Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Portrait of an inconsiderate driver

You can't see his face, but here he is, southbound on I-75 just south of Toledo, Ohio. It's not an unusual story. The speed limit is 65 mph, which I was observing when I pulled into the left lane to pass at least one and possibly two tractor-trailers traveling close together. As is my custom, I always check my mirrors for fast-moving traffic approaching from behind, and if there are any vehicles closing in fast, I slow down and wait in the right lane behind the truck until they go by. Well, sometimes you miscalculate. This young guy was probably going at least 80 and got so close to my rear bumper that I couldn't see his headlights. I did speed up slightly to about 68 mph to get the pass completed sooner.

As you can see, he's driving a rusty old Toyota Corolla, not wearing a seat belt (typical), and holding the top of the steering wheel with one hand. Also, his seat back is so reclined that the head restraint would do no good in a rear-end crash. I guess he's going so fast though it's unlikely he'd be rear-ended at this point!

In case you are wondering, my wife took the photo from the passenger seat. And no, I wasn't holding up the traffic flow by going the speed limit. Large trucks in Ohio are limited to 55 mph on most Interstates. They may not go 55, but they do keep it under 65, the speed limit for cars. Most cars weren't going much faster than about 70 mph that evening.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One hand on the steering wheel? As a motorcyclist it’s the people who have both hands gripped on the wheel in good weather that are the most likely to run you over. Crappy car? That’s just a result of being young and poor. Driving above “the legal speed limit”. The autobahn had no speed limits in many sections and the lowest deaths per mile driven. Poor seatback position and lack of seatbelt I agree 100% with you. But when a person is young and immortal…..