The Trash Blog

Texas Bad Driving

After five thousand miles on the road, we feel we have seen enough driving to know the good from the bad. Washington drivers, if not as skilled as some, are laid back. We haven’t much to say of Oregonians as we didn’t see too many while we were driving through the state. Californian’s get a bad rap, but on the whole proved to be pretty competent. It doesn’t really matter how you drive in Arizona and New Mexico since there’s never anyone around to see.

This was one of the many tractors we saw driving in the left lane on Interstate 10 through Texas.

This was one of the many tractors we saw driving in the left lane on Interstate 10 through Texas. Pardon the quality of the picture.

But now we are in Texas. We entered this great state in El Paso, which has a wild reputation and so when we were cut off by someone in a large white Texas Edition Ford 750, we weren’t surprised. After all, living across the border from Juarez, perhaps you really do need all that truck.

As the long roads stretched out past El Paso, looking very long, and feeling even longer, we began to notice a lot of tire shreds on the side of the highway. We were used to seeing retreads from semis and the occasional leftovers of a blowout, but not at this frequency. Pretty soon we were weaving and dodging through what felt like the tire graveyard of America.

Expressions of frustration were pretty common for me in Texas.

Expressions of frustration were pretty common for me in Texas.

Somewhere past the mile post 2001, we began to see mysterious scorched patches on the shoulder of the highway. These blackened, rubble strewn, piles of ash sometimes even extruded into the lanes of traffic. They looked for all the world like an incident of the famous Texas temper mixed with the famous Texas love for large caliber weaponry. Someone seemed to have been targeting cars with a howitzer.

In the month of driving pre-Texas, we did not see a single car pulled over to the side of the road with a flat tire. Once we entered Texas, we not only saw innumerable cars with flats; we saw cars with broken axles, cars with tires that seemed to have detonated with the force of a small nuclear bomb, cars with all four windows shattered and scattered across five lanes of traffic, cars with their wheels rubbed to tiny amputated stubs, and cars sunning themselves belly up.

Yes, those cars are driving across the median to get on the freeway. And yes, they had just done the opposite maneuver a few minutes earlier.

Yes, those cars are driving across the median to get on the freeway. And yes, they had just done the opposite maneuver a few minutes earlier.

On our way out of San Antonio there was work being done on Interstate 10. We had not yet merged onto the freeway and were traveling parallel on the frontage road. We were treated to an excellent vintage of Texan driving when a stampede of white Texas Edition Ford 750s rumbled across the grass median to avoid the slowing traffic on the interstate. Not surprisingly, traffic on the frontage road also began to slow. Equally unsurprising: the stampede of white Texas Edition Ford 750s rumbled back across the median to the freeway. The median continued to serve as an on-ramp, off-ramp, and passing lane for the next seven hundred miles.

Now watch the cars that used to be in front of us preforming the same Texas trick. Notice in particular the large, white Texas Edition Ford F750.

Now watch the cars that used to be in front of us preforming the same Texas trick. Notice in particular the large, white Texas Edition Ford F750.

Another signature Texan maneuver involves using your large white Texas Edition Ford 750 to push the car in front of you so that it will go faster. If the car in front of you happens also to be a large white Texas Edition Ford 750 which is too big for your V37 engine to push, you whip over to the right and try to drive over the smaller vehicle in that lane. We would not have believed such a maneuver possible (or legal) had we not seen it with our own eyes…every two or three minutes.

Luckily, our vehicle is nimble and we have managed to survive this far. Pray for us.

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This entry was written by Philip and published on July 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm. It’s filed under Trashblogging and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Texas Bad Driving

  1. Chris Stewart on said:

    Apparently, everything is bigger in Texas. . . including the claims about Texan driving! Is there really a 750 model? LOL

  2. Just watched a very funny (or appalling, depending on your perspective) documentary: “Rich Halls’ You Can Go to Hell, I’m Going to Texas”. Your experience would have fit very nicely into that program! 🙂

  3. A Ford 750? I now have to look that up. I knew they make everything biiig in Texas but V37? As in V8?

  4. JRhodes on said:

    I just want to make one correction to your post above. While there is a great misconception that the tire rubber pieces that you see along the road are “retreads” when, in most cases, they are not. This is an important distinction because tires are a significant, difficult and expensive solid waste to handle and properly recycle/dispose. Retreading truck tires is a viable and logical markets for tires that still have significant useful like in the sidewalls and simply need a new tread. Here is more if you are interested:

    According to a spokesperson for TRIB, the Tire Retread Information Bureau. Retreaded tires are as safe as comparable new tires, a fact documented by several studies. Yet, retreads have a bad reputation. The perception that retreads are the primary cause of rubber on the road is wrong as a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study confirms. Tire debris on highways (also known as rubber on the road or road alligators), is not caused by retreads, according to the NHTSA findings in the Commercial Medium
    Tire Debris Study. The NHTSA study found in its analysis of tire fragments and casings collected that the proportion of tire debris from retread tires and original equipment (OE) tires is similar to the estimated proportion of retread and OE tires in service. Examination of tire fragments and tire casings (where the OE or retread status known) found in the
    NHTSA study:
    • Road hazard was the most common cause of tire failure, at 38 percent and 36 percent
    respectively
    • The analysis of tire casings found maintenance and operational issues accounted for 32
    percent of the failures
    • Manufacture defects accounted for 16 percent.
    • Analysis of tire fragments found that excessive heat was evident in 30 percent of the samples
    examined.
    The study results suggest that the majority of tire debris found on the Nation’s highways is not a result of manufacturing/process deficiencies. The Arizona DOT study, Survey of Tire Debris on Metropolitan Phoenix, found that for all types of tires, under-inflation and damage due to roadway hazards and debris were the most common causes of tire
    failure. Due to the minimal safety hazard posed by tire debris, the over-representation of different tire types in the Phoenix sample, and the attribution of most tire failures to driver negligence or infrequent maintenance, the study did not recommend that a policy be adopted targeting specific types of tires.

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