Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Some things I have seen while traveling

Everyone has Road Stories, but when you drive as much as I have lately, they get compressed enough to get your attention.

My driving record is, as they say,,, colorful.

For the sake of honesty, I was an idiot. Speed filled a need, and my legal paper work would have covered a fair sized wall. Years later I tried to get a print out for my background investigation, and the officer at the PD was laughing at me by the time he got several pages into the PIN check. I used to race sports cars, I have driven firetrucks and ambulances, crash trucks, road tractors and furniture trucks.

However, some things I won't even try.

Frinstance,,,, 0230 on I495 South, I in my Mobile Survival Facility (13K lbs) traveling at 65, look ahead to see brake lights. No problem, then I see back up lights, as I get near enough I realise they are in the travel lane!


I have a car sitting in the left lane somewhere way too close to the rear of my trailer. At this point I have no choice but to change lanes quickly. As I cleared the back of the box truck I looked back to see the car sitting, stopped, in the left lane. Having a word with the truck driver, or just getting over the shakes. I'll never know.

1000 hours on I40 West, I'm cruising at about seventy mph. I am about to be passed by an over developed and under dressed young woman. So, I naturally look to my left, and see a pair of very long legs, one of which is propped on the seat. That, friends, is too far from the brake pedal. She is doing something a little less than 80 mph, in traffic, reading a book. I would bet any advice about proper driving technique would get you a dramatic eye-roll, a "duh" and something about I haven't hit anything yet. The last time I saw her, she was weaving her way down the road, look down and read, look up and drive. I hope she made it home alive.

There are the blind spot riders, those people who stop passing you in the little place where they can't be seen in the mirrors. People the rule is " if you can't see my EYES, I can't see you"! Not the mirrors, my EYE'S! Even if you can see them, if I have to take evasive action to avoid my immediate demise, and you are sitting there in my blind spot, you will be most unhappy with the result. I have wide angle mirrors and I ensure there is over lap, but you need to be some where else! Nothing says I will have time or the ability to avoid you or the real emergency at the same instant!

The story (confession) related to me by a neighbor is something I wish I could have seen. He and his wife travel together. They drive a crew cab, dually, pickup and pull a 35ft fifth wheel camper, and a car. That land train must be close to seventy feet long! He said he gets 8 mpg loaded! He also said he can get up to about 85 mph! A while back they were on the Interstate doing about 70 mph when the right side wheel came off the car carrier. He didn't even notice! They were trailing sparks like a Shuttle launch and the only reason they knew something was wrong, a driver pulled along side freakin' and pointing and waving fit to dislocate an arm. They pulled over just as another driver pulled up with the errant wheel. Now that's funny, I don't care where you are.

That's just a few of the little entertainments the driving public arranges for the guy in the slow lane, some of them are down right dangerous!

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