I admit I consider myself a pretty good driver. If it wasn't for the state of New Hampshire I would have no driving citations other then one involving an accident 25 years ago. Not bad for being a licensed driver for 30 plus years now. In my recent rebirth as a constant pedestrian and as someone who lives and works in busy, thickly settled areas I've noticed overall driving skills and adherence to written and unwritten rules of the road have waned quite a bit over recent years. I'd say the #1 culprit is cellphones as it's impossible to pay attention 100% to the world around you while in conversation. Impossible. Other mitigating factors could be the number of drivers who learned the rules of the road in a city, state or even country different from Massachusetts, USA. Finally I think a lot of unwritten rules simply aren't passed on as much to newer drivers as they were when I was tutored by my mom and the drivers ed folk. These are just a few recent observations
- For many the concept of "pedestrian crossing" is less a law then a target to aim for
- In busy city blocks drivers and pedestrians often get the green light/walk signal simultaneous so cars turning left or right still need to give right of way to the pedestrian. So pay the f*#k attention and lay off your horn you ignorant tool!
- That many drivers no longer understand the etiquette of funeral processions. Twice recently I'm been in funeral processions only to have other drivers cutting in and out of the procession of blowing right through where the funeral director had traffic stopped to allow the funeral to pass. This is something my parents taught me was very important as it is the respectful thing to do if not an outright law
- That people are often so wrapped up in other things during inclement weather they drive through large puddles and slushy snow at full speed regardless of soaking pedestrians on the sidewalk, bus stops or standing in front of schools
- That people can drive cars that will save the environment and tattoo their cars with stickers telling us all the things they support from far off countries to animals rights yet still treat pedestrians in their own backyards like cannon fodder because of distractions or their hurry to get to where they are going
I've been guilty of some of these transgressions myself but have become a more attentive driver since becoming more of a pedestrian. I put most of the onus on talking on the phone while driving. You will never, ever convince me this should not be highly illegal. I don't and won't do it (I have done speaker phone and Bluetooth before but usually just wait until I've stopped) Multitasking while driving is a dumb concept as simply driving deserves you full attention. In my opinion any moving violation fine or accident caused by a person driving while on the phone the penalty would be doubled or more. All I'm really asking is pay attention people! My life may depend upon it