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Please Stop Driving From The Passenger Seat!

Updated on April 3, 2014

Sure is a beautiful day for a drive isn't it dear?

Um...can you just let me drive?

We're all probably familiar with the term "backseat driver" but that is not my problem. I happen to have a problem with the passenger riding shotgun that doesn't have a steering wheel in front of them but seems to think they do.

The backseat in my car is either empty or has a couple of kids in it. I didn’t get to be the parent of a 12 year old boy and 8 year old girl without learning how to tune them out. Usually some food, an electronic device or the threat of driving off the nearest bridge keeps the backseat quiet.

That passenger next to me on the other hand, often makes me want to drive off the nearest bridge.

If you're not driving; don't drive!

Okay buddy, it's my turn; I'm the one behind the steering wheel, which means that I am responsible for your life for however long it takes us to get from point A to point B. So, I don’t recommend yelling, scaring me, making me cry or making me angry or you could be risking your own life. If I am driving then we can assume that I am a licensed driver and am legally operating a registered and insured vehicle. Despite the jokes made over the years, I really don’t think you can get a license from a box of cereal so we can assume that I somehow earned mine. I will also inform you that I have roughly 15 years of driving experience and have never taken a life on the road nor caused a bruise to a pedestrian, passenger or driver.

Lines, Limits and Red

Yes there is a white line to my right and yellow lines to my left, guess what; I see them. As long as I stay between them it doesn't matter which side I hug. You screaming "Are you going to stay on your own side of the fahkin road?" only confuses me because yes, I am going to stay on my own side of the road, that is where I've been all along. I really don't see where you are going with this.

Speed limits; limits are like boundaries. I aim to travel "around" the speed limit, but the more you yell and scream the faster I'm going to want to get out of the car. If you want me to slow down then help me enjoy the ride.

The roads are snow-covered, with ice beneath them and the visibility is horrible...Now I'm going to slow? See, too fast too slow, I'm beginning to think you just like to gripe.

Red, yes I know, Barney says "Green means go, Yellow means slow and Red means stop, stop, stop". Do you really think that I have no intentions on stopping for the Red Light, do you really think that I plan to blow through the Stop Sign? I will stop for red, I promise you, so let it be on my time, not yours. If I'm not mistaken you don't have a brake pedal on your side of the car so let me handle this.

You're just confusing me!

Portable GPS

I have never asked for a GPS as a present and I've never shopped for them in stores. I already know where I'm going and if I don't, well the journey getting there is fun. Unfortunately, I have a portable GPS that comes with every car I buy and unlike a GPS you can't shut mine off. "Turn here, take a left, stop ahead"...really? Would you like me to close my eyes and really see how good we work together? Trust me, I don't need you to instruct me on every turn to get back to my house, I live there, I've traveled these streets a time or two.

Right here, here's one, did you hear me? I said here's one!

When you drive you can pick.

Guess what, if I'm driving then I get to pick the parking spots. There is no need to yell because you think your parking space is better than mine. The good news is we're here and we're alive and now we can both get out of the car.

Just Relax...

If you're riding passenger, just enjoy the ride and let the driver drive. Enjoy the scenery, maybe the radio and some healthy conversation. If you do so you are protecting your own life and may get the same respect in return the next time you are actually behind the wheel.

Passenger Seat Driving and You

Do you drive outside of the driver seat?

See results

Just a mild sample...

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    • profile image

      Bonnie 22 months ago

      OMG!!!!! My boyfriend is JUST like that. Everything you said NOT to do is exactly what he does, I have always enjoyed driving and never got rattled easily, now I'm almost always crying or feeling like I want to way before we ever get where we are going. I believe with all my heart he has some sort of phobia about being in a vehicle, but this may sound heartless but that's HIS problem and I don't see why it has to become mine. He doesn't realize how shook up he makes me, but I've told him if I do happen to have an accident, it is going to be his fault for driving me insane.

    • profile image

      phnowphnow 2 years ago

      My mom drives me crazy with her back seat driving.. I've been driving for 20 years and her jerking and stepping hard with lifting of the seat is so bloody distracting.. I get scared by this sudden braking here next to me while I'm actually busy overtaking a truck on the OPEN road, that I loose concentration and start looking in my mirrors, checking blindspots, check everything BUT overtaking this slow truck in front of me. She will cause me making an accidental. So from now on, I refuse to drive her long distances. She can drive herself.. At 80km/h on national roads.. I'm female and cannot take this crap!!!

