Be a Good Person = Be a Good Driver

Four years ago when I was a Tampa newbie, I wrote about our town's bad driving on Sticks of Fire. The situation has only gotten worse, as demonstrated by the slew of recent cyclist deaths.

Because of the careless driving I've seen in just the past six months, I no longer go on green for fear of red light runners. I look both ways when crossing a one-way street, and before I leave the house I ask myself if this trip is absolutely necessary. You know, worth being rear-ended or worse.

However it became standard practice in Tampa to eat, text, chat, sew, read, and more while driving, it has got to stop with you.

Accidents happen, but crashes don't have to. Last month I wasn't as careful as I should have been and changed lanes too quickly. I cut off a car that was in a blind spot but practically beside me. Thank goodness that driver was paying attention and prevented us from colliding.

These days when you see a driver swerving out of their lane for a few seconds, it's almost guaranteed they're texting. Every time I'm sitting at a red light I watch the passing cars to see how many drivers are looking down for 3-4+ seconds as they text. It's too many to count. I can forgive ignorance, but this is plain stupidity.

I know we all lead very, very busy lives but no message is so important that it's worth killing or maiming another living soul. For one, I can't believe it's not yet illegal. But it's even harder for me to believe that I know good people who drive and txt and are unaware or unconcerned about how dangerous their behavior is to themselves and the people around them.


  1. I feel the same way. I just got back from Atlanta and it's just as bad there (only the damage won't be as bad because you are usually stopped in traffic everywhere). I also feel like no one uses their turn signals anymore. That makes me crazy.

  2. I'm late coming across your post, but thank you for writing it. I often feel I'm the only person who sees reckless driving as a real problem in the Tampa Bay Area. I put some of the responsibility on local law enforcement for not enforcing traffic laws, and on the media for being too easy on dangerous drivers. Safe driving helps motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. People like you speaking up about it can only help - thank you!

  3. Relative to the title of your post I observe the following: There are two types of people in the world. Those that slow to allow others to merge and those that speed up to keep others from merging.

  4. I've seen that too John. My least favorite thing on the road is when you want to change lanes and even though you're signaling, the guy in the other lane won't let you over. Of course 20 seconds later he zips into the lane you've been stuck in so he can make a turn.

  5. This also serves as a pretty fair metaphor for life in general.