I have been noticing a weird thing while driving lately, and on this mornings commute it sort of just broke me a little. Maybe it is because I had a very poor nights sleep that was packed with nightmares and a night terror, or maybe it is because I don't want to be at work on a Friday. Any way you look at it, I had a moment in my car this morning where I irrationally started screaming at other drivers.
What was this driving habit that set me off? Well I am glad you asked. It was unreasonable following distance. No I don't mean that people were all up on my ass. That is tailgating, and can be equally annoying, but that is not what got me. It is people who refuse with every fiber of their being to ever get closer than two car lengths to the person in front of them, even if it means driving 10 miles under the speed limit in the fast lane.
A few weeks ago I started noticing this as I drove home. As we were sitting at a red light I would note that people were stopped with enough room between them and the next car to allow at least two full sized cars between them. Sometimes there is no one in front of them at a red light. They simply allow there to be two or so car lengths between them and the white line. Yesterday on the way home the woman in the lane next to me was five car lengths back. I know it was five, because I was the fourth car in line in my lane and she was behind me in her own lane.
I find this red light scenario weird and a little annoying, but then I started noticing the people weren't getting any closer when traffic started moving. I get not getting too close to the car in front of you. I get safe distance and all, hell I tend to hang back a little on the highways, but this is stupid. We are on a normal road, traffic is fairly dense, and you are going to go 30 in a 40 to ensure you don't get within two car lengths of the car in front of you? Also, might I add, making it practically impossible to pass considering the people zipping around you and pulling into that gaping space which you simply hit the breaks to cause again.
I guarantee you this behavior is why almost every one of these people have a crumpled in back end to their cars. This is not reactionary action to having been rear ended. Oh no, these people were rear ended because they drive like idiots!
I really hate driving.