Phoenix drivers remain phucking bad even in pandemic

The natives are getting restless.*

*as I predicted in prior post

Many are squirming out from under quarantine / lockdown / stay-at-home orders. A tamp-down of Life by any other name is still a tamp-down.

It’s particularly evident in the increased traffic.

Where IS everyone going?!

Yet people here in Phoenix, Arizona are definitely on the move!

In greatly reduced numbers, yes, compared to the norm. Think California.

What baffles and repulses are the accidents!

Phoenix roads and freeways look as they did maybe 30 years ago — before first Sprawl then Californication swallowed up vast desert land.

Wide open roads … little traffic … ample space to maneuver … change lanes without slamming into the car in front … or getting slammed from behind.

Driving now is as enjoyable and comfortable as it will ever be in Phoenix thanks to the pandemic. (For that reason, I hate to see it end but that’s another post.)

In near-perfect driving conditions, it’s reasonable to expect there’d be near-zero crashes.

Uh-uh, nope, negative, not happening.

Must be written:

I loveloveLOOOOOVE to drive on open roads and travel. Was born for them.

I take my driving responsibilities and the safety of others (and self) very seriously. Always have. Recklessness is not in my nature on the roads.

Driving is not a right. It is a privilege and an honor.

So you can see why I’m beside myself digging for answers to why all these crashes in the Best of Times on Phoenix roads!

Possible theories:

  • Assholes remain assholes, regardless of conditions.

To my thinking, perfect driving conditions reduce stress, in turn increasing opportunity for safety, attentiveness, alertness, responsiveness. May be true for some but certainly not all, as accident numbers indicate.

  • People won’t put down their phones, regardless.

Universally self-explanatory.

  • Some people see clear(er) freeways as opportunity to really lead-foot it.

This surprises (and disturbs) most. I’ve had to really think this one through because it is so fucking foreign.

See, for me, even if there’s zero traffic and cops (NEVER happens!), I’m abiding by the posted speed limit — no more than 10% over.

However, some drivers see less-crowded roads not as opportunity to enhance and enjoy safety and ease but rather to damn the torpedoes, full SPEED ahead. Let loose. Use the freeway as a personal racetrack.

Example. Phoenix freeway speed limits are 65 mph (104 km/h).

The other day I observed a driver weaving past obstacles (called cars), gunning it at about 90 mph (144 km/h) — and even that seemed too slow for him.

There’s an accident waiting to happen and good god it will not be pretty.

For the record, Phoenix has a very high rate of high-impact crushing accidents and fatalities.

We also hold the national dubious claim of high numbers of wrong-way drivers — most impaired — on freeways.

All in all, driver stats in Phoenix are quite grim.

And the pandemic has not made better men of drivers.

On the contrary, it has laser-lit what ails Phoenix.

Very sad for now’s the opportunity TO truly enjoy city roads.

But as in most things, for every good apple, there’s 2 or 3 bad ones to ruin it.

Closing thought:

Once everything reopens and this (BS) shutdown retreats in the rear-view mirror where it staunchly belongs, it is certain that Phoenix drivers shall reclaim their dangerous and deadly ways en masse.

I’m sorry I have to be here for it. A genuinely passionate and responsible lover of the roads deserves better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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