There are two exits from my neighborhood. At the west end, you can turn left onto a county road that intersects the main road, RR 1431, with the convenience of a traffic signal. I usually choose the direct route, taking my chances with the unprotected left turn onto the 5-lane road, using the center lane (aka “Suicide lane“) to accelerate before merging into east-bound traffic.
The other morning, as I was driving to work, I pulled out onto 1431 ahead of a large pack of cars heading east. The lead car, in the lane closest to me, sped up as he approached me, breaking free from the crowd, presumably in an attempt to maintain his lead position. Unperturbed, I fell in behind him, and crossed over into the far lane. He then slowed back down, so we were traveling side-by-side at the posted speed limit, about 65mph, with a good-sized gap to the crowd of cars behind us.
Ahead on the left, I noticed three deer walking single file, about to cross 1431. West-bound traffic was coming to a stop. I also slowed down, anticipating trouble. The car to my left sped up, then slowed, then sped up again. Two of the deer crossed safely, but the third was not so lucky. As I slowed, the third deer was struck and sailed across the road in front of me, belly facing me, legs flailing.
The driver finally came to a complete stop. As I eased forward, he turned to the right, to cross in front of me. Thankfully, he stopped again, and I continued. After I passed, he proceeded, pulling off the road onto the shoulder. In my rear view mirror, I watched the chaos as cars veered and swerved in various directions to avoid secondary collisions.
I noted the large dent in the front of the other vehicle, where the deer undoubtedly experienced mortal injury. I’m grateful there wasn’t more damage, on my car or any of the other vehicles. I’m sorry for the driver who thought this was a race. I suspect he applied the same mentality to the deer as for me, “You’re not getting out ahead of me!”
So, he wins.
His hurry was wasted. His aggression was useless. He paid a price, and so did the deer. Perhaps, in the end, this will serve as an invaluable lesson. It did for me.
*NOTE: I do not know if the driver of the other vehicle was a man or woman. The use of the pronoun “he” is not intended to signify gender.