Warning: Angry Aimee Ahead. Read at your own caution and with the knowledge that sometimes her language gets, uh, colorful, when she is riled up.
Dear People Who Drive at Night and When It Is Dark:
(Please note, I started with “dear.”)
Remember that there are other drivers also on the roads who have serious issues driving at night.
And not because I’m getting older and my eyesight is getting worse. Or because I grade comp essays all day long, squinting at 12 point font through reading glasses, after squinting across the room through multi-focal contacts to see which senior guy is pounding the crap out of another senior guy who’s “just trying to be funny.” This is not about my eyes, okay?
In fact, my serious issues with driving in the dark have almost debilitated me. They are probably getting worse.
As most know, I was in a horrible car accident at dusk, one summer night a few years back. I saw lights, felt impact. Months after, even though back in my normal routine of driving, I was diagnosed with PTSD (for that and other reasons).
Since my accident, I’ve heard of SOOOO many others, always at night, always involving death. Every time I hear about one, I relive mine. Every single time. That means healing completely never quite happens.
Recently, I also happened over a rise in the road one evening coming home, about two miles away, at dusk, and I hit a deer that jumped from out of nowhere and into my car. I was so shaken I don’t remember driving home afterward.
Here it is: I am terrified to drive at night in the dark, worrying about what might be around the corner, over the hill, coming up behind me or through that next intersection.
Could you PLEASE, for the love of my peace of mind:
- stop completely at stop signs for all the obvious reasons
- not pull out in front of me when I am going 50 miles an hour just so you can get home a tenth of a second quicker (Yeah, that was me that laid on the horn last night, asshole.)
- replace your one broken headlight so I don’t panic, wondering what’s wrong with my eyes or mind, when you decide to drive up super fast on my bumper and then ride it for ten miles (both of you other assholes from last night)
- remember that there are other people also on the roads also trying to get where they want to go as quickly as possible. One of them could be my very own child. Or my 82 year-old-father. Or your next door neighbor. And any of them could also be suffering from some sort of PTSD. You are not the only one who matters when you decide to get behind the wheel of a piece of machinery that is capable of killing.
And yes, I know. I could decide not to drive at night. I could just stay in my house, rocking in my chair with Izzy the crazy cat, watching “Chopped” or “Friends” every night. I usually do.
But sometimes, like you, I have obligations after dark. Or I need to drive the most precious being to ever exist back to her mommy and daddy after grandma-sitting all day.
So don’t be so selfish.
And please, I beg of you: Be more aware. Be more observant. Be more patient.
Don’t make me come find you.