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Speaking as an avid motorist, it has been my experience that the drivers in Los Alamos either speed, or go unbelievably slower than the speed limit.
I assume this is what you mean when you ask why LA drivers drive “the way they do.” Now I can’t speak for the driving population of our town, so I can’t speak specifically. However, I can recklessly assume and pull facts out of thin air.
Now, the population of drivers in our small, sheltered town consists of middle aged or older scientist and/or retired folk and us teenage rapscallions.
I imagine you are already beginning to see where the slow drivers and the speeders come from. So yes, the older people in this town do tend to go a few miles per hour under the speed limit, but that is for many different reasons.
The older women go slow because they have an even worse reaction time than they did in their youth.
Also, no matter how many bicycles they crush, how many fender benders they get into, or how many cute animals they send to the great freeway in the sky, women will multitask while driving.
But now at 60, 70, and 80 years old, they’re not just doing makeup. They’re applying denture cream, trying to find a radio station that plays music they can do the Charleston to, and nagging their sons to give them grandchildren before they die, all while sitting behind the wheel.
I thank God they don’t attempt all those things while going the speed limit.
Older men, however, are a different story. These men go slow because there’s no way in heck they’re going to drive their 1982 collector’s edition Corvette at speeds that may cause them to get too close to any vehicle.
They drive to cruise and to feel the wind in their beards. These men have worked all their lives to buy just one nice car. How are people supposed to see it and be jealous of them if they fly by at the speed limit? Sometimes, if the car is nice enough, older men make their own speed limit.
Cars slow down to get a glimpse of the 1969 Camaro SS puttering along at a safe speed.
Now the teenage drivers have a different persepective because it’s cool to drive. Kids in high school do many unhealthy things for the sake of being cool.
This includes, but is not limited to, flooring the gas pedal when getting out of the driveway, flooring the gas pedal at the precise moment a traffic light turns green, flooring the gas pedal out of a parking space and flooring the gas pedal just to see if the gas pedal does in fact go all the way to the floor.
After they get whatever junk car their parents let them wreck to start moving, every driver on the road had better beware, because this teenager has claimed the entire road as his or her own.
The long, excruciating wait of 15 years has entitled us to all three lanes and we will choose which lane we prefer by erratically moving between them with or without the use of turn signals.
More often without the use of turn signals, because both our hands are busy texting and choosing the next song off our iPod.
In addition to all this, teenagers travel much faster than the speed limit. We have places to be, people to chat with, tweets to tweet and at home, the YouTubes and Facebooks await us.
If our vehicle that is more rust than paint is capable of going the speed we travel, then we will continue to travel at that speed.
Los Alamos drivers drive the way they do, because they are Los Alamos drivers. I’m sure you now understand.