Random Thoughts Friday #17

The following is not so much a random thought as it is a random rant.  What started out 4 years ago as an oddity grew into an irritation and has matured into a pet peeve, which almost always requires the involvement of a rant. A verbal spewing, if you will.  This is my spewage, and this is your chance to leave or be spewed upon.

Okay, you’ve had your fair warning, and you can’t ask more than that before 10 o’clock in the morning when it really isn’t a good idea for me to interact with anyone before 10 am – caffeinated or otherwise.

Drivers in west Tennessee annoy the crap out of me, especially in the morning.  West Tennessee drivers do not know the meaning of gradually when it comes to increasing or decreasing speed. Heading into town from my house, the speed drops from 55 mph to 30 mph (which reminds me of another annoying conversation that I had with a police officer – they can be so technical *eye roll*), drivers slam on their breaks at the “Reduced Speed Ahead” sign, going from 55 to 30 in less than a millisecond  instead of just taking their foot off the accelerator and slowing down gradually. This requires all the vehicles following to slam on their breaks resulting in a lot of screeching tires and a near pile-up.  When traveling home, the drivers wait, literally, – absolutely no exaggeration here, seriously – until the tip of their vehicle is perfectly parallel with the increased speed limit sign and then they cram down on the gas pedal as if they are the pilot of a 474 preparing for take off. To everyone else, the vehicle instantaneous acceleration resembles the launching of the space shuttle, dust and exhaust included. (West Tennesseans don’t like to take care of their truck’s oil problems. I think they think it looks cool to have all that black smoke pour out the tailpipe. Red necks. *eye roll*).

I’m not sure if taking off like a bat out of hell is an unwritten rule, taught in Driver’s Ed or actually written in the TN Driver’s handbook, but almost everyone participates in this ritual.  I just shake my head when this happens. Is such drasticness needed?  I wonder if they are aware that they look idiotic (Is that too judgmental? It is before 10 am).

Is this normal?  Is this how people drive in other states?  I was taught to take my foot off the accelerator and gradually slow down and meet the reduced speed requirements and, when there was an increase in the speed limit, the driver should gradually increase speed when the sign for the increased speed zone was visible. I could be completely wrong about this, and it wouldn’t surprise me considering I was taught a ton of stuff that ended up being incorrect (see this post).  Is it not acceptable to law enforcement for people to gradually increase their speed between the signs?

I don’t know. I’m going to lie down now.

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