Service of What’s Your Rush?

November 3rd, 2022

Categories: Accident, Agressive Behavior, Driving, Rush

Crosswalks in midtown Manhattan

New Yorkers are impatient and usually in a rush. I live in a giant building. A young person entering an adjacent apartment the other night couldn’t take time for a hasty civil greeting or grunt as he opened his door. [I hope he is a houseguest.]

A friend shared a far worse example. His in-law was hit by a car in a Manhattan crosswalk. One driver stopped his car and waved the 85-year-old pedestrian to cross. An impatient woman in the car behind swung around, struck and dragged the old man 30 feet. She was arrogant and unapologetic. He suffered in the hospital for months. His funeral is Monday.

I hear countless newscasters say, after a shooting, knifing, fire, accident or vicious fight, “the victim is expected to fully recover.” Is that to make us feel better? Does it blunt the repercussion of acting rashly as the driver did in the example above? We heard those words about Mr. Pelosi. How can an 85-year-old with a scull cracked so badly he needed surgery “fully recover?” I get a headache thinking about his injury. A policeman or woman, once shot, must suffer some aftereffect where the bullet entered their body even after they’ve “fully recovered.” And what about the psychological consequences?

Even though traffic may cause fits we have fewer reasons to feel rushed. In the day, I recall frantically looking for a payphone when I couldn’t catch a cab and thought I’d be late for a client meeting. We are so lucky to be able to let someone know we’re running late by text or call from almost everywhere. It sure takes the pressure off and if in public transportation we have time to catch up as we can respond to texts and emails. These advantages don’t seem to impact behavior.

Rushing is not just a NYC thing. We suffered dangerously impatient drivers when for 25 years we spent time upstate. Have you observed negative outcomes from hurrying? Are we inured to the physical pain we might inflict on others because we so often hear that victims even of accidents will make full recoveries?

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

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11 Responses to “Service of What’s Your Rush?”

  1. EAM Said:

    EAM on Facebook: In Montclair SOME drivers are more patient and honk less than in my old neighborhood but I frequently see posts for people to slow the bleep down. A few years ago a bus driver ran over a woman crossing in front and killed her, kept going not realizing his actions.

  2. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: No excuse when human life at stake!

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:

    EAM,

    I’m surprised about the bus driver as the windows of busses allow them to see what’s right in front of them unlike a truck with its protruding engine that could hide passersby.

    I was in a bus the other day in which the driver was angry and impatient. The person ahead of me had put an insufficient amount of money in the box so that my MetroCard didn’t register. He snapped at me to hurry up. I told him what was wrong. He grumbled and continued to berate me. Finally, after he did something on his end, the box accepted my card. This nervous person should not be a city bus driver.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Linda,

    We’ve had this conversation so often: The motorized bicycles that race down bike lanes in the wrong direction as well as on sidewalks are life-threatening as well. Sigh.

  5. Loretta Adams Said:

    Loretta on Facebook: Just this last Sunday, as I was stopped in traffic a car who felt he could not wait, drove on the wrong side of the road, passing about six or eight cars. There was another car pulling across traffic from a cross street, (could not see him and who would expect a car traveling the wrong way) tapped him, he tried to avoid her contact, and instead hit a telephone pole, which broke, crashed onto his car, utility lines came down, sparking and smoldering. Luckily in this instance both walked away, BUT his car was towed away by our friendly tow company, and it was necessary for local Fire Departments, two local PDs, NYS Police and utility companies to respond. Utility company worked twelve hours to get pole down and replaced, police departments had to close road and detour traffic…, quite an interruption not mention expense to the Town, all because he tried “to make the light” a hood two blocks ftom where he sat in traffic!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Loretta,

    Oh my, what a terrible thing to witness and to have happen. Your vivid description gives me goosebumps on my kneecaps! And I can’t think of a thing to suggest that would prevent such a nervous person from causing such a foolhardy, life-threatening event from happening.

    Benign by comparison are those who drive on the shoulder of a highway if there’s a traffic jam and expect the drivers ahead to let them in when convenient. What makes them feel entitled has always been beyond me.

  7. Larry Kay Said:

    Larry on Facebook:

    1. I don’t want to hear about upstate being anything but an idyllic paradise. One needs a dream

    2. Since I moved to Queens 5 years ago, Queens Blvd has been a model of 25-30 mph civic rectitude. This is a street that’s begging its drivers to turn it into a racetrack. There must be so many speed cams. Also, I know there are people that disagree with me 

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Larry,

    There’s a skinny part of the Taconic driving north with a tall stone wall on one side and oncoming traffic on the other side of a guardrail with not an inch of shoulder to slip into should a crazy car race past while sliding out of its lane. And Loretta shares a horrifying description of an accident that didn’t need to happen in an otherwise civilized part of the country. Some people have not been taught to play well with others.

    Glad that the drivers on Queens Blvd are prudent. In Manhattan some drivers are so anxious and upset when stuck in traffic it’s hard to predict what they’ll do once they are able to move.

  9. BC Said:

    Perhaps I live in a bubble, but in my community of retired folks living in 760 homes, very few are in a hurry, or impatient to be first at most anything. Since we are retired, we tend to be patient to
    others. Young retirees(50’s and 60’s) are consistently kind, helpful and respectful to those seniors who may be in their late 80’s or early90’s.

    Venturing outside our community, we see folks rushing at the mall and other places of business. Drivers are perhaps the most impatient, no matter where one lives. Driving a car can be dangerous most anywhere!

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:

    BC,

    Sounds like the wise members in your community realize that rushing often ends up taking up more time. I had a boss who would say, “How is it you don’t have time to do it right in the first place, but you have the time to do it again?”

    For those who cause accidents the same thing holds. And if you have any kind of conscience, the pain you inflict on others because of your impatience will haunt you.

  11. Lucrezia Said:

    Lucrezia on Facebook:

    Larry Kay You are right. Upstate is no paradise. The amount of crime may be in proportion to population, but no area is immune. False illusions are great until one gets cracked over the head!

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