I’m Just Saying: Gun it and go for it, on SC’s roads

Published 4:23 pm Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sometimes I feel as though South Carolina is the Jan to North Carolina’s Marcia in terms of respect.

Yes, we’re ranked 47th in animal welfare laws (inexcusable, lawmakers), and our ranking in domestic abuse is shuddering as well. Then there’s that whole ‘most likely to set their house on fire deep frying a Thanksgiving Turkey’ thing.

But who knew vinyl siding was that flammable?

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The latest ‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia’ blow is that once again, South Carolina has been named the state with the worst drivers in the nation.

Now, hold on just a minute. Yes, I’ve been run off my own, narrow country lane by texting teens and out-of-towners wandering over the center line as they take in our bucolic landscape. But having lived here for nearly 20 years I can attest that most of this rap is not our fault.

First of all, look at the state of our highways. That is, if you can actually merge onto one of them. Listen, I lived in Los Angeles for 15 years and we had this thing called, let me think, oh, yes, room, to actually merge and/or exit. On I-26, the rush of adrenalin one feels trying to find a slot to slip into between two big rigs and an RV before the entrance ramp peters out after 100 feet can only be compared to racing at Bristol. You can’t brake, you’ve got to gun it and go for it, white knuckled and screaming like a goat licking an electric fence.

(Which, by the way, is why I drive a beater 20-year-old farm truck. The German cars with the Florida license plates are ever so eager to let me in when I give no indication that I’m going to slow down, use my blinker, or actually carry insurance.)

Just when your heart returns to its normal rhythm, you then realize with horror that you’ve got to get off at some point. Only in South Carolina do we need aircraft carrier brake cables in order to decelerate in time to make the tightly curved exit ramp without cartwheeling over the bank.

Frankly, I think instead of being ranked as the worst drivers in the country, we should be held aloft as heroes just for making it home alive after slamming through pot holes at 65 mph during our daily commute while dodging deer and the yahoo in front of us hauling his lawnmower on an open trailer with the unattached safety chains sparking all over the asphalt.

All this while holding onto a Big Gulp of Mountain Dew.

So give us a break, America. Speaking as a woman who needs a rumble strip on either side of the hallway to make it safely to the bathroom at night without falling head first into the laundry room, we’re not bad drivers. We’re great drivers.

We’re freaking road warriors.