Photography lesson

Lesson learned by the driver on my bumper on Maine Route 302

I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of people on the road don’t like the way I drive. Judging by how close they get to my bumper and how often I get passed, I guess I’m pissing them off because I’m not going over the speed limit. Every once in a while I even get my headlights pointed because I’m not going fast enough for them. What happened this morning, however, is exactly why I’m driving the speed limit.

Let me start by saying that driving within the speed limit has given me a clean driving record in the 35 years I’ve driven, which has resulted in lower insurance premiums, which is a great help. But another benefit of sticking to the speed limit was a longer reaction time to road hazards.

This morning I was driving to work on Route 302 in Windham and I had another one of those impatient drivers on my bumper. They were way too close to me than they should have been and found out pretty quickly when I had to hit the brakes.

A dog had suddenly come out onto the road in front of me and I had to brake and veer left. Fortunately, I was going at the speed limit, so I had enough time to react to avoid hitting the dog. He quickly turned around and left the road.

The driver behind me also had to apply the brakes and almost got into my bumper because he wasn’t a safe distance from me. According to a CNBC article, you should be no closer than one car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed you travel. So if you’re going 40 miles per hour, the speed limit on the stretch of road I was on, you should be four car lengths behind the car in front of you. Fortunately, there was no accident involving the other car or the dog.

Now I know there will be haters who think I’m overreacting. You are welcome to this opinion, but I will continue to drive the speed limit. If it was your dog jumping in front of me, you’d be thanking me.

The man plays with his yellow labrador in a winter landscape


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