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My Take

Show concern for other drivers

Mark McGee
Posted 1/29/22

Individualism has its place in life, urging people to be more self-reliant and encouraging many to achieve personal economic success. But one area where individualism needs to be squelched for the collective good is on the roads.  

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My Take

Show concern for other drivers

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Individualism has its place in life, urging people to be more self-reliant and encouraging many to achieve personal economic success. But one area where individualism needs to be squelched for the collective good is on the roads.  

Speed limit signs have become a suggestion instead of a law. In the past it was okay to drive five miles above the posted speed limit without fear of seeing a blue light in your rear-view mirror. Now, if you dare drive the speed limit or even that extra five miles faster chances are you are going to be blown off the road by your fellow drivers.  

A Nashville radio show asked listeners how fast over the speed limit they were willing to drive and a 70 miles per hour limit was left in the dust as the vast majority of those responding were driving 15 to 20 miles over the speed limit. It isn’t just happening on highways and interstates.  

A few weeks ago, my daughter and I stopped at a red light in Green Hills in Nashville. The car behind us was going at an excessive speed and had it not been for an empty lane beside us that allowed the speeder to run the red light there would have been a horrific accident.  

Oh yeah, about those red lights. Most of us have been guilty of running through a caution light, but the number of people blatantly running red lights has increased dramatically. Having been T-boned by another driver, I am always shy at intersections and was once pulled over in Nashville for being too cautious before proceeding through a green light. 

 Another area of concern is the number of drivers who choose not to turn on their headlights after dark. And usually, the darker the car the more likely it is to be driving blind. There are lots of excuses ranging from illuminated instrument panels and LED running lights. But not only the headlights are off. The taillights aren’t working either making it dangerously easy to rear end an invisible car in front of you.  

Turn lanes are designed for one thing … to allow a driver to make a turn without blocking drivers in the next lane. Use those lanes, not the one beside the turn lane. And use your signals when making a turn or changing a lane. Your fellow drivers are not mind readers.  

Drive sober as well. When I was editor of the Times-Gazette I dreaded Monday mornings. The phone would ring off the hook with people begging me not to put their DUI arrest in the paper. I had no sympathy for them. If you are drinking give someone else your keys.  

My driving record is not very impressive, but none of my accidents have been my fault. A friend of mine calls my car “the target”. I should have had frequent collision points at David Brown’s Body Shop. I am on the road a lot.  

I am in individualist in most areas of my life. But I urge all of us to think about the collective good of being concerned about the drivers around us.  

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