Monday, September 07, 2015

September Driver Aggression

Big G sent me an email last week to alert me to a bully in a pickup truck on a road we both use for the morning commute. The driver had apparently pulled up beside George and matched his speed, squeezing over to the right even though there was no oncoming traffic.

Every year I report on September's increase in motorist meanness. I'd noticed precursors in late August, but only increasing speed and slightly closer passing. As with the retraining period every March or April, you just have to get through it. Late September and October bring early dusk, with its own set of hazards, whereas the spring session usually gives way to the broader minds and expansive daylight of the warm season.

Duly warned, I put the camera on my helmet for my first commute of the week. I shot a bunch of completely unremarkable videos I erased when I got home. Each day I mounted the camera and captured nothing exciting. I'm not disappointed. Yes, drivers seemed to go faster and pass tighter, but not in a way that had much visual impact.

Earlier this summer I did get brushed back by a hearse. I wondered if he was trying to drum up business. Or maybe the refrigeration had gone out at the funeral home and they really wanted to get that corpse out of their car and into the ground.

I hear a lot of revving around the neighborhood. In the twilight of internal combustion, hot rodding has lost none of its popularity. The local rods seem to know me. I do my thing, they do theirs. I continue to believe that the world would be a better place if more people did my thing and fewer people did theirs, but I gave up on changing the course of history a long time ago. Whatever's going to happen happens. Evolution observes.

Big G claimed another prize observation on his next ride to work. He came around a bend to find himself face to face with a runner proceeding lawfully and correctly against the flow of vehicle traffic. But the runner was being overtaken by a bicycle rider also proceeding against the flow of vehicle traffic. As George pulled out to avoid the oncoming pedestrian and wheeled pedestrian, he heard a clashing downshift and roaring engine as a woman in a BMW convertible punched her way through. Everyone was lined up at once, basically filling the roadway from ditch to ditch. Fortunately, no motorist appeared from the opposite direction.

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