    • Crafting Marfa profile image

      Crafting Marfa 3 years ago from Hialeah, Florida

      My passenger seat driver is my 73 year old father. He drives me CRAZY! Slow down, there's no rush (I'm already down to 35 mph, often less). Turn there, turn there...(and when I keep going because that's the wrong place to turn)....OK, keep going, do whatever you want. Oh, wait, that's not where you supposed to turn, I guess I was wrong. I always get confused there...WATCH-IT-WATCH-IT-WATCH IT, THAT IDIOT IS GOING TO CUT IN! Yeah, let him in and so he can get the F away, there's no hurry. STOP, STOP the light is turning red! --And that is just in a 5 minute drive from his house to his friend's house. Sometimes I can take it and just shut up, but sometimes...like tonight...I lose it and yell at him to SHUT UP cause I'm driving and I can see much better than him! I just needed to vent a little so I don't drive off the bridge next time.

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Au fait

      Lol! That's a 'dressing down',not a telling off :) You're an intelligent woman(and I'm not being patronizing,honestly),and I respect your views.

      No hard feelings.

      Yours Sincerely,

      Romeo's Quil

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Well! I guess I have been well and truly told off!

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Cat

      Today is your birthday,sweetheart,and I shall not be wasting any more time here,when I could be talking to you properly. :)

      Yours Truly

      R.Q.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      R.Q.

      I never expect an apology from anyone on my pages; I'm all for freedom of speech and healthy debates, so long as nobody is beating on a defensless person, which obviously... you are not. So I just sort of stepped aside and let you two have at it. I didn't mean to insult you by saying that I would bow out... I did not say that about you, however. You, Au fait, or anyone else can take up as much space on my pages any time they want.

      Yours Sincerely,

      Cat

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Cat

      Thank you for your diplomatic comments,and I apologize for taking up so much space on your controversial topic,and give somebody else a chance....and I never bow out of a debate with anyone.

      Yours Sincerely,

      R.Q.

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Au fait

      You have presented me with a cocktail of issues,and I shall deal with all the relevant ones,systematically.

      Firstly:Definition of FACT.

      !/ Something known with certainty.

      2/ Something asserted as certain.

      3/ Something that has been objectively verified.

      4/ Something having real,demonstrable existence.

      Spatial awareness.Doing Y-turns on the freeway that you mentioned,requires spatial awareness;that is why I wrote about it.As pointed to in the link given,’Something that has been objectively verified’,as the article alludes to,has ‘real,demonstable existence’,therefore it is a FACT,a known……

      “ The true method of knowledge,is experiment.”-William Blake(for further corroboration).

      I know about driving from my dad,as he had licences for just about anything that moved,when he was in the R.A.F.(including a steam locomotive!)

      You said,when addressing me,that “men are just as bad at driving as women,maybe even worse,etc…” That is why I talked about fast and slow driving in the context of dangerous driving,which is encompassed by your mention of your term,”bad at driving….” Therefore,I do not have you “mixed up with another commentor”,as you said,thus making a nonsense of the remainder of your sarcastic paragraph irrelevant.

      Sarcasm is said to be a low form of humour,as its intent is generally to get laughs at someone’s expense,feeding your intellectual ego with its linguistic,and socially cognitive barb,which I think just ‘backfired’,as it is only marginally better than being witless,and is the lowest rung on the ladder of humour,so you may want to run that through your psychological processor.Although I do appreciate your experiential knowledge of driving matters,there will obviously be a bias from your perception,as there will be from mine.I would not deign my opinion as FACT,only that which has been proven(I refer you to the previous link).It would be irresponsible to draw conclusions from,as yet,psychoanalytical unknowns,as poor psychoanalysis is often the very disease it purports to cure.

      I have approached this from a totally objective perspective,regardless of the end result;to do otherwise, would be unfair

      “ Knowledge has to be improved,challenged and increased,or it vanishes.”(Peter Drucker).

