We Need to Talk About Driving

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August 10, 2013 by bmcconnelluwo

Hey, Society! Yea, you with the faces.

I know we had a talk not too long ago about your sidewalk usage and, we’ll say, it being terrible but I’ve got something else I need to intervene in before it’s too late. Alright, it’s already too late but it’s better than never, I suppose so here it is.


Now, before we launch into this thing again, for the sake of full disclosure I’ll confess that I just got my big boy license a couple months ago and am somewhat late to the party. This, however, doesn’t make me an unsuitable candidate to initiate this discussion. On the contrary, I see it as me having fresher eyes to look at the state of your driving union.

I’m sort of a Red Team member for the investigation into your driving stupidity, if you will.

While there are an infinite number of things to complain about while driving—the speed someone is driving at, people texting and doing their makeup while driving, that crow that just won’t get the hell out of the way of your car, etc.—I’ll focus in on a few things that have been bothering me and you can extrapolate from there.

So we’ll start with long lines of cars waiting to make a turn or go through a bottle neck. It happens all the time—lots of traffic, one small area to travel through, and a backup of cars is inevitable, that’s fine. Such is the burden of being a human with a car—we all have to wait our turn in line.

BUT, Society, every so often one of your troops will have the bright idea that they’re going to try to butt in line. They exit their spot, zoom way up to the front and then try to push their way in front of other cars that were there before them.

That is the exact opposite of cool.

This act of blatant ass holery bothers me so much that there is no solid, liquid or Nibbler poop body (he poops dark matter, look it up) either Earthly or celestial that I will not attempt to Hulk out and move in order to ensure that this person will not get in front of me.

So, Society, to summarize, if you’re that guy, don’t be. Nobody likes that guy.

A similar act of driving ineptness comes from the same people that brought you Butt: An Asshole’s Tale only at a much faster speed—the sporadic and unnecessary lane changer.

We’ll take for example the Queensway in Ottawa. You know it, Society, it’s in your Maple District.

The Queensway at rush hour, like many other places, is a busy stretch of highway. Lots of people trying to get home from work, lots of starts and stops, lots of crappy drivers.

As you know, when you’re travelling at speeds exceeding 100 kilometres per hour, simple physics dictates that the amount of time it takes to stop is dependent on your velocity and the weight of your car. At highway speeds, stopping on a dime is impossible. Physics rocks.

I want that sign.

I want that sign.

Why, then, do some drivers in your ranks, Society, feel the need to sporadically change lanes just a few feet in front of my car and then proceed to slam on the breaks because of, oh wow, another traffic jam—there’s only been 10 of them in the last kilometre.

This causes a domino effect of break slammage that, by all common reasoning, should result in my steering wheel becoming lodged in the small of your back. I’m sure it happens all the time.

So, Society, again, please, for your own good, don’t be that guy.

We’re running out of time here so I’ll just give you one more. It’s similar to Break Slammy McGee up there but kind of the opposite problem—not enough speed.

The Ontario Driver’s Handbook—yes, I’m name dropping—dictates that one should merge onto a highway when one is travelling between 80 and 100 kilometres per hour. There’s very simple reasoning behind this, again, brought to you by our friend physics.

If a car is travelling on a freeway at 100+ kilometres per hour and a second car merges in front of them travelling a mere 50 kilometres per hour, what do you think the likelihood is that car A is going to be able to avoid slamming into car B?

I don’t know either, probably pretty low.

But one thing’s for sure—if your fear of driving on a highway and crashing terrifies you so much that you simply cannot get to the speed that everyone else is travelling at, then, ironically, that same fear is likely going to be the cause of your crashing.

Car B—you—is going to cause car A—normal driver—to either slam into you, slam on his breaks (potentially causing an accident) or swerve (again, potentially causing an accident). So, Society, the best thing to do in this case is to either A) not go onto the highway or B) drive the speed you’re supposed to and not try to defy the simple physics of velocity and stopping distance.

It’s simple arithmetic—Bill Clinton.

I’m sorry we had to have a talk like this again, S, but these things have been weighing on me for a while. It’s been years since you got your driver’s license—back when you were just 16—so I think it’s time you get help and take a refresher course.

Please, Society, for me and for drivers everywhere, LEARN HOW TO DRIVE.



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