Women Are Terrible Drivers
By Angie Bujol | 1/2/2015
This is a statement that is uttered every time a woman is seen driving too slow, or slowly drifting into the next lane before jerking back into their original lane. I would like to state that I am a woman, and that I am a good driver! Okay, I was a good driver. But before I explain the reason for emphasizing the past tense of that last statement, I would like to tell the story of why I was a good driver.
I have to thank my dad for my former status of “good driver”. While my mom is the one who actually taught me to drive in the abandoned Kmart parking lot, my dad started me much earlier. From the time I was tall enough to pass the height requirements (or at least tall enough to stretch myself discretely to seem tall enough) I have been driving go-karts. Every vacation we went on: my dad would find the closest go-kart track and we would spend at least one evening, if not more, racing. I have more memories than I can count racing around a track doing everything I could to be the fastest, but also not to bump into other karts or railings. Bumping into railings slows you down and can cause you to spin out, then you are helpless until the attendants come over and turn you back around. Reverse isn't an option on the go-kart track. Being slow isn't an option on the go-kart track. Being beaten by your dad or brother isn't an option on the go-kart track. Winning is all there is. Period.
I Was A Good Driver
All of this go-karting has led me to being extremely comfortable behind the wheel of an actual vehicle. I aced drivers ed, passed my permit test and driving test on the first go around without a problem. After receiving my driver’s license, the world was now my go-kart track, but I could now go in reverse also. The rules are similar, don’t bump into others, don’t bump into the railings, go when the light turns green, slow down when the light turns yellow, stop when the light turns red. (If you are a go-karter then you know what I am talking about). I managed to go without a ticket or an accident (that was my fault) for years. I was a good driver.
Then Something Happened
It was a little more than 3 years ago when I joined the ranks of the terrible women drivers. His name is Landon, and he is my son. The day Landon was born, or actually a few weeks after- because I was not allowed to drive for a time after his birth- my driving ability began to decline. This is mainly because, as a mother, I drive half in my seat and half in the back seat with my boys. (Yes...boys. I have 2, but the first wasn’t an issue because he was alone, and by the time Landon came around he was old enough to take care of himself). But, with the two of them, it is always one thing or another. When Landon was too tiny to talk or do much, it was a cry because he wanted a bottle or a ninny (his pacifier), or his diaper was wet. Then he began to talk, and it was babbling in the back seat, screaming when he was ignored, crying when his juice or snack fell out of reach.
He continued to grow and my distractions grew with him. It hit me when I was driving home tonight with both of my boys in the car, both of them half asleep, and Landon began to cry for me. So, I reach back and hold his hand; he calms down and begins to fall asleep. I believe he is asleep so I begin pulling my hand back. His grip tightens. So, I drove home with one hand on the wheel and one hand in the back seat.
Some women (both men and women, actually) can be terrible behind the wheel, i.e., texting, eating, talking on the phone, checking Facebook, etc. while “being in control” of a 4,000 pound cruise missile. But, for the most part, most women aren’t necessarily bad drivers, we are actually amazing drivers. If we (women) were all bad drivers: Most of you would not be reading this. A lot of us are simply mothers to the small people in the backseat. We have to keep them happy so that we can drive somewhat decently. That minivan jerking to the side of the road could be a mother following through on her threat to “come back there”; the SUV drifting slowly into the next lane might be a mother reaching behind her seat to dig around in the diaper bag for that zip-lock baggie of crackers that has migrated to the bottom when she remembered placing it on top; The car flying recklessly towards a gas station in a race to get to the potty before the backseat becomes a potty. Cut us a little slack, we don’t want to harm our precious cargo, we just want to get to where we are going without a temper tantrum erupting from the back seat causing our heads to explode...
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