Miss my arse

You know that idiot who leaves 30 metres between him and the car he's following in traffic? The dude you get right up behind and tailgate because he's only doing 57km/h in a friggin' 60km/h zone?!

You know the guy, the one who you have to finally overtake, veer in front of and then he's right behind you at the next set of lights, calmly nodding his head to Mr Mister or Hank Williams or whatever these tortoise-men call music!

Lemme try explain his mindset to you.

Maybe, when he was a little younger and sillier, this bloke did stupid things in cars and thinks back to certain nights in the wet or when he was racing through residential streets and realises luck is not endless but stupidity is.

Maybe, when he got a little older and wiser, part of his job as a newspaper reporter was to go to motor vehicle accidents and he saw all sorts of dead people.

Some used to look just like him or his girlfriend or his parents but had been reduced to meat and blood and metal and glass gleaming under emergency arc lamps.

Maybe, as he got even older, he realised those road safety billboards warning of being "dead on time" were perhaps the truest words ever written by an advertising copywriter.

Maybe, he's even got his kid in the back seat and, as he watches you in the rear-view, three metres from his bumper, he feels the obscenity of your willingness to risk his child's safety like a fish flapping in his throat. 

There's a point in some motorists' lives where they understand the absolute worst place on earth to vent aggression and frustration, aside from Twitter and office Christmas parties, is while driving a car.

Some people never have this epiphany, others have it forced upon them when they're buried up the arse of a truck, their legs crushed under the steering column, their wife or best mate dead in the seat next to them.

And for what?

We obey the draconian rule of physics in pretty much every aspect of life; we avoid leaping from great heights, jamming knives into live toasters and running grandma through puddles on linoleum.

We do this because we understand the consequences of these actions, yet millions of drivers ignore the indisputable physics of their reaction time in traffic.

Your near-best is two seconds but probably closer to three or four seconds in complex situations involving multiple vehicles and high speeds. 

The majority of drivers, however, habitually leave a gap between themselves and a leading car of as little as 0.5 seconds.

Rear-end collisions are the most common form of automobile accident in this country and the driver of the car which hits from behind is generally always ruled to be at fault and thus pays for several car repairs. If they live.

You do the maths.

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