discovery #29

i am an unsafe driver.

this is actually not a new discovery. i have known this for quite some time. every day, i do things in my car that would appall you. i eat breakfast almost every weekday morning during my commute to the medical center. i talk on my cell phone--and have been known to text message as well. i steer with my knees while putting my hair in a ponytail. i change cd's, reach into the backseat on occasion, and put on chapstick at least once daily.

i am what my defensive driving instructor calls "a distracted driver." yesterday i sat through six hours of friendly reminders that i could seriously injure myself or someone else because of the things i listed above. so, what i'm trying to figure out is: why do we do it? why do we take risks when we KNOW it is stupid?

i have a master's degree. i have worked in hospitals where people come in every day for motor vehicle collisions. i have family members and friends whose lives have been radically altered by drunk driving. i KNOW that what i'm doing is not safe. but i cannot explain why, as humans, we throw caution to the wind and ignore the signs. or really, ignore the law. is it because we say "oh, everyone does it!" is it because we get some kind of thrill by breaking the rules? i don't have the answer.

but what i do know is that i'm too old--and i know too much--to be driving like a 16 year old. i need to slow down and pay more attention when i'm behind the wheel. almost every traffic ticket or auto accident is due to something preventable; almost every one is due to "human error." the most important thing i learned from my (rather fun) defensive driving session is that being ten minutes late for work is waaaaaay better than being 45 minutes late, with a court date i had to take PTO for, and missing one of the most gorgeous days of the year sitting in a stinky classroom.

payback is a bitch.

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