Being a safe driver is tough

A few weeks ago, my dad sent my brother and I a text saying he was mailing us two devices that were to be put in our vehicles to determine whether we were safe drivers for insurance purposes. Now, I like to think of myself as a safe driver. I was in a car accident my senior year of high school and since then I take extreme caution while driving, especially when pulling out of parking lots onto busy streets.
The start of the school year brought a flood of Tech students back to Ruston, and that means there are many more people on the roads than during the summer.
This really was not the time for my parents to try to see if I am a safe driver because it’s hard to be safe when there are so many people who really don’t know how to drive.
I understand that there are lots of students who are new to Ruston, but being new to a town doesn’t mean that you forget how to drive.
My first complaint is blinkers. I don’t think anyone has ever not complained about someone not using a blinker. It really is a simple thing to do. According to Louisiana law, a person is required to put their blinker on at least 100 feet before they turn. I was driving home from work earlier this week and almost rear-ended someone because they decided to slam on their breaks and turn into a gas station. I get that sometimes you forget that you have to make a stop and don’t realize it until you are right in front of where you need to be, but when you are driving you have to realize that you are putting the lives of every vehicle around you in danger.
I hope my State Farm safe driver device won’t hold that brake slam against me.
Earlier in the summer I wrote a column on texting at stoplights. It seems to have gotten much worse with the return of students. Ruston is a busy town now that school is back in session, and some of the roads really aren’t designed for the amount of traffic that flows on them. California Avenue is one of those roads. I travel this road everyday, multiple times to and from work.
Traffic lights stay green for 120 seconds. That is a full two minutes for traffic to flow. I need people to get off their phones and pay attention to the traffic lights. When someone is on their phone and not paying attention, they are holding up a whole line of people who have places to be. This isn’t something I see only students doing. Not long ago, I was held up at a green light because a middle-aged woman was on her phone and not paying attention. I was almost late to work because a grown woman was breaking the law and not paying attention.
My last complaint will go back to me being extra cautious when pulling out onto busy streets. Pulling out of the Citgo on California is tough because of the bushes in the Griff’s parking lot. Thankfully, there is a red light right by the Citgo to make it easier to turn left onto California. I don’t think people realize that there is a stoplight so close because they still try to make the left turn straight out of the parking lot. Just this week I almost hit someone who decided to pull out of the Citgo into my lane, without even looking it seemed. The stoplight is there for a reason, and I wish people would take advantage of it.
Now, after a week of having the safe driving device in my car, I have to call my dad and apologize for the stupidity of the people driving in Ruston. Please be attentive when you are driving; put down your phone, use your blinker and most importantly, remember you aren’t the only one on the road.

 

This originally appeared in The Ruston Daily Leader

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