At the drop of a hat

What is it that can make a person mad, “at the drop of a hat?” I say that it is when another person makes a mistake driving or drives with no regard for anyone else on the road. Whatever the case, our anger is roused when people cannot drive. We must all be mindful of our driving because it only takes a momentary distraction to cause us to wreck. Accidents occur every single day for every reason imaginable.  So, what’s the answer? Unless we can take the human element out of driving, I do not see it getting much better. Therefore, defensive driving is an absolute must.

My wife tells me about conversations that she has had with bus drivers, concerning the many crazy acts of driving that occur on that busy piece of Rt. 10, in front of Curtis Elementary, during the crossing hours. I am quite certain that they have witnessed my wife nearly buying the farm on many occasions, due to a person’s inattention to driving through a school crossing or the desire people have to text or talk on their phone when they ought to be paying attention. I have always believed that her job is far more dangerous than my job used to be.

Is another person’s life so meaningless that you would endanger them by your poor driving? That question was focused on the sober-minded person. A person that chooses to drink alcohol or partake in some other mind-altering activity and drive should be charged with a crime. There is no excuse for a person to endanger his or her own life, nor the life of anyone else.

On the flipside, road rage helps no one. Unchecked anger on the highway will lead to even greater carnage than the actions of a thoughtless driver. Each driver must keep his or her head in the driving game 100 percent of the time. Each of us must control our anger, especially when we believe that we are justifiably mad.

Let’s make a deal. I will drive defensively each time I get behind the wheel. I will control my anger when someone else causes me to have an accident, or to nearly have an accident. I will drive with the well being of others being a primary concern. I will do everything possible to give myself plenty of time to get from where I am at to where I am going to. I will do everything possible to not allow distractions to interrupt my driving. I will not text while driving. You notice that this agreement seems to be one sided, and that’s because it is. You must be willing to do these things no matter what the other person does or does not do.

On a different note, my wife became the crossing guard at Curtis Elementary right after Rt. 10 was widened to five lanes. She stayed there until she was transferred to Chester Middle School. She then transferred to Chalkley Elementary. From there, she returned to Curtis Elementary where she has been for the last eight -10 years. After 31-plus years serving Chesterfield County, both as a full-time and part-time employee, my wife will hang up her crossing guard uniform at the end of this school year. I want to thank every bus driver, parent, daycare driver and walker that has supported my wife in a job that she has always taken very seriously. To my wife, I say well done, you are a good and faithful servant. You have cared about others far above yourself. I appreciate all that you have done to protect children and adults in what you always called your little part-time job. Take care to the end.   

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