An Open Letter To The Person Who Slammed On Their Brakes On I-95
A few days ago, we took a short family road trip to the Bangor area. After repeatedly visiting the same half-dozen local parks and trail systems over the last eight weeks, we desperately needed a change of scenery. And yes, we did practice proper social distancing during our visit.
Like most people, we took Interstate 95 to get from Bangor back to the Augusta area. It was a nice day so there were a significant number of people taking day trips. As we neared Waterville, the amount of traffic increased. Between the slower speed limit (65 miles per hour) and people getting on (and off) the interstate, it was expected.
Because of the increased amount of traffic, I also pay extra-close attention when driving I-95 around towns. It’s a good thing, too.
Spotting the brake lights of the vehicle in front of me come on, I tapped my break to disengage the cruise control. Then, I pushed pedal down. Harder… Realizing the other driver had slammed on their breaks, I jammed my brake pedal all the way to the floor. Eventually, we came to a complete stop just behind the other vehicle. Behind us we could hear a chorus of car horns and tires.
So, why had the other driver stopped so abruptly?
It turns out that the other driver had slammed on their breaks in order to let a family of ducks cross the road. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not want to see cute woodland creatures get hurt. Not only that, but I don’t want my daughters to see that happen, either. However, I’d REALLY rather not see (or be involved in) a multi-vehicle accident that could lead to serious injuries or death.
Fortunately, everyone was okay. The ducks crossed the road and traffic started moving again. No harm, no foul (fowl? See what I did there? Okay, maybe not).
I’ve thought a lot about the incident over the last few days and I am pretty sure there were at least a few other (better?) ways it could have been handled. You could have beeped your horn to scare the ducks out of the way. You could have slowed down, but not slammed on your breaks. Depending on how fast you were going, you could have sped up. And yes, there were vehicles in both southbound lanes, but maybe you could have moved into the breakdown lane in order to avoid the ducks?
Again, don’t think that I don’t care about our wildlife, but I also don’t want anyone to get hurt.
I’m glad everything turned out okay and I hope you are well.
Do you agree with Cooper or do you think he's being a jerk?