      To me,the fact that you’ve studied under a ph.D is unimportant to me,as it matters not,in my opinion,in which colours one paints themselves with.So,thank you for your attention,and no doubt I have made ‘typos’,but after all,I am a man who makes mistakes. :)And yes,I shall sleep like a filthy baby this eve :)

      “ Goodnight,and may your God go with you.”(Dave Allen)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Well, let me wipe the sweat off my brow! Oh my goodenss, I guess it did get a little heated in here in my absence. Do I get to plead the fifth being the author of said hub? :-)

      One thing I can say is I have not had the opportunity to read "Is Science Capable of Proving God Exists or Does Not Exist? -- Did you know? There Is No Such Thing As Gravity.", which I should remedy immediately and then perhaps have a better leg to stand on in addressing this debate. Did I mention I can be a wuss? :-) No, in all honesty, I don't want to offend either party as I have a serious amount of respect for the both of you. I also want you both and anyone else to always contribute in which ever way they please as I absolutely enjoy healthy conversation and even some healthy debating. I can't speak on behalf of Romeo, because he is not here... but I hope you guys can come to some kind of understanding on the matter or just simply agree to disagree. I will tell you Au fait, if ever I was involved on the opposing side of a debate with you (which I'm sure won't ever be the case :-) I would bow out gracefully... with a quickness! :D

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Romeo, meet Au fait! She's a tough and very intelligent woman... much like you, except for the woman part :D You guys have a nice little debate going and I think I'd like to say there are valid points on both sides of the arguments. Personally, from my experience with MVAs... there are plenty of female and male drivers in accidents. Women tend to get in accident from nerves or distractions while men tend to get in accidents because of sheer wreckless driving. While both have unflattering outcomes, wreckless driving seems to be a conscious, irresponsible choice. In regards to distrated driving... well that can be irresponsible when we're dicking around, but sometimes a woman being emotional or daydreaming is all it takes to be distracted and it's not simplyh due to fiddling around. I'd also like to point out that the wreckless car accidents happen to have far worse injuries than that of the distracted driver. That said; I respect both your opinions and you both have valid points... and I'm honored by both your presence!

      Yours Truly,

      Cat

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Au fait,

      Wow, what have I missed here? :D I don't even know what has happened below your original comment, but I'd like to address this first. Why am I not surprised you have a CDL? Is there anything you can't do? No! Gee, I mean, I drive big fire trucks, but because they are emergency vehicles, one does not need a special license. Something they might want to consider because I have seen one too many adrenaline-induced "Superman" driving... and more than one fire truck in a ditch or off the road! People think, it's big and everything will get out of their path, unfortunately, the bigger they are, the harder they fall and there's no stopping a fire truck once you've lost control! I'm sure, a concept you understand all too well.

      And I believe you're right... it is the Cracker Jack's box that gives the free licenses :-)

      I laugh and totally hear you about the attempted claims at your life :D When my life is in danger as a passenger... I certainly speak my mind... and probably then some. I think I wrote this from the driver's perspective because I've always been the "driver" in the family. Throw me in the passenger seat because I'm a woman? I don't think so! With that said... I don't need comments from the peanut gallery because that is his attempt to have some manly control over the situation.

      You're right too; many men are horrible drivers and statitics prove that through reduced auto insurance quotes for women versus men and the lower frequency of MVAs involving female drivers rather than males... but try telling a man that!

      Thanks Au fait... as usual, you add so much more to the hub! :D

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      I, too, do not wish to upset the lovely person who moderates the comments on this hub, but meaning no disrespect, there is no such thing as a scientific or psychological fact. I am a PSYC major at the university. I suggest you read my hub titled: "Is Science Capable of Proving God Exists or Does Not Exist? -- Did you know? There Is No Such Thing As Gravity." The examples given in the stated hub are scientific facts that had to be changed or modified. Facts usually remain the same, which is why we call them facts. ;)

      As a CDL holder I am a professional driver. I guess when you read my comment you didn't know what CDL meant. Commercial Driver's License.

      I observe drivers many, many hours every day and often have to avoid them as CDL holders are held to a higher standard than ordinary Class C drivers and we are expected to prevent -- not just avoid, but prevent accidents, even when they would not be our fault. That is a DOT (Dept. of Transportation) requirement, not an employer requirement.

      Who said anything about slow driving or fast driving? Or spatial awareness? Not me. You must have me mixed up with another commenter. But no, since you are a man and rarely make mistakes, it must be something else that made you think I had mentioned these things.

      I will tell you however, that if you equate my ability to place my very large vehicle just a couple of inches from yours, literally, so that you won't dare move yours lest you cause a collision, then yes, I'm damned good at that. It does require knowing where you are, in other words knowing well the space your vehicle is taking up. Is that what you mean by spacial awareness? I have to know where I'm going and how to get there from a variety of different directions too. Does that count towards spacial awareness?

      All I said is that men are just as terrible at driving as women, maybe worse, because I have certainly seen them do ridiculous dangerous things while driving, more often than I have seen women doing them -- while professionally driving my own large vehicle. I am on the road 6 hours daily. I used to be on the road 11 hours daily.

