About Me

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Speedin' ~ Omarion

I had a lovely chat with my friend, Cydney, the other day and one of the positive items she mentioned about her recent move from Tucson to Portland was that she has yet to see a traffic accident. Does that seem usual? Normal? Unworthy of special note?

That is because you have never lived in Tucson.

I spent over 5 years of my life commuting in rush hour traffic from Metro East Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri. I saw accidents. Plenty of accidents. 

I never saw anything like what I see here in Tucson.

First of all, 95% of the accidents I saw in Illinois/Missouri were highway accidents. Tucson has no highways. 100% of the accidents I have seen here take place in somewhat busy intersections. Intersections that are controlled by traffic lights.

Second of all, a majority of the time, accidents that I saw in Illinois/Missouri were easy to understand. Weather conditions, lack of attention,etc. You would see the accident and think to yourself, "Oh man! Somebody wasn't paying attention." or "You have to slow down when it is snowing like this!" or "Oooo, blind spot!" The accidents are understandable. I have yet to see an accident in Tucson that I can in any way, shape, or form make sense of the chain of events that led to such a mess. I am always left thinking, "How is that even POSSIBLE?" or "Do people here just drive with their eyes closed??" or "Are traffic lights THAT confusing?"

Third of all, Illinois and Missouri frequently have weather conditions that excuse/explain accidents. An accident that seems like a case of horrifically bad driving quickly becomes a case of unfortunate circumstances when heavy rain, sleet, snow, fog, etc. is factored in. 99.9% of the time, Tucson has absolutely perfect driving conditions.

In St. Louis, if you see a car has wrapped itself around a traffic light that is posted up in the median, you can bet good money that slippery road conditions were also present. Drivers in St. Louis do not just randomly slam their cars into traffic light posts. They can clearly see the traffic light posts and make concerted efforts to avoid slamming into them. Not so in Tucson. There are no slippery road conditions. There are no visibility issues. There are just drivers who apparently do randomly just slam their cars into traffic light posts. Easily avoidable traffic light posts.

I like to invent back stories for such accidents. See what had happened was......she was getting ready to turn right onto Pantano from Broadway when suddenly her gas light came on and at the same time her phone rang and then she accidentally spilled hot coffee in her lap and since it is 110 degrees outside and the coffee was 90 degrees that means that her lap suddenly hit 200 degrees and she couldn't decide if she should continue straight on Broadway to the Circle K to get ice for her lap, a refill for her coffee, and more gas or go ahead and turn right on Pantano and go home and in her panic and confusion she ran into the traffic light post.

Also, you know it is bad driving when I criticize it. For reals, I am a terrible driver. And yet, I feel fairly confident that I am one of the better drivers of Tucson.

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