There are a lot of things that you shouldn't do when you are angry. Probably writing about road rage would be listed among them. However, I have discovered that if I wait until I am in the proper frame of mind I would never broach the subject, particularly right here in Helena-West Helena and Phillips County.

There are a lot of things that you shouldn’t do when you are angry. Probably writing about road rage would be listed among them. However, I have discovered that if I wait until I am in the proper frame of mind I would never broach the subject, particularly right here in Helena-West Helena and Phillips County.

Seldom, if ever, a day passes that I fail to encounter a driver whose mind is everywhere but where it should be  – on the road. At one time or another, driver’s on cell phones, curling their hair and fiddling with the radio have nearly struck me. 

Don’t get me wrong; I am by no means a perfect driver. I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes. However, there is a big difference between making an honest mistake and being downright rude and inconsiderate.

Have you ever found yourself driving down Sebastian, doing the speed limit? You check your rearview mirror and there’s nothing there. You turn to watch the road ahead of you and glance back in the mirror and there is a vehicle as big as life almost sitting on your rear bumper. If you had to have slammed on your breaks they would have surely wound up in your back seat.

Never mind, there was no traffic in the passing lane in which they could have moved over to get by you they just simply had to see how close they could come without leaving a paint trail on your chrome.

Joyce and I live in a relatively quite neighborhood. Kids play basketball out in the street and youngsters of almost all ages ride their bikes up and down the roadway. Despite posted speed limits, cars roar through the area at excessive rates of speed without the least bit of thought about the lives they might be putting in danger.

I had two excellent experienced drivers teach me how to operate an automobile – my dad and my next-door mom. They both stressed defensive driving – expect the unexpected. In more simple terms it means watch out for the idiot behind the wheel of the other car.  And I do.

I can’t count the number of occasions in which exercising caution saved me from being struck by a motorist failing to stop at stop sign or red light for that matter.

Oh, don’t you just love those darlings that stop their vehicles in the middle of the road to chitchat while the traffic piles up in both directions.

Came across a new one just recently. Headed for work on Oakland, I spotted a motorist slowing his vehicle down to a complete stop on the busy roadway. I was far enough way that I had time to witness the car door open and the driver spit on the roadway. In a matter of just a few seconds, another car came barreling around the curve. If the driver had remained stopped just a few seconds longer, there would have been a nasty rear-end collision.

Even under ideal conditions, driving is a very difficult task that requires the driver’s full-time attention. School begins this week and there will hundreds of youngsters waiting at their respective bus stops. Please, please obey the traffic laws! When the flashing red lights on those yellow busses are on it means stop in all directions. There’s simply no excuse for any child to lose his or her life as the result of a driver’s irresponsibility.

When you get behind the wheel of a car, put your ego in check, turn off your cell phone and put your mind on the task on hand – getting to your destination safe and sound and without harming another innocent soul.