Driving at night is becoming difficult for me. Yes I realize I'm not old enough to worry about losing my license. However, I am fully aware of the dangers that await every on-coming car while entering a curve. And not to mention those bright street lights that are on every corner.
By 2020 it is projected that one in five drivers will be age 65 and over—and older eyes don't see as well at night. The usual visual clues—pavement markings and warning signs—are harder to see. Its not just elder drivers who need help with night vision. The average person's night vision begins to deteriorate at 40. Half of all fatalities occur at night although traffic volume is lower. According to data in Traffic Safety Facts 2000, published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the fatal crash rate for nighttime driving is three to four times that for daytime driving.
So I guess statistically I'm on the decline. Two things in life we are required to do: Die and pay taxes. My issue is driving in rain mostly. And also glare from on-coming headlights. You know the jerks who don't turn off their high beams. Or have that 4WD truck with lifter kits. here's a tip that I was taught and use quite frequently:
Focus on the white "fog line" along the right side of the road. Keep track of the high-beam birdbrain with your peripheral vision. If you allow the bright lights to ruin your night vision, it will take between four and seven seconds for it to recover. By keeping your eyes averted to the right, you'll limit the damage to your night vision.
So the newspaper article? Well let me tell you a story...
I'm driving home from seeing some friends around 10 pm one night. I normally take the side streets but decided tonight I'd take the highway. I might get home in time to see reruns of Seinfeld. Any ways, as I was approaching the highway ramps, it began to rain. Not a downpour but enough that I actually had to use those windshield wipers. I knew I forgot to replace something lat tune-up...now the windshield is all mucked up. As I got closer I saw the light was green and sped up enough to beat the light. Yes! Oh stop you're honking...I made it and you didn't, too bad so sad. Loser...
As I made my way onto the highway I noticed I was heading west instead of east. I tell you, it's bad enough these highway workers stand around all day. It's another for them to put signs up in the wrong place. I'll have to find the next exit and turn around. That exit proved to be difficult to find in the rain and they must be replacing them because I didn't see one gotdamn sign!
And drvers and their etiquette these days, nobody gives a damn. It's like I had a sign on my car...Hey look at me! I have Night Vision Driving Issues! Damn near every driver on that highway was flashing their brights at me. So naturally I imposed the defensive tactics of watching the fog line. And I'll be damned if people weren't passing me on the right too! In a damn hurry I might add...
And another thing that was annoying...people would wait until the got right next to me and honk their horn! Talk about a big distraction...it was almost as bad as the headlights. I finally found one of those unmarked exits and made a fast exit. Only to find a cop was giving me an escort. He musta read that sign all those other drivers were seeing. That was nice of because everyone was pulling over for me. Boy that sure did cut down on my travel time, let me tell you.
And when I looked again there were more cops behind me. Those boys in uniform sure know how to block off traffic too! They were blocking all the side streets and not allowing anyone in front of me. Well heck, now I had time to stop at the Quik Mart. I was getting mighty thirsty after all those idiot drivers. So since everyone was getting out of my way and those cops were escorting me, I decided I should just speed along. Heck, why not? So I upped the speed to 50 in a 35 mph zone. I was moving along at a great pace while Sammy Hagar was blaring "I can't drive 55". Well damnit Sammy you need your own escort like me dude!
Well if my luck could've gotten any better it sure went sour real fast. I got a flat tire...thats right a flat tire. nad you know that cop sure was trying his best to get that obstacle outta my path. I tell you...those boys don't get paid enough in my opinion. Well as fate would have it, the Qwik Mart was just at the next corner. So I turned in there and parked right next to the front door. And you know what? Those boys must not of had anything else better to do that night. Cos they all got out with their guns drawn. Damn for a minute I thought maybe someone was robbing the Qwik Mart. Pretty stupid of you ask me with all those cops out there and all.
I was ready to get outta the car when an officer approached me and yelled "Get Down!"...and there musta been a bee or something becaused he let lose a spray of insect killer. But damn he really should get retrained on that cos his aim is wayyyyyyy off. Got me right in the eyes! Well his buddies musta felt like I was gonna get up and open a can of whoop ass on this fella. I can get pretty mean ya know when I have too. So to protect him, they put a nice set of what they call 'cuffs' on me. Kinda tight but I'm sure that fella is counting his lucky stars tonight I left my can of whoop ass at home.
And then to top that off...oh it gets better folks...they promised me a night in a hotel with showers, food, bed and company. Man I tell you what, they must think I was the King of Spain or something. I asked them if they'd kindly get those damn signs fixed on the highway. every exit I passed was missing one. They told me they would as soon as Hell froze over...I guess they were gonna watch the weather forecast for Hell, Michigan that night. They even said I'd have a roommate that was gonna be so happy to see me. Yea...his name is Bubba. They promised he'd take real good care of me and all. I wouldn't feel lonely at all that night.
I wonder if Bubba is some kind of royalty too...