Monday, December 8, 2014

Bad Driver Needs To Keep Eyes On The Road

Dear Tazi:

I am beside myself as I am writing this, so please feel free to correct any typos, grammatical errors, and whatever else you need to do to make this letter understandable. My husband ran over my neighbors cat this evening, badly injuring the poor animal. By some miracle, the animal was not killed; but the vet bill will probably be several thousand dollars, which we will of course cover without complaint. At least, I will cover without complaint; my husband will be wailing the entire time.

"George" claims that the cat ran out into the middle of the road and right in front of his car, giving him no time or space to stop. While this may be true, I know a different version of the truth myself: George has a bad habit of not looking where he is going while behind the wheel of the car. George likes to talk when he is driving, and has a dangerous habit of looking at the person he is talking to while he is still driving. If there is nobody in the car with him - and there wasn't when he hit "Zebra Cake" - he will listen to NPR [National Public Radio] and look down at the radio to yell at the talk show host (as if they can hear him!).

While I am thanking our lucky stars that Zebra Cake was not killed, I am doubly grateful that George did not hit a child. We live in a residential neighborhood, and there are several young children with families on our street. I commented to George that he needs to be more careful when he is driving - that the next thing he hits may not be a thing, but a person; but he just got defensive and told me I was over-reacting. What can I do to make George see the danger of his driving habits?

Pet Lover

Dear Pet Lover:

Poor Zebra Cake! I am glad to hear he will recover from his injuries. As for your husband, let him complain all he wants about paying the vet bill - the fact remains, he hit a domestic animal with his vehicle. Most people would show remorse at doing something like that, even if the animal did jump out in front of their vehicle. NO snuggles for George!!!

As for correcting your husband's poor driving habits; you can't. The fact that George got defensive tells me that he is aware of the fact that his driving habits are endangering others, and he is probably in shock from the traumatic experience. By pointing out that he could have hit a child you are rubbing the obvious in his face. I would suggest that you let the matter drop for now. Since George was alone in the car at the time of the accident, only he knows the truth - weather he hit Zebra Cake because he was not paying attention to the road, or because the cat really did make a suicide run in front of the car.

In the meantime, I think it would be a nice idea if the two of you went to visit Zebra Cake to check in on him and see how he is doing. When faced with the extent of the animal's injuries, George may take to heart the fact that it could have been a child that "ran out into the middle of the road and right in front of his car, giving him no time or space to stop". Hopefully, this will lead to an awakening on his part that driving is a privilege that needs to be undertaken with a great deal of awareness for one's surroundings.

If George continues to deny the fact that his driving habits are dangerous, I would suggest that you - and others - refuse to get into the car with him when he is behind the wheel. Once he sees how serious you are about automotive safety, he will have no choice but to examine his behavior. A defensive driving course would be beneficial to George, and the money spent on it will be more than recouped by the break on auto insurance rates that you will receive after completing the course.

Snuggles to you and Zebra Cake,

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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