by Kristine Coblitz
As any Working Stiff will tell you, the commute to work can be the most tiresome and frustrating part of the work day. When I worked outside the home, I drove nearly 30 miles each way to my office. That was about 90 minutes of my life each day spent behind the wheel of my car. During bad weather or when there was a car accident on the highway, I could easily tack on another hour…or two.
It’s the spring season in Pittsburgh, which means orange construction barrels as far as the eye can see. Nearly every main roadway has orange signs signaling upcoming projects. You know it’s bad when the majority of the television newscasts are consumed with detour instructions and roadside interviews with disgruntled drivers. Let’s not even get started on the rising gas prices.
I rather enjoy my life as a hermit now, but I do have to get out once in a while.
I don’t listen to the radio when I'm driving. Too many advertisements and too much mindless chatter for my taste. When I get into my car, the first thing I do is turn on my CD player and lose myself in my music selections. Singing along to tunes takes my mind off reckless drivers and traffic snarls, at least to some degree. When I’m planning a long road trip, such as my recent hike to Cleveland a few weeks ago, I take a book on tape to keep my mind stimulated. If I can’t read a book while I’m driving (too dangerous), at least I can listen to one, right?
I try to be a responsible driver. I don’t talk on my cell phone unless I’m lost or running late. I don’t eat greasy hamburgers while I drive, although I will sip a drink from my water bottle once in a while. I don’t put on my make-up, unless it’s a quick coat of lipstick while stopped at a red light. I use my turn signal.
And I always sing along (loudly) to my music.
Drivers who can’t control their road rage infuriate me. So do distracted drivers. A few nights ago, I was driving in the parking lot of the grocery store behind a woman cruising in the opposing lane of traffic because she was fussing with something (or someone perhaps?) in the front seat. Gotta love it. Perhaps it’s Spring Stupidity (Thanks for the snappy catch phrase, Joyce!).
Tell me I’m not alone in this. What are your driving pet peeves? I want to hear what really gets under your skin when behind the wheel.