Why Drivers are the Problem

“I’ll fix you Mommy”

My daughter is turning three this month and sometimes she says the most touching things. She may not know the context of everything she speaks, but at her age it’s honest, poignant and has me hooked with every precious word.

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Last week, my wife broke her arm getting caught in a groove cycling up a driveway. This meant more of the driving responsibilities for CV Jr. were going to fall into my hands. No pun intended.

Getting off your bike a little here and there gives so some perspective. There is so much angst from some drivers, that it can really turn you off as a cyclist.

I didn’t do a lot of driving, but enough to open my eyes to the real core of the problem: drivers are the biggest threat to everyone, even other drivers.


It’s impossible to take a short trip without identifying at least one driver that threatens your personal safety.

If you came across one drunk driver, that would be enough to anger you, but encountering dozens of people on a fifteen minute ride who are either texting, tailgating, speeding or flat out driving like maniacs should signal we have an epidemic, but only tragedy signals change.

In my one week driving extended milage(a whole 55 miles), here is my scorecard:

  • Car length tailgated while going 5mph over the speed limit: 4
  • Times honked at while parallel parking: 3
  • Times honked at while stopping to turn while people are crossing the sidewalk: 2
  • Number of times cutoff: 3
  • Number of people texting or talking on the phone: I stopped around 50

This is quite a high toll for someone to bear as a law abiding driver. Share these numbers with your friends and I’m sure it’s not going to be a shock. This is the norm.

My head shaking reaction is that most of these transgressions would have saved the offenders a few seconds at most if I was never there? You follow the rules and still face the ire from the others you’re supposed to “share the road” with.

My friend getting rear ended earlier this year
Of course, even when you’re correctly following traffic laws, cyclists face more exponential level of anger from drivers.

There have been a number of times I’ve been tailgated, buzzed and yelled at for doing nothing less than biking exactly how the law suggests. Is a few seconds worth threatening a human life?

We would throw someone in jail for shooting off warning shots. Why do drivers continue to this aggression?

Because we allow it.

We need more enforcement of the law so that drivers know they will be caught. Penalties for talking on the phone should cost more than parking in a handicap. We don’t even have a license plate law in this state to discourage reckless drivers from being caught.

In order to see change, we have to demand it. Unfortunately, it only seems to come when a loved one loses a life.

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Last week, my family was goofing around when my wife received a phone call from a friend she wasn’t expecting. I could tell off the bat that something was terribly wrong, so I took CV Jr. into our bedroom to play.

Twenty minutes later, my wife came in covered with tears when my daughter asked, “What happened?”

My wife goes to the local coffee shop on weekends and you’ll always find an assembly of a close knit group of the community there. One of the regulars had been run over by a truck outside his house and succumbed to his complications a week later.

“A friend died,” my wife replied. “He was hit by a car. I’m very sad.”

That’s when my daughter told my wife she would fix her and ran out of the room. We chased her into the kitchen where she climbed up on the banquette to give my wife a tissue for her tears.

We both started crying harder, but also had to fight off the laughter brought about by the purity of the moment.

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Another life lost, another selfish reason why it’ll keep happening.

Slow me down? What’s the point of driving? No one will get anywhere!

This attitude is pervasive in society and it kills people daily.

To all the people who had to slow down to pass me, I would apologize, but it was such a brief moment in time, I doubt you would remember it.

The next time you’re late for work, because the police are cleaning up from a deadly crash that close the freeways off for hours, just think why this keeps happening. Again. And again.

And again.