Column by J1 Reporter Maddie Adam
My drive to school each day is filled with the same headache. It takes me about 30 minutes on a good day to reach Marian from West Omaha. Of course, my parents don’t like the idea of me driving on the interstate. This leads to the daily occurrence of the person in front of me going 20 mph under the speed limit on a one-lane road. So, I try my best to keep my distance just in case they decide to stop (because you know they’re going to stop). Meanwhile, the white monster truck behind me with the custom headlights wants to go 20 mph over the speed limit and has been tailgating me for the past five minutes.
If it is not snowing, icy, or raining, you need to be driving the speed limit because your inability to move with traffic is an inconvenience to those around you.
There is a difference between driving unnecessarily slow and being cautious. If you’re driving 30 mph on a road, you’re going slow enough to see the speed limit sign says 45. If you can see the line of cars behind you in the rearview mirror, and no one is in front of you, be aware that you are the problem. One lane roads have become a major issue because I get caught behind one of these drivers every single time.
No, I’m not impressed by that custom truck either. Also, my condolences for your midlife crisis. I’m even more unimpressed when I’m being tailgated by this said truck when I’m already going over the speed limit. You could be driving 30 mph over the speed limit and they would still not be happy. While driving in snow, sleet, or hail, this tailgater does not have sympathy for your cautious driving behavior.
As a teenager, driving in the winter is a scary experience already, so when there is someone driving close enough to hit me if I had to brake, I’m scared for my own safety. I purposely refuse to drive faster when I come across a speeding driver — why should I endanger myself because you left your house too late to get to work on time?
According to 2019 data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 29 percent of all accidents come from rear end collisions. No surprise here, as the friendly neighborhood tailgater will wait until the last moment to brake.
Why? To intimidate me? I’ve had my license since March. The first car I learned to drive was one of those big monster trucks. I’m not the one causing the accidents. If everyone drove like a teenage girl, the roads would be a much safer place. In my opinion, the teenage girl level of awareness makes us the most responsible drivers. That awareness, of course, can be identified as my mom telling me I only get one car, and if I crash it, she will have to drive me to school.
Safe driving is not speeding and tailgating to get to where you want to go. It is not going extremely slow either. It all points to how responsible you are as a person. Leave on time, learn how to move with the flow of traffic. Don’t be an inconvenience, and don’t pretend like a responsible driver is an inconvenience to you.