Folks, contrary to what your big brother or prima dona drama queen friends taught you, driving is a COOPERATIVE activity. Especially in the rain.

–Something I posted on my Facebook page

A while ago I posted a few articles I wrote on self-defense. Situational awareness plays a large part in keeping yourself safe, especially in everyday activities like driving. Seeing someone edging closer to the dashed lane stripes can give you an important clue they’re about to jump into your lane…even if they don’t have a turn signal on. (I always laugh cynically when they jump into my lane THEN activate their turn signal for about four blinks before turning it off again. Yes. I know you wanted to switch lanes. Thank you.) It’s also critical to knowing where your escape points are. (i.e. where other vehicles aren’t)

Today it rained. Sometimes hard, sometimes soft, but nearly constantly. So when out driving, I put a little extra distance in front of me and keep a sharper eye on those around me. It was during one of my area scans that I noticed it: the guy behind me had a very…odd…look on his face. The fact I could see his expression told me he was too close to begin with, and I wondered if he was paying attention. Keeping that in mind, I put checking my rear view mirror on my “check frequently” list.

Over the next mile or so, his expression changed occasionally, but he never looked anywhere but in front of him. No checking the mirrors. No checking the lanes. I could almost see the tension in his neck. If he was that caught up in something, or zoned out…. I put even more distance between me and the car in front, in case the guy behind me needed more reaction time.

Just before my exit, I checked one last time. In the second or so it took me to be sure of what I was seeing, a woman sat up.

Really? Talk about slippery surfaces. And in traffic.