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Cruising For A Bruising PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dean Flewwellin   
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 08:48


Maybe I'm warped, but I really enjoy those car chases that pop up on television news programs periodically.   You know the ones, where some nincompoop, usually a gang banger or former jail jerk, steals a vehicle and becomes a NASCAR wannabe.   These brain-challenged drivers tend to hit the super highways and Interstates as soon as possible, then put the pedal to the metal for many miles or hours.

It can make for some exciting television, and this may be the major reasoning for these dimwit-drivers, to get their fifteen minutes of so-called fame.   During their madness of weaving in and out of fast traffic, they frequently give us a performance.   Some toss things out of their window, wave, or flip a bird at the always present cop cars and overhead helicopters.   I saw one idiot screw his body around, so that he could stick his leg out of the window while driving.     A few will even use their turn signals to let everyone know which way they are going next.   I figure they are right at the point of being scared, that another idiot driver might just make a wrong move to wreck him/her - if they didn't signal.

We, who enjoy watching these daredevil demons, are similar to NASCAR fans, as we are all looking for a magnificent wreck of some kind.   Mind you, we don't really want anyone killed, just a spectacular wreck.   As a NASCAR fan since those stock cars raced on the beach and onto highway one at Daytona Beach, I can verify these feelings.

A recent car chase episode was televised from Miami, Florida, and ran through three counties (Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach), which were my former fast-driving roadways.  Interstate - 95 is normally a very heavy traffic route, both day and night, as those counties are highly populated.  But those car chase drivers already know the cops always catch them eventually.   So why try?   Guess they either want to get on TV, or it's their third strike, and they are going to serve a very long jail sentence anyway - if caught.

I used to drive a 2 am Brink's "courier run" from West Palm Beach.  I'd go west across Florida to Ft. Myers on the Gulf, then race like Hell east across "Alligator Alley" back to our office in WPB.   It was a race against time, as I had to complete my run in time to clock-in for my job as dispatcher for the U. S. Post Office Sectional Center at 3:30 pm.

One day while running later than usual, I ran into the Brink's office, and my boss approached me looking a wee bit peeved. 
"A retired New York state trooper just called and said that you had passed him on I-95 doing 100 mph," he said.  
"That's a lie,"  I emphatically told him.  
"Are you sure?" he retorted!
"Positive,"  I yelled back at him as I walked hurriedly into our swing-room to change out of my uniform.
I heard him say, "okay," off in the distance.
However, a co-worker whispered to me, "Boy, the boss sure was mad as Hell just before you got here."
"Yeah.....well," I whispered back,  "I was actually doing 125 mph."
That was the end of it, as the boss was always telling us to push to get our runs finished on time.   I was always glad to help out!

I've always been a hyperactive, fast person (walking, talking, running, reading, driving) in basically everything - except sex.   Driving fast was my favorite part of the job!   You really need to know and understand the rules of the road, love to drive, have a high degree of concentration or focus, and expect that every driver may make another one of his or her driving mistakes - in your area of danger.   The more driving experience you have, the better you will be able to recognize danger before it bites you on your butt.

But I digress.....that Florida car chase driver was speeding at 130 mph, in a small vehicle, which also made it a lot more dangerous for himself.   My Mercury has steel bars inside each door for protection.   His didn't.   Also, when you choose to drive at those excessive speeds, your degree of concentration has to be at your highest focus.   There is no room for anything else, and don't even think about turning on your car radio.   Most drivers can only handle this high pressure for a limited amount of time, and this driver only lasted about an hour.   He finally side-swiped two other vehicles, careened left across the Interstate, then bounced off a concrete barrier.   This resulted in at least two flat tires, which caused him to finally drive onto the grass to a stop.   Dazed, he tried to open his cheap little door to run, but the three hits on it had jammed it shut.   He tried to climb out his window, but the cops were on him like ants.

You know, after driving over two million miles during my lifetime, I thought I had seen most of the craziness on the highways.   However, between these new cell phone using drivers, and my moving to Louisiana eight years ago, it has been like Mardi Gras on the highways.   And driving while talking on a cell phone is not only dangerous, but emphatically stupid.   Add the new teenage and twenties drivers to the cell-phone and Tweeting era, and you have added inexperience to stupidity - which can and does equal death.
 

Authors Note*

*Many drivers were worse than "normal" when I moved to South Dakota for twenty-three years.   So thirty-one years ago, I decided that I needed to turn on my headlights during all of my daylight driving too.   So far, it seems to have worked!


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eloiselatoof@aol.com - 01-20-2010 05:43

Neat story!
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eloiselatoof@aol.com - 01-20-2010 05:43

Neat story!
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Last Updated on Saturday, 23 January 2010 21:48