When I was a kid, we lived in a small town in New York. It was a great place to grow up. We had a lot of fun there. Once our family left, we were always close to big cities. The biggest changes that took place after the move was the speed of living, traffic, and car accidents. When I think back on small town New York, I cannot recall but one accident. This one occurred after I grew up and moved back. As a kid, I do not remember one accident, not even a fender bender.
The one accident we had was in 1993. Me and my wife had been married for 3 months. It was Christmas Eve in Syracuse, NY. We had no food to make our Christmas meal with. For some reason, we thought we could buy food that night which is what we did in Southern California. Anyway, all of the grocery stores closed at 6 PM. I worked as a manager with a retailer that did have food. I got approval to go back to store to purchase food from my boss.
On this particular night, I did not shut off the alarm quick enough. In about 5 minutes, three police cars were there. At least, all I had to show was badge, identification, and that the key fit and turned the lock. We were a little shook up. We went in and got Christmas basics (turkey,stuffing,cranberry sauce, and pie). I locked up and we left.
On this already interesting night, we hit the highway home. It started snowing very hard. My wife of three months, who was just learning to drive in the snow, drove. As she was driving ,the cars behind us got closer as we were moving slower than they were. Something in the road caused her to slightly brake and the cars behind us rammed into us. My wife screamed. There is something about headlights coming right through your car. The jolt hurts too. One of the largest women that I have seen came out of her car to yell at us. It was quite the Christmas Eve.
Fortunately, the police arrived quickly. He just called in a no fault accident. He took his report and made sure everyone exchanged insurance information. Our car could still run. We went home. I drove the rest of the way. My wife was a little shaken up. We did have food for Christmas. After the car accident, we just inked our first Christmas as one we would not forget.
That was the only car accident I remember there. When we moved back to California, every driving day to work was a day where we witnessed at least one accident. There are more cars on the road. 75% of the drivers are in a hurry. This does not make sense when traffic is going less than 20 miles an hour. If my helicopter was not out of gas, I would have taken it. Cars position for faster lanes. People cut in front of other cars as if the other car is not there.
Even worse, is the road rage. If you cut in front of someone, on purpose or not, they take offense to it. The highway is one of the few places where other drivers challenge you to pull off the road to fight. This takes away from the "always in a hurry" theory. I have witnessed three accidents that were caused by road rage. An angry driver would manipulate the accident and drive away.
I don't really feel that the speed of living has sped up. We all only have 24 hours a day. I can definitely say that constant traffic and traffic accidents are an every day event. Some days I miss the small town. However, there are a lot of activities to get into in the big city.