Editor implores courtesy from drivers

IUS Horizon

With the recent closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge, a typical drive to work and school has become a strategic, daily challenge for me and many other residents of Southern Indiana and Louisville.

I work in downtown Jeffersonville and have always marveled at the beautiful riverside location of my work. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to loathe its charming location because of the constant, heavy traffic flow.
Every night, I try to configure a new route for the morning in order to arrive at my destination in the smoothest way possible.

To my dismay, it seems as though everyone else who drives to Louisville is testing that exact route at the same time.

This constant development of routes has become a massive weight on my mind and added a new level of anxiety to my day.

As if sitting in traffic for multiple hours isn’t bad enough, the rude and selfish behavior of my fellow drivers has increased drastically.

Of course people in general have the potential to be rude, but it seems this recent bridge issue has brought out the worst in other drivers and even in myself.

In just the last week since the closure was announced, I have witnessed some of the most impatient and obnoxious driving acts of all time.

I have been flipped off and cut off more times than I can count. I have witnessed even worse acts of impatience and belligerence being done to other drivers.

I have seen items thrown out of a car window at another vehicle, and I have seen drivers laugh as others struggle to be let into their desired lanes, only to be ignored and refused entry.

A lot of drivers who I sit in traffic with seem to be in such a hurry they have forgotten the concept of being civilized.

Not only are my fellow drivers taking out their traffic frustrations on the other commuters around them by honking horns and cussing out of impatience, they are also creating dangerous driving scenarios by suddenly forgetting common road rules.

Each time I’m cut off by another driver going down the emergency lane to pass everyone waiting, I say out loud, “Oh yeah, I forgot you are clearly more important than anyone else.”

It is unfortunate to witness society crumbling during something that isn’t even a crisis, but an inconvenient set back.

I am obviously frustrated with the traffic as well, but not to the point at which I forget my manners and become a road barbarian. I am starting to believe that traffic congestion causes people to lose their minds temporarily and revert back to the caveman days of being selfishly aggressive to get their way.

I wish the problem drivers could read signs, know that a lane will be ending and realize they should probably get over as soon as possible instead of driving up the free lane faster to cut into traffic.

However, would it really kill people to remember the “golden rule” and let others merge into their lane?

Although I have witnessed these driving techniques very frequently as of lately, road rage has always been a problem.

This past summer, I attended a concert with my mom in Indianapolis. As we were in the crowd of cars leaving the venue, I counted 14 drivers who refused to let us take a turn to leave.

One female driver even flipped us off, called my mother names and laughed as she continued to cut us off at the exit. I remember questioning humanity at that very second.

Cars sitting in traffic

I’m far from a perfect or even good driver myself  but, I have never forgotten how to be understanding of others and polite, and although I have experienced a lot of impatience with traffic, I haven’t dropped to the level of belittling others.

Instead of turning into monsters and making this unpleasant situation worse, drivers need to accept what we cannot change and remember that this won’t last forever.

Everyone in the area is affected by this in some way, and as drivers, we need to realize what it is like to drive in another person’s vehicle before lashing out at them.

By COURTNEY MCKINLEY

Features Editor

comckinl@imail.iu.edu