Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Polite drivers

I dropped Charlotte off at daycare this morning, and so got to ride on my favorite stretch of 270. I headed for the far left lane to avoid the congestion around highway 70 (where my previous car was totaled a couple of years ago when some guy hit me from behind in stop-and-go traffic). I was cruising along in a pocket of traffic around 65mph as I approached the St. Charles Rock Road exit, when I noticed a red SUV approaching me fast from behind. He didn't slow down till he was exceedingly close behind me. Normally when someone is driving that fast in the left hand lane and tailgates me like that, I move over and allow them to tailgate the person in front of me--especially since my accident, I've come to accept that "safe driving distance" doesn't mean much to some drivers.

However, I was stuck behind another car, with two blocking the center lane, and there was no place for me to go. So I stayed put, and at first the red SUV slowed down a couple of car lengths. Then he sped up and got right up behind me again before slowing down--it's a lovely feeling to see a giant car quickly approaching in your rear view mirror, and have no where to go. He slowed down a second time, and I noticed that he was hopping lanes behind me, presumably to go around, but to no avail. I was also actively looking for a way out of my current lane, since I had just passed the Macdonnell exit and didn't have long to go before I had to get several lanes to the right.

The car in front of me finally moved, and I was able to get one lane to the right, leaving a good half mile of open highway in that all-important left hand lane. The red SUV came barrelling up his coveted lane, overtaking me as I started slowing from the 80mph I hit to change lanes. As he got right behind me (one lane over), I had a moment of panic when I saw him swerve *into* my lane--and then right back out again to keep going. I don't honestly think he missed me by much. I slowed down and made sure he stayed well ahead of me, especially since he was still lane hopping and over-correcting.

Yikes. I don't know if he was drunk, mad, rude, or just plain crazy. I am not sure, but that swerve as he passed my car had the definite feeling of a threat to me. I really hope that there was a cop waiting somewhere ahead of him, and that if he decided to swerve into something solid, that it be a sign or other inanimate object so that the only one he could hurt was himself.

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