motorbike is far less than a car or truck. Often after an accident a car driver will admit "I just didn't see them". Watch for motorcycles means look twice, be aware.
We have seen many car drivers distracted, they have cut us off, pulled out in front of us, we see them texting, reading their phone and not paying attention.
This isn't every driver, just as every motorcycle driver, isn't racing around at break neck speeds, around cars creating mayhem.
So while I can understand where you are coming from, try to understand that life you save by being aware of sharing the road with a smaller motorist will be someone's loved one.
That's all.

~**Dawn**~ Tuesday, October 14, 2014 1:26:00 PM  

Kelly: I think that is my point. I don't drive distracted. I don't touch my phone when my car is in motion, not even to make a phone call. I check and double check my mirrors for *all* vehicles and pedestrians. I don't give special preference to anyone or anything. I don't want to hit someone else because, quite frankly, I don't want the guilt or expense involved. Maybe that sounds heartless, but every single person on the road is "someone's loved one," including me. It really irks me when, especially in Florida, helmetless motorcyclists drive 80 in a 40, creating lanes where there aren't any, and cut *me* off, no signals, nothing, just weave in and out, causing me to be concerned for *my* safety. Of course there are careful motorcyclists. Sadly, where I live, where it is "motorcycle weather" 12 months out of the year, I see a *lot* more riders who don't drive carefully and responsibly than do. I wish that weren't so, just like I wish people would put their freaking phones down while they drive. But for someone who drives carefully and conscientiously, those bumper stickers really grate my nerves. We should *all* be paying attention when we drive. Period.

~**Dawn**~ Tuesday, October 14, 2014 1:49:00 PM  

Something else that really bothers me is being tailgated, which is often done by *any* sort of vehicle, of course, but when a motorcycle tailgates me -- AND I SEE THEM -- all I can think is "God help you, buddy, if I need to stop short for any reason, because you are going to hit my trunk and launch yourself into the next life." Even my careful watching isn't going to help there. I can't make the road any safer with my own common sense. It requires every driver -- car, truck, tractor trailer, bus, motorcycle, unicycle, whatever your mode of transport -- to be aware of the dangers of the vehicle they are driving. I know exactly where my blind spots are. I know what I need to do to make sure the way is clear for me. I know that large vehicles can't see me if I can't see their mirrors. And I believe every person and vehicle on the road needs to be treated with respect for my own well being. Every vehicle is a potential deadly weapon for everyone on the road, including the person driving it.

Kelly Dane Wednesday, October 15, 2014 8:42:00 AM  

I understand what you are saying, and I agree to a point. We are all responsible when we are the road. Just remember that not all motorcyclists are tailgating you, not wearing a helmet, not going 80 in a 40 nor are all car drivers like you and not playing with their phones, checking their mirrors and operating with diligence and responsibility.
That's all we can all use a gentle reminder.

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