On the way home from work today I was almost run off the road by a semi. I realize that anyone who has ever driven a car has shared the same fate, but today it was particularly annoying. I’m not sure what it is about driving one of these behemoths that results in a total lack of vehicular courtesy. It’s as if drivers of these highway terrors completely forget that they too leave the comfort and safety of their cabs and 80,000 lbs. of pernicious momentum and brave the typical American highway, hoping that their fellow truck drivers will not randomly decide it is their turn to go and force them into the gleaming guiderail at their right. They are used to having everyone else on the roadways accomodate their full scale vehicular assault. I often wonder if those massive mirrors attached to their doors serve any other purpose than to reinforce the idea that they are so very very high above the rest of us and waiting to slowly flatten us whenever the mood may strike.
Truck drivers, it seems have less patience than my tiny son when he decides he is hungry. When the urge to munch hits him, he switches from sweet angel playing with his stuffed penguin Louie on the floor to a raging demon, yowling at the top of his lungs and flailing his head for attention. The indiscriminant lane changing of truckers, particularly when you are already occuping the exact space they are trying to squeeze into happens just as quickly. I realize they are massive, and it is harder for them to see, even with those truly gigantic looking glasses, but I would think that would cause a few more moments for pause in order to make sure a tiny Buick wasn’t going to be crushed as they hurled themselves into the other lane.
Alas, it appears that like my son, when a truck driver wants into another lane, he’s going to get it now, no matter who it hurts.
I was getting on the highway this afternoon, on my way home from work. Despite the fact it is a three lane highway where I get on, it always seems I’m vying for the far right lane with a semi. No matter how often exits come up, because they are large, and therefore in charge of all they survey, they never feel the need to get over. It doesn’t matter that the merging lane from my exit lasts for a few hundered feet at best. They refuse to budge. I’ve gotten used to slowing down in order to merge in behind a semi. It’s either that or smash into the guardrail, so I compromise. I pull in behind them and wait for an opening in the middle lane to speed past them.
Today was no exception. As I approached the actual highway, a blue cabbed semi with a long white trailer was just pulling up along side of me. I relaxed my foot so I could ease in behind it. This would have been no problem if the gigantic brown cabbed semi pulling not one, but two trailers behind it (one boasting a UPS slogan) did not, at that exact moment, for no reason apparent to me decide to leave the middle lane and take over the exact space I was occupying. There was no logical reason for him to leave the center lane. There was also nowhere for me to go. I had to slam on my breaks as the lane gave way to dirt and quickly duck in behind the monstrocity to avoid colliding with the guardrail. Had my reaction time been a second or two slower, I might not be writing this.
I pulled around him a glared pointedly at his cab, which I noticed was occupied by not one, but two people. I was stunned. There was someone in the passenger seat who should have easily been able to see a rather large, silvery grandma car directly in its path. I’m sure not even a moments thought was given to the safety of anyone the driver was sharing the road with. A few moments later when the road opened up into four lanes, he did the exact same thing. Luckily this time it was not at the juncture of an on ramp.
My step-mother works for a trucking company and she always tells me to get the license plate number if I see any semis acting suspiciously. This truck didn’t have one. At least not on the back trailer. So instead I got his DOT number. I’m not sure if I can track him down or not. I’m going to ask my step-mom, but even if I can’t, I’ll post it here for anyone in the blog universe to see.
If you ever see a truck USDOT 121058 and you are in any position to do it harm, don’t hesitate. If he had the chance this Truckasaurus would eat you and everyone you love.