These posts lately have had an undertone of how to respond to stupid behavior. By stupid, I mean seeing the right thing to do and then doing something else that is obviously self-destructive. It seems to be happening a lot more the last few months, where I see people doing obviously dangerous things. I mean really dangerous things, things that are far worse than the dangerous recreational sports that are so common here in a vacation community. An unbelievably dangerous bicycle maneuver happened to me yesterday, where the guy came at high speed from where he couldn’t see if a car was coming, into a left turn lane where I was proceeding toward a green left turn arrow. I had to swerve into the lane to my right to keep from hitting him. Our combined closing speed must have been at least 35 mph, so I had about one second to do the maneuver and there was no car to my right so nothing happened. But the guy had zero options to get out of my way because there was a concrete divider curb between me and the oncoming traffic. If I hadn’t swerved out of his way his option was to encounter me or the curb. If he hit me it would have been a serious, possibly fatal injury, and if he chose the curb it would have been a certain spill at high speed with nothing but various forms of irregularly shaped concrete for a landing place. His best choice would have been a serious injury, but he really didn’t have time to think. I did.
As he passed by I noticed he had a long white cigarette hanging jauntily out of his mouth. Because it was so long and white it must have been a vape style cigarette. To any sane person, even that was a poor lifestyle choice.
I bring this dangerous behavior up because it has happened so routinely the last few months that I usually encounter something stupid every mile or so of driving. Perhaps most people don’t see these changes, but for a person with sixty years of observing other drivers, this is clearly different. There seems to be a feeling of righteous resentment against the constraints of legal expectations of responsible behavior. Or perhaps it is a response to the feeling that the world is coming to an end.
The almost reasonable world of last year seems to be going crazy this year.