Reliving the Past: Georgia Driving Hazards

Remember the great blog crash of 2013?

In the wake of that, I lost all of the posts from this blog. Which, in the grand scheme of things, wasn’t too devastating a loss. How many of those posts would really have been worth saving anyway?

In light of recent events however, I thought I would remind you of the Georgia driving hazards to beware of. I wrote about them back in July 2010 and recently found a screenshot of part of that post. It had me laughing. . .partly because most of it is still true.

I borrowed a friend’s car recently for a meeting with two other student leaders of this new ministry on campus. I swear, cars hate me. Actually, it’s kind of transportation in general (aka, my first experience with the METRA). We get in her Volkswagen and problem #1 is that I could not, for the life of me, find the key. There were two visible keys on her keychain and neither work. Thankfully, the two guys tagging along were finishing up a conversation, giving me enough time to realize there was a fancy key attached to the remote. A little tap on the silver button and out popped a rather odd shaped key. Disaster not quite averted, since, when I went to put the key in the ignition, I couldn’t get it to turn. Enter problem #2. All the while emphatically reminding my friends that I do know how to start a car. I knew it was bad when they both offered to try.

All of this reminded me of the good old days driving our previous 2001 Ford Sport Explorer. That poor engine. That car taught me how I react and cope with sudden, unexpected problems. Turns out, I explode mostly tears and panic. Especially when all I know to do is, through the tears, call dad who did not answer for a good 10 minutes. It did give me a new appreciation for Georgia drivers when I made people, on multiple occasions, sit through green lights as I turned the failed engine back on. They never honked at me.

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1. Watch out for those who, when stopped at a stop sign, press the brake but then must look down to find the gas pedal. When said driver looks down, foot off the brake, they are likely to drift into other lanes of traffic. Do not be alarmed, however, as the passenger (likely a father) will enthusiastically and frantically grab the wheel and correct the albeit embarrassed driver. I’m pretty sure losing the pedals under your feet isn’t that abnormal.

2. Watch out for those who don’t know how to accelerate out of turns and therefore prefer to take turns at 10 mph. This is especially true on narrow roads, turns into oncoming traffic, or intersection turns. Please wait patiently as the driver takes the sharp turns at speeds which they feel most comfortable.

3. Watch out for those who “hug the right side of the road.” If this happens to be a garbage day, watch for airborne trash, bags, and possibly trash cans. It is recommended that you stay as far from the curb as possible (also gentlemen, be gentlemen and let the ladies stay on your left side when walking on the sidewalk. This is one simple way to protect them from right-leaning drivers).

4. For those who play outside, watch out if you are playing a game that involves a ball which happens to run out into the middle of the street. There are some drivers, who in an attempt not to kill you, unsure as to whether you were warned not to chase out after the ball, will stop the car on top of your ball. The awkward gestures that follow should be ignored, as eventually the driver will slowly pull away and let you retrieve said ball.

5. Watch for those, when stopped on a hill, who are driving their father’s eco-friendly hybrid that has very little brake traction. They are likely to roll back down the hill as they awkwardly try to maneuver their feet from the brake to the gas pedal (see #1). This is especially dangerous if you feel it is necessary to ride the driver’s tail. That is not appreciated and the driver should not be held responsible for any damage done to your bumper.

6. Watch out for enthusiastic and expressive drivers, who often find themselves so engrossed in telling a story they forget to pay attention to the road. Drifting into other lanes of traffic is to be expected. Also, short stops at red lights.

7. Watch out for drivers who are more directionally challenged than most. They probably are already aware of this, or were informed by a rather cranky driving instructor who yelled at them when they had trouble following instructions and accidentally “left the driving course.” They probably didn’t even know that was possible. These drivers are often forced to resort to the notoriously unreliable directions of Siri. If swerving comes as a result of trying to plug in new directions or read a teeny-tiny iPhone map, please kindly move over.

8. Watch for drivers with fears of doing the wrong thing or getting in trouble. Don’t worry, they have worked through this with Jesus and a counselor, but their fear of policemen still should not be underestimated. Despite the fact that they are probably already going under the speed limit, there is a high probability of these drivers hitting the brakes at any sighting or mention of a cop. Also, do not be mean and exclaim to these on-edge drivers of a police behind or near them. The sudden shrill of your voice is sure to negatively affect the probably already tense situation.

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If you are anywhere with snow or ice, or only drive where people use stick-shift, all of these hazards can be disregarded as you won’t see any Georgia girl in a white vehicle anywhere on these obviously problematic roads or in difficult cars. Also, if you choose to loan your precious vehicle to these drivers, rest assured they will treat your car with more care and safety than you probably thought possible. After all, they are too afraid to go above the speed limit anyway. And chances are, all they really want to do with your car is blast worship music and go through a Starbucks drive through.

May your Monday be filled with laughter and the joy of the Lord (despite the threat of thunderstorms)!

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