Driver’s Ed Manual of Colorado takes a YOU-turn

For reasons obvious in the picture, it’s a great day to stay in … write .. blog … read … bake … watch a movie … sip hot lemon juice and whiskey …

outside my window and it's still falling ...

Fortunately or unfortunately, I haven’t the luxury. I work in another three hours.

Another three hours for the white stuff to accumulate.

Another three hours for the roads to slicken further.

Another three hours of reasonable certainty that my life will continue.

For once I leave here, game over, anything can happen.

Colorado drivers are … hmmm, what’s the word … ah! moronic. That’s it!

It’s the very first thing I noticed when I arrived (apart from the obvious physical beauty).

More precisely: speeding and tailgating. It. is. endemic. Ubiquitous. Frightening. A culture unto itself in Colorado.

(In all fairness, drivers in the Pacific Northwest, i.e., Seattle, are worse. I point out Colorado’s peculiarities within the context of comparatively more varied, variable and challenging weather conditions that you’d think would lead to smarter drivers. Ain’t necessarily so …)

Example: When I traveled the steep winding narrow Rocky Mountain pass, drivers clocked in along those curves at 60 mph (96.5 km/hr) or more!

It’s a soaring mountain, for god’s sake!!

And they tailgated some.thing.fierce.

And the lane changes, ohhhh the lane changes!

You see that “Seinfeld” episode where George moves that Donkey Kong game machine across the street while dodging traffic?

Reminded me of that. Drivers making hasty and frequent lane changes everywhere!

And the worst part was, at high speeds with about 2 feet (0.69 meters) between bumpers. Any driver suddenly stop, slow down or encounter a problem and BOOM!!! Major chain-reaction accident!

Ten minutes of observing drivers led me to conclude that fender-benders and accidents must be rampant and the insurance business booming in this state.

Turns out I’m right!

I presented these initial observations to a former roommate (a Colorado native) whom I’d rather forget but won’t. There’s a saying here, she informed: “Give me an inch and I’ll take a mile.”

It’s true.

The widespread and potentially fatal tailgating and speeding persist regardless of weather.

Example: Coming through the Rockies upon my arrival, I encountered a torrential thunderstorm, one of those heavy downpours for which Colorado is famous.

Visibility was much reduced, the skies a thick dusky gray, the roads covered with sheets of water and hard pellets of precipitation pounding windshields.

I did the prudent, conservative, common-sense and smart thing. I significantly reduced speed. Left plenty of distance between cars. Signaled all lane changes and well in advance. Ramped up my alertness and defensive driving.

Silly me! I’ll never be accepted as a Colorado resident at this rate!

Clearly I need a driver’s ed course. As luck has it, I happen to have the syllabus here in my strong and refined worker’s hand:

Colorado Driver’s Education: The Unsanctified Version

Driver’s Ed 1A – Attitude

Attitude Matters. YOU matter.

A. YOU. Drive as if you’re the only person on the roads. We recommend big honkin’ pickups or SUVs to encourage a King of the Road attitude but they are not essential. In an SUV or compact import, YOU convey your presence by YOU.

B. Attitude Matters. Other drivers do not. Not their lives. Not their safety. Not their vehicles. Drive with the attitude that you are the only person who matters and you will be.

Driver’s Ed 1B – Practicum

In this course, you’ll learn how to be an arrogant asshole, excuse us, we mean King of the Road. The key is remembering that it is a process. Be patient. Practice. Do not hurry. Except when other drivers are impeding your travels.

In this hands-on course, you’ll learn how to:

A. Drive above the speed limit. At the advanced stage, you will maintain top speeds despite inclement weather. Neither snow nor storms will impede your travels but rather challenge you to new heights. You will rise above any obstacle. YOU will achieve oneness of self on the roads.

B. Tailgate. You’ll learn to gauge distances within a 1-inch margin of error and eliminate useless space between cars.

It’s helpful to remember that space is wasted space. It’s there for you. YOU. Take it. Make it yours. Own it.

C. Change lanes frequently and rapidly.

Signaling is an archaic practice of the past. It informs other drivers of your intention.

They do not NEED to know your intentions. You are the king of the road. You owe no one an explanation or indication of intention (least of all an anonymous fellow driver). This mindfulness of self is essential, particularly in challenging driving conditions such as snow and ice that characterize the state.

Also, frequent and rapid lane changes get you to your destination faster. A minute shaved from your travel time is a minute more for YOU.

Driver’s Ed 1C – Graduation

Final Exam

You will be tested for skills and performance by a ride-along instructor in your own vehicle, therefore insurance is required. Key areas of examination include:

A. Speed, with focus on maintaining high speeds through inclement weather and challenging conditions including but not limited to twisting mountain passes.

B. Distance, with focus on maximum usage.

C. Attitude, with focus on performance as a reflection of attitude. High marks are given to those who perform with superiority invincibility; low marks are given to those with attitudes of meekness and prudence.

We highly recommend you take this course, adhere to the guidelines and practice practice on a daily basis, particularly in winter when the roads are icy slick and snow heavy. Maintaining high speeds and tailgating in challenging conditions is an achievement. Not everyone is capable. They need to go back to Iowa.

Upon a passing score of 60%, you’ll become a Driver of Superiority, certified by the state of Colorado, with special laxities and privileges in metro areas such as Denver.

Our course is available via the handbook, online at the Department of Motor Vehicles and anywhere vehicles and drivers exist.

We look forward to serving you. In the hospital. After the accident.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. longeyesamurai
    Dec 03, 2011 @ 17:23:07

    So that’s WHY it takes so much time at DMV!!!


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