Monday, September 21, 2015

My Texas Alphabet: D for Driving

The idea for this alphabet post series comes from ' The Alphabet of My Emigration' by Dee Dorota L., member of The Polish Ladies Abroad Club, who has relocated to England.
I have also decided to join the project and write about My Texas Alphabet twice a week.

The area we live in is part of North Texas metroplex (I will write more about it when we get to the letter M) - numerous, contiguous cities. Practically, since they are all connected, they make one huge metropolitan complex. It means frequent, sometimes quite long, drives to get to various places, due to various life matters. What is more, the low (one, two or three-storey) infrastructure of all local cities (besides the largest ones) makes them really stretched and large. On top of this, the public transport system is not developed here in a way as it is in Europe. In many places simply there is no such a thing at all. That is why having a car is a necessity here.

What I have observed: hardly anybody walks in Texas. Some people do it as a kind of sport/health activity, instead of jogging, but not too many. Most people drive everywhere. We used to know young persons who drove their cars also to check their mailbox (a three-minute walk).
Anyway, what I want to share in this post, is my remarks on the very frequent and extremely bad driving I have observed while on the local roads.
  • A lot of people drive if there were no traffic rules at all or, if they were the only person/vehicle on the road. I have seen examples of breaking several rules of the road and dangerous driving such as: forcing the right of way (really often), zigzag driving (not staying in one lane), driving straight-across the highway from one external lane to the other (very common on four lane roads), turning without using an indicator or turning left despite having the right turn indicator on. Some drivers tend to block the roads - they do not react to the light change (do they text or contemplate any higher ideas?). Some tend to use the lane for (eg) right turn only, go straight ahead and at the very spot when they should do the right turn, they suddenly jump left onto the left lane (despite the cars on the left lane of course), and keep on driving straight on. I am not sure whether they think it makes them drive more quickly, but certainly more dangerous. I guess, some guys drive despite not having a license or maybe, they tend to forget all the traffic rules on the day they get one.
  • Texting and using electronic devices while driving is another common problem. No wonder so many wrecks happen so often.

In Poland, it is very difficult to pass a driving (license) test. Many people take such exam even twelve times or more. As a result of it, some get discouraged and quit (do not get a driving license). Police random road controls are quite common - they check the cars - lights and so on - papers and drivers of course. It happens, that due to some serious traffic rules violation, a driver temporarily loses their license. As far as I know, after some time, they have to retake all the driving tests (including psychological ones) to be able to drive legally again.
In my opinion, it makes everyday driving safer as incompetent/bad drivers are removed from the road. Obviously, everybody happens to make a mistake/ mistakes, but this is not what I mean writing about 'bad' driving. Such 'style' of driving is not only dangerous to the 'stylish' driver, but to other road users too.

All in all, due to all the examples of 'bad' driving mentioned above, it is not enough that somebody drives safely and follows all the rules. What also matters is all the drivers around you, how much you are able to predict what they do, how quickly you are able to adjust to their unpredictable way of driving or an unexpected, sudden road situation change.

Talking about something else (but also connected with driving). I guess, most drivers are quite happy with low and lower gas prices. Unfortunately, such a situation has not been good for the oil business places. Hopefully, it will all get balanced sooner than later.

The lowest gas price we happened to encounter last year

Alfabet Emigracji by other bloggers, members of Polish Ladies Abroad Club: here

1 comment :

  1. And I thought you are describing driving in South Florida ;) the same is here - no one cares for traffic rules or other drivers. Once I saw guy who as driving and reading a book (it was on the steering wheel).
    In Miami there's a little bit of public transportation (no comparison with Europe though), as I don't drive I use it quite often, but partially is free, so sometimes homeless people spend their days there, due to AC inside.
    I was also thinking - if traffic rules and police were more strict and they would take driving license more often from careless drivers, maybe then American cites would invest in more reliable public transportation?