Commuting, driving and invicibility

Having read the title you are now wondering what those three terms might have in common, well let me elucidate bit. I am one of those nutters (and there are a lot of us now days) that commutes a fairly long distance to get to work each day. I live in London and commute (each way) to Waterloo to work each day, driving. There are two main routes to do this commute by car, one a four lane super highway, one a country two lane highway.

Immediately you may say take the superhighway, definitely faster, some would say take the two lane as it is more scenic. Well the choice is a bit more pragmatic than that, it’s based on survival. I’ll explain, first the four lane superhighway.

On the superhighway the speed limit is set to 100 Kmh (60 mph for those below the border), however I would say the average speed of traffic is about 130 Kmh. The traffic on the 401 (the super highway) is about 80 per cent trucks, 20 per cent cars (or so it seems), trucks moving along at the same speed or faster (they’re on schedule you know) switching lanes with an abandon that would be the envy of any teenager. Speed limits mean naught to the traffic on the 401, none of the cars are travelling at the speed limit, fewer of the trucks are going the speed limit as well. Enforcement outside the GTA is almost non-existent so the drivers have little fear of being stopped for speeding.

So why not speed up and drive along with them you might ask? Well that is because the speed is the least of my concerns about the traffic on the 401 actually. The drivers on that highway are aggressive, angry, impatient, often distracted and frequently driving autos that should have been crushed long ago. Tailgating slower cars until they speed up or (preferably) get off the highway is the norm. Passing in any open lane or stretch of pavement (and sometimes unpaved as well) on the left or the right is perfectly acceptable even if it is against the law to pass on the right. Everyone on that highway is going somewhere and they’re late, out of time, being delayed, overbooked or something. They just have to get there 3 seconds faster. Not only that but they are in such a rush that they don’t have time to tally at home long enough to eat, put on make up, shave, read the paper, finish that report for the boss and get dressed. Then when they finish all that (round about the Homer Watson exit) they begin an argument, sales pitch, teleconference, boy/girl friend conversation of their cells. So all in all driving up the 401 every day is like playing a lottery with the same numbers all the time, one of these days your number will come up.

So … we’ll take the scenic route up highway 7/8, a two lane country highway. Two lanes, one going each way, no middle divider. Sort of like the tilt yards of the medieval knights or maybe playing chicken at 100 Kmh. Woah ! Did I say 100 Kmh? The posted speed limit along highway 7/8 is 80Kmh, however everything I just said about the 401 is exactly the same for the highway 7/8 route except you now have the traffic coming straight at you! Average speed along the 7/8 route in my opinion is at least 120 Kmh, the drivers are even more aggressive, impatient, distracted and dangerous than their 401 brethren. Did you know that the drivers on this route have 400/20 super night infrared vision? They must because no matter what the weather, blinding snow storms, torrential rains, solid fog they never slow down, never travel lees than 100 Kmh. They also drive these amazing cars that in-addition to carrying their drivers along at highly unlawful speeds in blinding snow can defy all the laws of physics stopping instantly on sheer ice and snow, never leaving the road no matter how slippery it gets for other drivers. I have to get me one of those cars so I can drive like that cutting several seconds off my commute to work.

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