– Some “must see TV” for young people.

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I have recently developed a fascination with Youtube videos regarding vehicles on the road. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, available over this video service. The ones I particularly like are instances of Road Rage, accidents, police chases, and just plain sloppy driving. I usually watch these segments early in the morning and am aghast as to what I see. I inevitably stare at the screen with my jaw dropped and saying, “What in the hell are they thinking?”

At first you are amazed at the comedy of errors performed on the roadways, but then you realize the severity of the problem and wonder why people drive the way they do. It’s as if they had virtually no training whatsoever before obtaining a driver’s license, and maybe this is so. For example, you see people changing lanes without looking (or using turn signals), merging traffic thereby forcing people into guard rails, and “brake checking” whereby drivers rush to get in front of you, then suddenly apply the brakes. From what I can see, this is done for two reasons; either to cause an accident as part of an insurance scam, or as a form of road rage. Either way, it is incredibly dangerous and the people trying this must have a bolt loose.

All of this is recorded for posterity on “dash cams” which are small audio/video cameras mounted either on the front or back of the vehicle (or both). Although cars will have them, you see many more trucks using them. Such cameras are a God-send as they usually show who is at fault, thereby helping law enforcement and insurance companies determine who the guilty party is in an accident. After watching these videos for awhile, it is hard to imagine not having one of these cameras on your own car. It should be standard equipment on cars today.

After watching these videos for awhile, I’ve noticed two things:

First, it appears truckers, in general, are better drivers, even though there are several videos to indicate otherwise. However, most truck drivers appear to be patient and spend most of their time avoiding automobiles like waving gnats away from their face.

When I learned to drive back in the late 1960’s, I was told to avoid the large semis; I was instructed to either quickly pass them, follow them, but under no circumstance run alongside them where you might find yourself in a truck driver’s blind spot. After all, they were much bigger than my car and I didn’t want to become an accident victim. This instruction has served me well over the years. Yet, in the videos, it appears motorists are no longer afraid to run along side the big rigs and even go so far as harassing them, either by tailgating them, or “brake checking” them. Again, this is a dangerous maneuver and I have to wonder what the drivers are smoking or drinking for them to try this on a semi. As for me, I’ll continue to give the big-rigs a wide berth.

The second thing I observed is the skill and patience of law enforcement. Most of the videos I’ve seen, be it in criminal chases or simple moving violations, show the officers as professionals trying to keep the wackos off the streets. They may not be uniformly perfect, but they should be afforded the respect they do. Their patience is truly admirable and I don’t know if I would have the fortitude to deal with knuckle-heads like the police do.

There is also a series of “Instant Karma” videos showing police apprehending motorists almost immediately after they commit a violation. It’s really funny to watch people commit a moving violation even when the police car is either behind them or next to them. They are simply not too bright.

Interestingly, I find myself rooting for law enforcement after watching a motorist making even the simplest of bad decisions. I truly appreciate what the police do for us to safeguard our roads and highways. Yes, I have picked up a couple of speeding tickets myself over the years, but in hindsight, they were right to issue them to me.

The lessons taught by these videos are simply too numerous to list here. As such, I think young people should be forced to watch a certain number of these videos in order to qualify for a driver’s license. If they watch them, they will learn how dangerous it is out there, and maybe they will learn to drive more defensively.

As a country, we used to be taught to drive defensively; anyone remember the expression, “Watch out for the other guy”? Today though, people tend to be more aggressive behind the wheel. I blame this on our technology addiction which has conditioned people to be less tolerant of others and focusing on only their own selfish desires. This explains why we are less courteous and cooperative on the road.

I would much rather see our young people get a “brake check” in the classroom as opposed to on the roads.

Be sure to check out the Youtube videos. You’ll be amazed with what you see.

Also, you might enjoy this other essay I wrote a few years ago, The Driving Top Ten.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – For a listing of my books, click HERE.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2021 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; SVA RADIO – “Senior Voice America”, the leading newspaper for active mature adults; or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

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