Christopher Smith MD Author


Don’t Rush on the Road

Dear Dads,

I’m going with a bit of a controversial topic this week, so stick with me and let me know what you think.

To all dads and men who drive big trucks, please slow down and back off on the road. I personally like trucks, but I don’t like aggressive drivers of big trucks.

I’ve experienced—and heard about—so many moments when my daughters have been tailgated, cut off, or pressured to drive faster by people (primarily men) in big, intimidating trucks. Why? What do you gain by making my 17-year-old nervous behind the wheel?

In nearly all trips, aggressive driving doesn’t save a significant amount of time.

For a 15 –mile trip, 55 mph speed limit, driving 10 miles over the speed limit: 2.51 minutes saved. This is the majority of the trips we take and doesn’t account for other factors such as non- freeway driving and stop lights. When these factors are included, the time saved with speeding and aggressive driving is negligible.

A University of Sydney study collected data from 106 drivers over a period of five weeks. The results showed a surprisingly small amount of time saved by speeding, just 26 seconds a day and 2 minutes a week. More importantly, these savings come at a cost of considerable injuries and fatalities. For every 2,458 hours saved by speeding on 100 km per hour (62 mph) roads, there is one injury and for every 24,450 hours saved there is one fatality because of aggressive driving.

So, in the best case, you might get home 30-60 seconds faster at the end of your commute.

Is that 30 seconds of time really worth putting my baby in danger and giving me a reason to worry every time she’s on the road??

Is your life worth risking for the 30 seconds of driving time saved?

You want to make it home for dinner, but I want my daughter to make it home safely, too.

When your daughters (or sons)  are learning how to drive, this behavior suddenly becomes so much more noticeable. I knew it happened before my girls got behind the wheel, but now I take it personally. No new driver should have to learn the rules of the road while also putting up with unnecessary stress and pressure from over-confident men on the road.

So, for all the Dodge Ram and Ford F-150 drivers out there, please slow down and back off. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable on the road and get where they’re going safely.

And to all the other dads with daughters (or sons), don’t be afraid to remind your children that their comfort on the road comes first. Just because someone is tailgating them or driving aggressively doesn’t mean they have to change their behavior. There’s no need to drive faster to make the angry truck driver feel better.

Dads don’t drive angry. Instead turn on the radio, listen to some music by BTS and enjoy the drive. If you listen to KPOP while driving you can have something to talk about with your daughters when you get home! (See my prior post)

That’s all for today—see you back here next week. I hope you enjoy some slow, safe drives in the meantime.


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