      But never mind Mr. Quill. Being a superior male, I'm certain you are right and I, an inferior female, am wrong. If I fail to recognize those FACTS, well, remember the second part of that sentence. Please forgive. ;)

      Try to sleep well anyway. xx

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Au fait

      Hi there.I don't mean to be abrasive,or pedantic,especially as I'm a guest on this wonderful lady's page,but the spatial awareness thing is a scientific,and psychological fact.Viz;

      www.dailymail.co.uk/.../Men-ARE-better-women-parking-Feminist-scien...

      ...And that article was written from a feminist perspective.

      Now driving skills on the other hand(I'm no expert), is a different case,but it's just as dangerous driving too slow as it is driving too fast.Therefore I disagree about men being worse drivers than women.

      Have a pleasant weekend;

      Yours Sincerely,

      Romeo's Quill

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      I've had a CDL for several years now, and I always thought a lot of Class C drivers got their driver's licenses from the Dollar Store, and before that the 5&10 Cent Store.

      You opened my eyes when you mentioned the cereal box, but now that I think about it, is Cracker Jack now giving out free driver's licenses? Or maybe they're wrapped in bubblegum packages?

      Or maybe people are simply cognitively challenged. Never having been under a large vehicle, maybe they think under the vehicle is better than being behind the vehicle? That would seem to be their philosophy, but only because they obviously have no experience to call on. If they had experience they would be dead -- sad but true.

      I usually leave the driving to the driver. I only speak up after barely being missed by the 3rd large vehicle. By that time I'm convinced that it's their time (the driver's) and they're planning to take me with them whether I like it or not. ;)

      Oh, and Romeos Quill, from my experience men are just as bad at driving as women, maybe even worse. They like to do Y-turns on the freeway even more often than women do. Maybe it's because over here there's no running of the bulls day? And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

      This is another great hub. Voted up and funny. :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      R.Q.

      Aw, thank you... I think I just might see a rainbow ;-)

      Yours Truly,

      Cat

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Cat.

      You're most welcome :)

      And I'm totally with you on that sentiment!You are the sunshine after the rain.

      Yours Sincerely,

      R.Q.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      R.Q.

      Oh gosh... I can't help but giggle in an almost embarrassment that you came over here. Yup, I'm a goof; sometimes I'd rather just find things to laugh about rather than focusing on the sad and depressing facts of life, you know?

      I really appreciate your compliments, thank you.

      Yours Truly,

      Cat

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Who would be honest enough to admit to being a driver outside of the driving seat? :) Women drivers,and the spatial awareness thing is generally acknowledged to be a given fact;and this Hub was quite an articulate,and funny rant,which made for an engaging read.Good work,awesome,and a giant thumbs up!

      Yours Sincerely,

      Romeo's Quill

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Ed,

      Honk 3 times when you pull up :D

      No, Mom's crazy all the time... I'm only crazy when I'm mad! And you... you couldn't make me mad :-)

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 4 years ago

      Lets go Cat ! Soo, you and Mom. are .......the same ?....Okie Dokie sweet girl , ! You hot rodder U ...lol , ed

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Hiya Ed!!! :D

      Between you and me... I won't get in a motor vehicle with my mother, she has one speed and it's not slow! You know how women can get batty in their golden years :-)

      You don't want to get me mad behind a wheel, I've been known to leave some rubber behind... but it's usually the passenger that gets me going :-)

      Anytime Ed, anytime ;-)

      You're too cute!

      Cat

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 4 years ago

      Hey Cat sweety ! Now ...on the other hand , my Mother and my big sister used to try to scare the hell out of each other by driving like mainiacs ! And for years they would brag about their adventures .......Hey , wanna take a ride with me on a back dirt road ?.......lol.....Ed

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Beth37,

      I know, it does seem to be more common for the annoying passenger driver to be a woman, but I've always had the luxury of being the driver in my relationships (probably because I'm always the one with a car :-)

      Yes, off to bed I must head, the coffee will be brewing in 3 hours.

      Sleep well too!

      Cat

    • profile image

      Beth37 4 years ago

      haha, that's all good advice. and I bet a lot of men wish their cars would come with standard passenger side duct tape. ;)

      Sleep well my friend.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      damian0000,

      Thanks! I hope the laughter wasn't a result of sleep-deprivation... eh what do I care, I'll take it any way I can get it.

