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Traffic Jams

Updated on December 18, 2009

The holidays are upon us

It is time for traveling across the state or the country to spend your choice of holiday festivities with loved ones whether they be family or good friends.  It is also time to decide how you are going to get there.  Flying is faster, driving is cheaper.  The economic situation in the USA has made many of our decisions for us.  Gasoline is reasonable - sort of - right now so driving the wife and three kiddies to Grandma's house just makes sense.

Now you get packed up the night before the trip.  You know that you have everything you could ever imagine piled up in the living room by the front door waiting to be loaded into the trunk and back seat floorboard to take the trek.  The weather has turned bad, just your luck!  It's snowing and your visibility is likely to be reduced, slowing you down.

Wake up in the morning to find the beautiful blanket of snow covering the street two feet deep.  The snow plow is running but you still have to wait for the passageway to the highway to be cleared.  So you put on your winter clothes and enlist the help of your ten year old daughter.  You pull out the shovels and start clearing the driveway so that when the plow does come by you will be a step closer.  The wife is calling Grandma to let her know you have been delayed.  It is a Tuesday so you figure that everyone is snowbound, and it won't make as big a deal with traffic if you leave at 7:00 instead of 5:00 as you had planned.  You can hear the snow plow on the next block!  It won't be long now!  The Mrs. has started packing up the trunk and putting the gifts safely in the floorboard under where the younger one sits to protect them from being kicked.  No problems there.  

Oh no!  The snow plow just put about seven feet of snow on the driveway where you just cleared!  That will slow you down even more.  I cannot even imagine how frustrated you must feel but you keep the smile on your face.  Snow is par for the course in wintertime, and since it's only 3 days to Christmas it seems that you cannot blame the snow plow.  He's just doing his job.  You pull the shovel back out and clear the piled dirty road snow out of the way and get the kids into the car.  

Driving down the street you decided to follow the snow plow.  You know for sure that the road will be clear.  Well what do you know?  It is snowing again!  Visibility is still good but you don your sunglasses because the glare is unbearable!  Slowly you make it through the seven blocks to the highway and you set off north to Grandma's house.  "YAY!" the kids squeal in glee!  The trip has begun.

You are all singing Christmas songs and being very cheerful and full of the holiday spirit.  Nothing like the pending gift opening to make everyone gleeful.  You even join in on the singing even though you don't know all the words.  Too bad but it's still fun.  You change up the words which makes your children giggle and laugh.  They begin to make up their own verses as well.  Everyone is having a wonderful time.

Well for goodness sakes!  You start slowing down your song, thinking about what you see ahead.  A sea of read tail lights.  Something has happened!  There is an SUV at the front of the crowd, sideways in the middle of the road.  There is a man standing outside the truck on his phone.  He is alone in the truck and wearing a business suit.  He must be heading to work and lost control on the road.  You would think an SUV would have better traction.  I guess if you are alone in the vehicle there is not enough traction to keep you from spinning.  Later you find that the man was shaving and talking on his cell phone at the same time he was trying to drive at 55 mph down the highway.  Terrific!  More slow-downs, and this one could have been prevented!

Did you know that Paris, France has outlawed SUV driving in the city?  They determined that an SUV is not a practical commuter vehicle.  People here could sure learn the same thing.

You finally clear the SUV that spun out.  How?  You got out of your car and pushed him to the shoulder.  Why oh why do people take such risks?  Do they think they cannot make a mistake?  Maybe they believe they own the road, or they are more important than others?  Everyone makes mistakes for certain but to be blatantly irresponsible makes no sense.  Why endanger the lives of others?  What if that SUV had rolled and landed on other cars?  Why didn't that driver pay attention to the road instead of a phone and a razor?  If he was unable to get ready for work early enough getting up with his alarm then he should set it earlier.  If he was going to be on the phone get a handsfree device.

It enrages so many people when they are cut off on the road.  Why is that?  Is it because they believe they own the road?  Do they have psychological issues that tell them that they cannot handle someone getting in front of them?  Are they late?  Too bad on all those issues.  No one owns the roads.  Everyone pays for the roads.  Rich drivers drive slowly in the fast lane, young drivers tailgate and flip you off or point a gun at you.  Truck drivers are intent upon taking over the roads without regard to the safety of others.  I watch trucks run practically over cars.  I have been tailgated by SUV's, and I have seen women putting on makeup and everyone seems to talk on their cell phones.  Each of these can cause already over-taxed roadways to become huge angry parking lots.  

Back to the family.  After they got clear of the traffic jam caused by the selfish business man they met up with traffic in each and every metropolitan area they came across.  Other people also trying to get to their holiday destinations and the business people all on the roads together are bogging down everything!

You decided that it was now time for you to pull over and take a break.  After an hour traffic became manageable.  You make it to Grandma's house and everyone is relieved.  You still have two days until Christmas but you sleep half of day one away because you spent five extra hours on the road thanks to holiday travel and irresponsible drivers.

Let's all hope that your trip home will not be as long. 


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