The Perils Of Driving

Life in the big city has its share of frustrations. Driving around in our own little personal rockets with 5 million other people driving their own little personal rockets is one of the most stressful daily events of city life. Phoenix is the craziest place I have ever lived and drove. Phoenicians say it isn’t a matter of if  you will get in an accident, it is when you will get in an accident. During our 4 year stint in the Valley of the Sun, I witnessed 4 major accidents, all within a week period. (I was ready to park my car and walk after those visions) Alan and Aliesha were rear-ended in the intersection of Van Buren and Dysart. (Thankfully not serious) And every morning on the news talk radio station it was a never-ending report of traffic accidents on the surface streets, freeways and even in alleys! The worst part was I heard more than a few times school buses were involved. On almost every street corner in the Phoenix area you will find an attorney’s office and a chiropractor.

For the most part finding your destination in Phoenix was a dream. I think the street planners need some sort of special award or a badge of wisdom. Phoenix is a grid. Simple. Sweet. Easy. Just be cautious in those intersections!

But of course nothing can be perfect. Some brainiac came up with this traffic control system in downtown Phoenix…


Shiz. What time is it? What day is it? Where am I going? I’m so confused! Can I take the “All Other Times” by default?

No wonder there are accidents happening all the freakin’ time, people are literally lost (mentally and physically) in their personal rockets.

Can you imagine learning to drive in a city like Phoenix? I know a lot of people do but not my daughter. Aliesha said, “No way, you can just drive me around mom.” And I did so, happily.

We ended up moving to rural Southern Oregon last summer. Aliesha decided she wanted to get her driving permit. She felt comfortable with the prospect of learning in a much less populated area. But let me just say it is perilous driving with a teen…anywhere! Aliesha is the first of my children I have instructed how to drive. She tells me I don’t instruct, I yell. But I assure you I don’t start by yelling. It starts out as…”You need to slow down.” Then increases to…”YOU need to slow down!” Then it eventually escalates to…”STOP THE ****ing CAR!!”

Daniel, her oldest brother, shared some words of wisdom with her when she first started driving. “Aliesha,” he said, “when I first started driving I was overwhelmed with the idea that I was in control of a small rocket that could kill me and anyone else who is within range of my one small mistake.” Wise words from my oldest child who taught himself how to drive.

Driving in our rural area is a breeze compared to the big city. Rush hour? What’s that? There is one street in Grants Pass named Parkway Ave. Locals complain that during rush hour you “park” on Parkway. They do not know what parking is. 45 minutes of stop and go on I-10… to only go 10 miles, now that’s parking!

And accidents here in our small town, I hardly ever hear about car wrecks anymore. Oh, except that one a few weeks ago involving my good friend and the mailman.


7 thoughts on “The Perils Of Driving

  1. Oh, I still have nightmares of saying to Jacob: “Careful of the ditch. Careful of the ditch, honey. Be careful of the ditch, Jacob.” DO NOT DRIVE ME INTO THE DAMN DITCH, JACOB.

    Sigh. We have country roads AND massive traffic here in NoVA. Damn.

  2. Oh. my. GOODNESS! This is so true…but the only accidents I had in AZ were outside Phoenix, one as a passenger and one as a driver. stopped. at a red light. rear-ended – and the guy (I am NOT KIDDING you) got out of the car and demanded to know why I backed into him. Floored was the only word I had for that experience. By the time I got my jaw back into joint and up on my face where it belonged, he was gone and I didn’t even get his license number. True story.

    • That’s terrible, but I’m not surprised. I hope you were okay and did not have to pay for many chiropractic appts. for whiplash, out of pocket. One thing I do not miss is driving in Phoenix, now the winters…’nother story.

      • well, at least he wasn’t barreling it down the road, so I was OK and so was my baby (who is now 35! AARRRGGGHHH), but wow what a shock to hear that! And yah, I hear ya on the winters. My first winter there, I was totally AMAZED to see people wearing big coats – it felt like a very mild autumn to me, until I’d been there a few years. Then I bought a coat. 🙂

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