      No, really I'm an excellent driver :-) I even drive big fire engines and I haven't hurt anyone!

      Thanks again!

    • damian0000 profile image

      damian0000 4 years ago from Belfast

      Very funny hub Cat --- I laughed a lot!!

      The thing is, I am still not quite sure if I ever want to get in a car with you driving, why is that? ;-)

      Up!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      RealityTalk,

      Hey, don't get me wrong, the cars of some women drivers should have controls in the passenger seat, I become very close to the Lord through prayer whenever I ride with my mother anywhere.

      Too funny. Thanks!

    • RealityTalk profile image

      RealityTalk 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      I have learned that when I drive as a passenger in my wife's car to say nothing. And that is all I am going to say even now.

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      Yeah cat, it pushes you off the limit when you keep getting the critic comments :) Anyway i know you are a smart driver :D

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      mr-veg,

      Aww, thanks. I agree, as much as I may be missing out on some stellar articles by some stellar authors, I have never researched driving advice; why would I have to? I get it all from the passenger seat and did I mention it's unwanted? Secondly, I find it quite annoying that my driving is always critiqued and so, just out of spite I will never seek to improve it, quite frankly I think it's just fine.

      Yes, yes I do think you should pass them on, after all, my goal is saving the world and whatever helps. ;-)

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      Well your hub said it all :) I am so bored of the people who keep on pouring their advice on how to drive where to stop where to park, blah blah... I should pass this on to them i think ;)

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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Thank you my dear Colin. Umm, hot scones from the oven and a cup of coffee; sounds heavenly.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Once again my oh so clever Cat of compelling thoughts and infinite wisdom, wit and the eternal truth - you have graced Hubpages with your beautiful mind and glorious heart.

      Wishing you a wonderful good morning from daybreak over the lake here at lake erie time ontario canada 8:30am with some Vivaldi, hot scones from the oven, and last cup of coffee - courtesy of Colin and his pussycats, Tiffy and Gabriel.

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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      RBJ33,

      Ha, thanks! Some days after enough passenger seat input, I like to create a circumstance for passenger side foot pedals. That's right dear, use those special brakes of yours, though I don't think they'll stop us very quickly ;-)

    • RBJ33 profile image

      RBJ33 4 years ago

      Great hub Ms scream - and oh so true - my demon is my wife grabbing hold of the dash or seat belt or whatever she can when she determines we are about to have a fiery fatal crash - even though I'm 100 yards from the nearest object. Good job!

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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      billybuc,

      Well I have to give you and your wife credit, though it sounds like your wife just knows better. Sometimes it's better to suffer in silence! When I'm riding with a driver that makes me less than comfortable I just bite my lip, dig my nails into the arm rest and pray to God... then kiss the ground when I get where I'm going. Thanks!

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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      CJ,

      You're too kind, really you're too kind.

      I wouldn't say that I'm an aggressive driver, just in a hurry to get out of the car! I can appreciate the "conservative driver" as I really don't care for the driver's that ride my bumper like they're on their way to some kind of life-saving emergency, then flip me the bird while passing me, as if my driving 9 miles over the speed limit was oh so inconsiderate. Thanks again!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great fun, Cat! I have to admit that Bev and I are very good about not being a pain in the ass when we are passengers. We just keep our mouths closed and let the driver do their thing....and heaven help anyone who tells me how to drive. LOL

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      CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

      Oh, Cat, how absolutely enjoyable!!!

      You have really become a top Hubber. Witty, funny, intelligent, kind-hearted, sensitive and down to earth. What more can a guy ask for?

      Dang, you must have been driving with my mother riding shotgun. I swear, when you talked about pulling into a parking lot and your passenger starts pointing to available spaces...that is my mother to the core.

      I have also noticed that she begins to push down on an invisible brake pedal when we approach a light or stop sign. I have told her in the past that if she wants me to stop quicker, then she must apply her brakes a little sooner and a little harder. :0)

      I mean, I am "Mister Conservative" but I don't like "back seat drivers" telling me when I should pass another vehicle. I have been driving for 28 years and have never been in an accident (thank God), so what do they want from me? The difference between driving 60 miles per hour as compared to 65 m.p.h. will only save a few seconds in the end and how often do I end up catching the "anxious passer"? Frequently.

      Just another fine Hub, my dear!!! Keep up the good work. :0)

      May God grant you grace - C.J. Sledgehammer

      P.S. Voted up, interesting, awesome, useful and totally funny!!! I am going to throw beautiful in there, too, because that's what you are. :0)