Being on the road every day has convinced me that the proper attitude for safety is to assume that every other driver on the road is a raving maniac. Some days, it seems nearly true. Friday was one of those days.
Maybe it has to do with some folks getting their checks early and rushing around to spend them. Maybe it has to do with some folks getting distracted, thinking about how far they need to stretch their check to survive. Some may be unable to see through the tears they’re shedding, remembering the days when they HAD a paycheck. Then again, maybe they just smoke too much wacky-weed, or are affected by the phase of the moon.
I had a lot of aggressive drivers that day, acting like they owned the road and that I was an unwelcome trespasser. There were quite a few “what-do-you-think-you’re-doing-passing-ME” drivers on the four-lane, also. They’re the ones going slower than you, so you begin passing, only to find yourself going 10 miles over the speed limit to get around them, or give up and fall back in behind them. If you do the latter, they usually slow back down to what they were doing before you began passing. I think it’s all about ego and control, but I guess only the Lord knows what goes on in their minds. These things are so common, though, that unless you chose to let them define your day, you tend to let them pass and move on to new adventures. The deliberately evil ones are out there, but sometimes, we don’t even know HOW evil until later.
And so it was yesterday after I’d turned in my time card and was in the office to ask when to come in Monday. At that time, the big boss asked me if I’d had any problems on the road that day. My reply was, “Other than the usual crazies, not really.” Then he asked about a particular location, a light bulb came on and I replied to the affirmative. When asked about it, I described it thusly:
"I was headed out a four-lane, and was in the lane to turn into the mine access road across the way. There was a “wolf-pack” of cars coming at me, but they were far enough away that I knew that I had plenty of time to safely make my turn. However, as I turned across the first lane, it appeared that one of the lead cars accelerated at a mad pace and wished to plaster itself on my rear axles. Not wishing to give them that opportunity, I accelerated and entered the access road faster than I’d ever done before. Looking in the rear-view mirror, I saw the car go speeding by with plenty of room to spare."
The boss then told me that the woman driver (I’d assumed it was a man, due to the aggressive nature of the driving) had called in and told them that I’d cut her off and that she had to slam on her brakes and stop, to keep from hitting me!
The boss, and the others in the office, seemed to buy my side, but he warned me to always be careful and err on the side of safety, because some folks seem to feel that all trucks are their enemy, and they’re out to cause the drivers and the companies any trouble that they can. And, as we all know, some folks are just looking for a reason to sue.
I told him that I had my business name on the side of my truck when I was self-employed and understood the responsibility and possible repercussions of doing so. I told him that it made the situation even MORE important to me when it was someone else’s name on there that could suffer damage from my actions. I also told him that the woman was flat-out lying, but that neither he nor I could defend against that. I mentioned that I could have somehow misjudged her individual speed in comparison with the pack and accidentally been at least partly to blame, but that still didn’t explain her saying that she’d jammed on her brakes and stopped, when she hadn’t.
I left to come home, but with a bitter taste in my mouth. How do I know if the boss really believes me, or thinks that I’d just said what I did to save my own hide? Knowing that she’s a liar, my guess is that she was hoping to cost me my job. What in the world ails people? My only guess is that the Devil has them.
These things I know. She appeared to accelerate, not slow down. There was no squealing of brakes or smoke from the tires. There was no downturn of the front of the car that you see when someone brakes suddenly, and there was no right-to-left shimmy to show that she was fighting to control a car that was pulling left or right in a desperate braking situation. Plus, I saw her shoot by in my rearview mirror. Since humans are fallible, my observations could be less than 100 percent accurate, but this I know, the woman called my boss and LIED! I can do nothing, but the Lord will deal with her. © 2015