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    D - I have always said that when YOU earn another rank of adulthood when YOU have to make the choice to put a pet down. In younger days, it...

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I mean Really?!!

02 Feb 2011

Disclaimer:  It was a 78 year old man–emphasis on OLD–who smashed into my vehicle in April of ’09 and turned my life upside down in ways that could fill a book.  So, I’m a little–okay, A LOT biased against freakin’ old drivers AND other road hazards.

Since my accident, or whatever you want to call it when a driver recklessly and carelessly shot out into my lane of traffic without a care in the world, my wife Laurie (or any one of my kids) has had to drive me everywhere.  If I want to go to church, the mall, meetings, out to eat, and the list goes on, I sit quietly in my passenger seat as I am slowly, yet unintentionally, emasculated by the ones who love me.  But, it’s given me great opportunities to watch drivers–of all sorts.  Especially ancient ones!  And, I have a few examples why they need to face yearly driver’s exams after age 65, if not sooner.  To this day, I break out in sweats and have almost uncontrollable anger issues when I see idiots speed up to beat a red light, dart through traffic, use phones while turning and more.  I literally hyperventalate.  Trust me, it ain’t pretty.

A few observations:

Snow Birds or Bunnies or Giraffes or whatever they’re called leave here for the summer months and enjoy the territory for the winter.  Nice.  I’m down with that.  But, if you’re going to live most of your year away from Phoenix, and even if you do own property here, you must play by driver ettiquite that you hopefully used 30+ years ago.  As much as you’d like to think otherwise, you’re more of a visitor than vacationers.  S0:

  • GET OUT OF THE LEFT LANE!!  Never, never, NEVER are you allowed in there (or the HOV lane either).  You pull out of a parking lot on a three or four lane road and immediately make your way to the left lane where you then slow down to 20MPH under the speed limit.  What’s up with that?! I know you’re my elder, but I want to slap the crap out of you.  Middle lane–okay, IF you are going at least the speed limit.  Far right-hand lane–excellent almost all the time. I will get around you because you are where slow and challenged people get to drive.
  • If you dart out into traffic–prepare because you will hit someone, get hit, kill someone, get killed etc.  No one can be this stupid!  (Teenagers, pay attention because you’re almost as bad!)
  • Did the cars you owned in years gone by have turn signals?  I mean, come one–USE THEM!
  • If you want to talk to people in the car (and you’re driving), turn around, go home and use the party-line still installed there.  If you’re on the road, most of you have diminished eyesight, hearing and dexterity.  Driving should be enough.
  • A mini-van?  Really??!!  Why?
  • If you’re going to take 15 minutes to get out of a parking spot, why not park 10 rows out where no one ever goes?  A brisk walk is good for the circulation!
  • If you eat and drive–your kids need to get smacked.  Even if they’re not in the car.

Now the rest of the nutty drivers in Phoenix and the area:

  • If I see one more of you make a major turn in traffic while talking on a cell I’m going to create a brand new orifice where you may deposit it.  I counted six near-accidents today because younger (than old) people made turns with a phone glued to their ears.  How hard is it to say to your online pal, “Hold on a second, I don’t want to kill someone?”  Try it.  It’s a nice touch (And you’ll still have all the orifices God created you with when you’re done!).
  • You get in the HOV lane as a single driver and I pray for the perfect cop at the perfect time.
  • You get into the HOV or left-hand lane and drive like you’re old enough to visit a funeral home–as the guest of honor.  MOVE!!
  • What is it about parking lots that causes stupid idiots to speed and rip in and out of lanes?  Do you see the vehicles?  Ever think that perhaps a human kid or old person might be stepping from behind one?  Slow down dumb butt.  Seriously, slow down.  NASCAR is in financial trouble across several parts of the country, if you can save it then move to one of them.  Otherwise, take a breath and take your time.  Ever wonder why we have 8 story tall speed bumps that put you in direct sight of Camelback Mountain??!  The answer:  YOU!!
  • A Big Mac or Supreme Taco?  While behind the wheel?  The accident should be your fault even if a dumb driver hits you.
  • If there are multiple pumps at the gas station, will it kill ya to move to the front so others don’t have to breathe your pipes?
  • If you’re going to make out while driving, and I know what a temptation that is–truly I do–get a hotel, find a parking lot (it’s kind of a turn on actually) or find any other place than in front of me.
  • If you are from another country, drive a beat up van or truck and/or don’t understand the rules of OUR roads you may:  Go home, stay in a slow lane, learn a few words of English or stop driving.  Or, what the heck, all of the above!

