My Experience on the 191 Motor Speedway
There I was on Wednesday afternoon, cruising down Highway 191 between Midland and Odessa. I was listening to a podcast, thinking about all of the stuff on my schedule, and was generally content with life at that moment.
Out of nowhere, a giant pickup truck sped by me in the passing lane. Now, I understand that the passing lane is for passing, but I was going about 77 MPH, and this guy was easily doing 87. But that's not all. Only ten feet behind him was another vehicle going just as fast. And ten feet behind that? Yet another car going way over the speed limit. As I drove to the top of an overpass, I saw hundreds of cars barreling down 191, speeding and swerving, trying to reach some unknown-to-me destination.
We've all heard the complaints. We've all done some of the complaining. I'm going to try to put this into words that might make sense, and will hopefully make a difference to at least one person.
There are people who say that they are good enough at handling a vehicle that they can take a few liberties behind the wheel. Whether in sunshine, rain, or ice, these road warriors sit behind the wheel with the pedal to the metal, their steering wheel rarely still, and their cell phone captivating their attention. It's the attitude of "I've got this."
No. No, you don't. That's why they are called accidents. Nobody planned for them to happen. People start their commute thinking it will be yet another uneventful drive to work. If they knew that some heavy-footed genius would be whipping a heavy vehicle in and out of traffic with no regard for their own well-being, they wouldn't leave the house. But, speed demons, it's not just about your well-being.
I have a wife. I love her so dearly. I'm sure to tell her that ever morning before I leave the house. I generally assume that, at the end of our long days, we will see each other, talk about our day, crawl into bed together, and sleep next to each other. I can barely sleep when she's out of town. I can't imagine trying to sleep without her for the rest of my life. And, in the other viewpoint, I would never wish such grief upon her. Neither of us should even have to think about that, much less on a daily basis.
I don't care how late you are. I don't care where you are going. I don't care how your day was. Driving on 191 yesterday, I was scared. Truly scared. After living in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex for several years, and after traveling to just about every major city in the U.S., I can honestly say that I have never been more scared on the road than I was yesterday. Don't take me away from my wife. Don't take me away from my friends. Don't take me away from my family, the theater, the radio, or anything else. I speak for all of the safe drivers out there when I plead with you...please don't scare us anymore.