A lesson in unsafe driving

Published 7:31 am Wednesday, April 20, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
Americans have got to be the worst drivers on the planet.
Take the Evergreen man who was recently arrested for resisting arrest, attempting to elude police and reckless endangerment among other things.
Mark D. Estis, 45, was in the mood to run in the nude last week and parked his car on the side of Interstate 65 near Evergreen.
Just before 10 a.m. last Thursday a few people reported seeing a man taking his morning jog with a smile on his face and not much else.
Meanwhile Alabama Bureau of Investigation Agent Doug Darby and Conecuh County Sheriff's Investigator Tyrone Boykin went to investigate a suspicious looking vehicle parked on the side of the road.
As the investigators neared the vehicle Estis popped out of some nearby bushes, dove into his car (presumably very carefully) and sped south with officers in hot pursuit.
He was caught when one of his tires blew out during the high-speed chase.
Estis broke several major rules in the driver's ed book: 1.) Pedestrians are not allowed on the highway, 2.) Always check tires for wear and tear and air pressure at every stop, 3.) Keep your driver's license with you at all times for identification (he may have done that but it is doubtful), and 4.) Flashers are only to be used in emergency situations.
Estis was a prime example of the typical American driver (though with less wardrobe options).
A less typical show of American highway stupidity occurred when 11 fans of the movie Mad Max tried to reenact a scene from the movie Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior on the way to a Mad Max Movie Marathon in San Antonio. They were arrested by police.
The Sci Fi geeks armed themselves with fake machine guns, fake body armor and lots of leather to play out that really cool scene where the bad guys surround a tanker truck and try to wreck it.
The tanker truck driver was apparently in on the act and no one was really driving dangerously. The problem was that they did this in Texas. When other drivers in Texas see a group of nerds in funny looking costumes driving a convoy down the highway they automatically jump to the conclusion that one of Texas' many militias has mobilized and are going on the warpath.
These dangerous drivers failed to observe several of Texas' finer highway laws: 1.) Toy guns are illegal in Texas, everyone in Texas carries a real gun and those who don't are considered dangerous, 2.) No man should ever wear leather in Texas unless they are a professional Elvis impersonator, and 3.) It is illegal to look goofy as you drive down a Texas highway -Ross Perot has not driven his car in over a decade for this very reason.
An 81 year-old woman in Fort Myers, Fla. proved that bad driving carries no age limit.
Dorothy Byrum and her husband decided it was time to trade in their old car for one of those new-fangled Honda Accords the kids are so wild about, so they went to their local used car lot.
Byrum found a car she liked, opened the door, sat down, put the car in gear, and hit the skinny pedal instead of the fat one. The car quickly shot backward with its door still open. The door knocked the salesman and Byrum's 88-year-old husband Robert off their feet. Then the car bounced pinball-like into a parked car, a tree and a wall. The airbag deployed saving Byrum.
Her husband was not seriously injured, the salesman will be off work for at least a week, and the car she struck was written off.
No word yet on the condition of the tree or the wall, but doctors remain hopeful for their recovery.
So what have we learned about highway safety, kids?
For some reason nudists don't work on their cars, too many movies can cause brain damage, and if everyone who tried out a car caused a used car salesman to miss a week of work the world would be a happier place.

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