Phoenix has one of the worst records for driving in the entire United States.  I’ve given a few example that “p” me off.  Feel free to add your comments to the list.  You may as well help my opinionated, angry and on-the-mark ramblings about the crazy people on our roads!

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February 2, 2011 8:08 pm Reply

I have to agree here. Full disclosure, we have had to insist that one of our parents no longer drive, and it was difficult, but sometimes you have to do what is safest for others. That said, you mentioned my pet peeve, and I have to mention: Please people, when you are driving through a PARKING lot, please realize you should SLOW DOWN! We are working on getting a handicapped mirror hanger for my 10 year old son with autism. He can walk just fine, but when we get out of a car in a parking lot, holding onto him long enough to get him into the store without him darting into the path of cars that speed through the parking lot is VERY difficult. He is impulsive and has no sense of danger. I really don’t want to have to take up a handicapped parking space. I know there are many people who are in wheel chairs and they really need those places, but hanging onto a 10 year old who is almost as tall as me is becoming increasingly difficult, and getting him into a store quickly is a MUST for his safety. Please, people, slow down. That $2 item you so desperately need at Walmart will still be there without you having to run down my child to get it. Thank you, Darrell, for letting me bring this to folks’ attention.

February 2, 2011 9:53 pm Reply

Was sad to see that you were severely injured in an accident. I listened to your show from day one and have been a listener to KTAR for 28 years. I was a commercial trucker for 40 years and I thank God I survived without any major accidents. I can only say that things are probably not going to get any better in the future. People are living in their own little worlds with I-pods and all their own personal entertainment . It’s not just elderly but the inatentive that are the dangers out there.
My step-son is with DPS and I hear about the horror stories and I’ve witnessed a lot of tragedy around this country myself. IWhen I grew up in Florrisant Mo. back in the 50′s and 60′s we didn’t have the congestion we do now.
I pray you recover completly and now that I ‘m retired I can listen to you daily! We miss you out there !!! Hope to see you back on the air soon ! Flasshk

February 4, 2011 7:53 am Reply

Spot on Darrell, however, there is only one thing I would like to point out…there is a big misconception about the left lane in this State, all over the west actually from what I can determine. I see folks go immediately for this lane when entering the freeways thinking they’re going to make better time there. There is no such lane designation as “fast” or “high speed lane,” speed limits are the same in all lanes. That is not to be confused with “slower traffic keep right.” I’ve talked with people at length about this and they actually believe that it’s OK to run as fast as you want out there, it’s simply not true. Do we do it, of course. My point is,…if you’re in the left lane doing the speed limit, or even a little above you’re not doing anything wrong or illegal. I’ve been a Driver Trainer for years, most folks need some educating on this abuse. Personally, I think our biggest problem here is a definite lack of presence of DPS on the freeways. I can count on both hands the number of times I’ve seen DPS on the Southbound 51 on the way to work in the last 7 yrs. I’ve lived here. Weekends are even worse, unbelievably high speeds when the traffic is lighter, easily approach 90 mph or better at times…..and they all think it’s OK. People just don’t take driving seriously as you point out, and unfortunately you have first hand experience at what can happen.

Still miss you horribly on KTAR, believe me, they could use you. The current lineup is kinda pitiful IMO, especially in the afternoon….wishing you a fast recovery.


@Twitter Name
February 17 2011 23:51 pm

AZ Statute 28-721 "On all roadways, a person driving a vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall drive the vehicle in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway. " Never once does the statute mention speed limits. If the normal flow of traffic is 80 mph in the left lane at 2 in the afternoon, which it is on U.S. 60, then move out of the way. Could you be pulled over for speeding doing 80 in the fast lane? Of course, but you could also be pulled over for doing 65 in the fast lane. Also, the statute mentions (on a seperate part than what I quoted) that on a two lane road, under almost all circumstances you are to drive in the right lane unless overtaking another vehicle or preparing to make a left turn. If you are just cruising for miles on end in the left lane on a two lane road, you are breaking the law.

February 4, 2011 10:18 am Reply

HAHA. I hear you all to clearly. I have found a way to reduce this to a minimum whenever I am present on the road ways. IF you seriously want to know how to reduce this problem, PM me .
You’ll get a major kick out of it.

February 11, 2011 11:41 am Reply

What, if any, consequences were given to the “driver” who so stupidly pulled out in front of you?

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