Friday, September 15, 2006

Guest Perspective: Utah Driver Training Needs Improvement

Dear Wounded Mosquito guy,

I am a long-time veteran of the Utah highway system, and thought I had a pretty good grasp of the rules of the road. Then the other day on I-15, I just casually say to my wife, "Hun, you ever figure out what this big mirror-thing stuck on my windshield is for? It seems so redundant."

"That's your rear-view mirror, dear," she said.

"But what's it for?" I asked. "I've already got a little mirror on my visor here, which serves me plenty when I need to pop a zit out on the open road."

"The rear-view mirror lets you see who's driving behind you, dear," she said.

To my shock, she was right! I moved the mirror around a little bit, and suddenly I could see a big line of cars backed up behind me on the freeway. The guy right behind me seemed really mad, too!

"Wow," I said, "the traffic behind us is outrageous today!"

"That's because you're in the fast lane, dear," my wife said. "you're supposed to yield the fast lane to passing traffic."

"What!" I exclaimed. "When did they announce that?"

"Haven't you ever wondered why people are always honking and cutting you off and giving you the finger?"

"I thought it was road rage."

"Don't you read those signs that say 'Slower Traffic Stay Right'?" she asked.

"Sure, but that's so people don't drive on the left-hand side of the road. I mean, that would be straight into oncoming traffic! I'm not that stupid!"

Just then, a white Honda Accord swung by me on the right side and cut into my lane, honking his horn.

"What a jerk!" I said.

Then I noticed that my exit was about 100 yards away. But as I moved into the center lane, another guy honked at me.

"What's his deal?" I asked incredulously. This was starting to get on my nerves.

"You didn't use your turn signal, dear," said my wife.

"I'm not turning, Marge, I'm changing lanes!" Finally, score one for Big Daddy!

Finally we made it off the freeway and over to the Golden Corrall for dinner. I tried to enjoy the meal, but I had so much on my mind it was hard to concentrate on my chicken fried steak. Slowly I realized that for years I had been the unwitting victim of a woefully insufficient driver training system in Utah. A pawn! A pansy! To think! All those years, I was supposed to YIELD the left-hand lane! YIELD!

In my defense, I can't always see too well behind me. Most of the time the dualie wheels block my view. And that doesn't even account for those times I've got my boat behind me. Look, I'm doing my best here. I've already sent another letter off to the Department of Motor Vehicles, hopefully we'll get this resolved before anyone else gets out on the road unprepared. Until then, folks should just put on some music or call a friend; they shouldn't be in such a hurry. Maybe we'll get lucky and the state will raise the speed limit up to 65 or something.


A concerned driver.