And This Is Why I Drive Slow…

And This Is Why I Drive Slow… after the break…

And This Is Why I Drive Slow…

I was all prepared to write my latest daily entry into the “Year of No Gaming.” I had the topic all lined up, all of my talking points covered… I was even thinking of what moment in gaming history I was going to cover.

Then I received word that my sister’s family’s dog was struck and killed by a car yesterday.

Yeah, that took the wind completely out of the sails… On just about everything.

To paraphrase a quote, The act of driving is easy; It is the bravery to brake, swerve and not drive that tests the abilities of even the best driver amongst us.

Anyone can drive fast. I can drive fast. You push the gas pedal down and keep it down. Anyone can do it.

What younger people fail to realize is that driving is all about decision making. It takes maturity to drive slow when the option of speed is readily available. It takes maturity to be cautious when the option of showmanship is more popular. It takes maturity to know when not to operate a motor vehicle when the keys to your vehicle are in your hand. The true skill of driving is not in making precision turns or manipulating the parking brake for those “radical” car tricks but rather in avoiding situations where making split-second decisions are even necessary to begin with.

When the situation is a car versus an animal, the onus of responsibility always falls upon the driver of the car. Animals might be “forest smart” or “desert smart” or “swamp smart” but they are not cognitive to the degree of a human. When it is “car versus animal,” it is the driver and only the driver who is the “adult in the room.” It is our responsibility to make the decisions necessary to minimize the risk of these types of situations.

Animals of all types have darted in front of my car during my years as a driver. I’ve had the unfortunate occasion to run over a few squirrels and even a possum (don’t ask). It is a miserable situation each and every time. Yet I have been able to avoid hitting scores of squirrels, birds, cats, dogs & even a few children because of slow and cautious driving.

Earlier in my life, I was heckled by friends and associates for my cautious driving habits. Speed limit signs were meant as challenges to be broken. Emergency brakes were meant to be used for tricks. Corners were meant to be taken as tightly as afforded.

There are reasons why I drive cautious. It saves on gas. It saves on brake wear. It saves of engine wear. It increases response time. I may one day be cornered into a situation where striking an animal with my vehicle is unavoidable. I hope that situation never happens. Driving slow helps me go to sleep at night, knowing that I am minimizing the risk of being “that guy” who makes a family mourn and forces someone to dig a hole in their back yard.

The Year of No Gaming continues. Work on my personal projects will continue. All of the office politics I must endure on a daily basis will, sadly, continue (unabated, in all honesty).

Today, though, I’m thinking of my sister’s family’s pet dog. He’s the reason why I drive slow… And so should you.


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