Does Your Family Include a Speed Demon? | Danny Tyree

Readers of fine newspapers may recall that last July I unleashed a tirade titled “Slow drivers: are they driving you insane?”

Several readers offered a “Yes, but…” response. They acknowledged the irritating nature of slowpokes but suggested I should devote equal (or greater) time to denouncing speed demons.

So, for the sake of fairness (and because my son is currently taking Driver’s Education and because I’ve started pondering how many of my clobbered pets would have died of natural causes if all motorists drove at safe speeds in residential areas), I’m making a U-turn and activating my blue light for those colorful scamps on the other extreme of the speed spectrum.

Perhaps the classic road hog is the joker who tailgates you, flashes his headlights, passes you on a double yellow line approaching a blind curve — and then makes a left turn 50 yards down the road! Here’s hoping that he doesn’t spill the potato salad in his valiant quest to arrive three seconds sooner for his Hot-headed Half-Wits reunion.

What makes people pull these scofflaw shenanigans? Poor time management is one cause of “lead foot syndrome.” Here’s an idea: maybe if you’d invest less in “rich Corinthian leather” and more in a decent alarm clock, you wouldn’t find yourself shaving or applying cosmetics while hurtling along foggy streets, just to have three extra minutes to whine about HOW YOU HATE EVERY STINKIN’ MINUTE AT YOUR JOB.

I know many speeders are rebels at heart and think their flouting of posted speed limits is Sticking It to the Man, but often it’s more like Wrapping It Around the Oak Tree in the Man’s Front Yard.

Yes, some adrenaline junkies simply don’t feel alive unless they’re “straightenin’ the curves, flattenin’ the hills.” Like the Dukes of Hazzard, they fancy themselves to be true modern-day Robin Hoods. Except they rob from their emergency fund and give to the collision-repair center!

I realize some drivers aspire to establish a LEGACY via their high-speed high jinks (their 15 Gallons of Fame, as it were), but they are essentially Proving Nothing to Nobody. (“You mean YOU don’t remember me squalling tires at 1:15 a.m. on November 14, 2014 either??? I’m hitching a U-Haul to my Mustang and gettin’ outta this burg! The whole town of Lower East Podunk has developed AMNESIA!”)

Some drivers are simply sociopaths who think the world owes them a living, their fun trumps everything else and the rest of humanity is just in their way. Forgive me if my obeying the speed limit makes them late for their job interview for a position HANDLING HIGH EXPLOSIVES.

One hopes that these charming individuals would at least honor school zones, but their reassurances are not encouraging. (“Of course, I’ll behave. I believe the children are our future. And I’m about to break the time barrier and find out for sure. Yee-haa!”)

My late father-in-law was always in denial about the danger he posed to himself and others by driving aggressively. Sadly, people who have been protected by guardian angels (UP TO THIS POINT) tend to be defensive and snarky about their continued safety.

I hope that doesn’t describe anyone in YOUR family.

If a guilty party does spring to mind, I hope they’ll get their head out of a certain bodily orifice before the coroner gets summoned to do it for them.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”

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