Uncalculated Risks
Entry for 2016-06-17


Never drive an oncoming car, and never ride in one. Nothing good ever happens to oncoming cars. They are forever colliding with vehicles that travel in the proper direction, but out of control.

This is one precaution that the National Safety Council and the various auto clubs have failed to list. Their experts have explored the science of unwholesome driving habits so intensively that they overlook the obvious.

For example: If you must drive a late-model car, do so inconspicuously. Late-model cars are frequently identified as underworld getaway cars, hit-and-run vehicles, and the last observed carriers of missing persons, usually espionage agents and embezzlers. Best bet is to drive an old car, even if the national economy totters.

It is also wise not to drive light-green panel trucks. I don't recall why.

In addition to hazardous vehicles, there is the matter of untrustworthy road and terrain features. Hairpin turns, for instance, are notorious troublemakers. If the highway hews to the shape of a hairpin, you may be sure it is treacherous. Avoid it and, if possible, blow it up.

Other snares to avoid: Boulevards with timed traffic signals. If you drive at precisely twenty-file miles per hour, you hit nothing but green lights and cars going twenty-two miles per hour.

South approaches to bridges. The word "approach" has a tentative connotation, indicating that highway officials aren't sure it will work.

Suspension bridges. Don't cross until reinstated.

Routes whose numbers include "13." If you are not superstitious, you may be sideswiped by someone who is; and if this cracks your rear-view mirror, you are in for seven years of you know what.

If you follow these tips, and those of the Safety Council, you will arrive safely, step out of your car, and instantly regress to the hapless stature of pedestrian. Then your only chance is to cross when the light is green and, if you are between parked cars, stay there.
 
 
(Saturday Review, 1969)