Diatribe

America's most dangerous combat zone

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour    al@motorwayamerica.com

I received a letter the other day from a reader who feels the most life-threatening place to be is the parking lot of a shopping mall where there’s lots of cars, lots of pedestrians and few brains behind the wheel.

My car is so safe I couldn’t possibly die — right?

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   al@motorwayamerica.com

I remember when I was a kid my family owned junkyards in Indiana. Before toll roads and interstate highways the major thoroughfare through northern Indiana was U.S. 30, the famed “Lincoln Highway.” It was a four-lane road that spanned the country. Consequently, it too-often was a “highway of death.”

Finding a lane on the white line and between the box dots — death row

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour  al@motorwayamerica.com

In my capacity as a future Nobel laureate in the field of automotive journalism I find myself in California at least once a month to drive new vehicles in a number of real-world environments so I can write articles about them. If I’d only been there once I’d still be just as frightened by a phenomenon I’ve only experienced in the Golden State…motorcycles splitting lanes.

Your headlights are still on, or are you just excited to see me

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   al@motorwayamerica.com

How many hundreds of thousands of times in automotive history have batteries gone dead because the driver forgot to turn off the headlights when leaving the car? There could be any number of reasons for this. Maybe he or she departed the vehicle in a brightly-lit shopping mall parking lot or garage and wouldn’t have noticed whether the lights were on or off.

Hey pet hater, your dog is not an airbag

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   al@motorwayamerica.com

How many times have you been driving down the street and saw a vehicle coming toward you that looked like it was being driven by a dog? No, you’re not high on Red Bull, my friend. You’re looking at an overt abuser of his pet and a danger to every other vehicle on the highway.

Thanks for that nagging feeling

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour  
al@motorwayamerica.com

For the most part I think rear spoilers are pretty cool. They look sporty and actually can help a vehicle’s handling. But there’s one major flaw that some of them have, whether factory-installed or aftermarket…I DON’T WANT TO THINK THEY’RE CREEPING UP ON ME IN MY REARVIEW MIRROR!!! When I’m glancing rearward, I want to see if there are any other vehicles close enough to make me to cry out, “Danger, Will Robinson.”

It's 3 a.m., do you know where your life is?

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   al@motorwayamerica.com

There are many things I’ve done these past 69 years that I’ve wished I hadn’t wasted part of my life doing. It could be as mundane as taking a nap on a beautiful day when I wasn’t really tired, dated the ice princess from high school or watched a Detroit Lions game on television. I’ll never get that time back and I try not to think of all the things I could have done instead. But few things gripe my behind more than sitting at a stoplight in the middle of Pinhook, Indiana, at 3 a.m. when the only living things around are me and the unseen inmates that escaped that aft
ernoon from the La Porte County Lockup.

Sharing the highway with raccoons

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   al@motorwayamerica.com

How many times have you been driving down the highway (does anybody drive up the highway?) at dusk — especially during inclement weather — and at the last minute you see a car coming toward you in the opposite lane at the last minute…because the head case doesn’t have his lights on? Or if there are lights on they’re dulled parking lights (wait a minute…the PC term for parking lights is now “fender lights.”).

Potholes deserve to die — you don't

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATIBE
By Al Vinikour   al@motorwayamerica.com

As near as I can tell pot holes serve one purpose; to remind us taxpayers how royally screwed we’ve been getting since highway maintenance became a “ward of the state.” Over the past several decades billions, if not trillions of dollars have been spent to allegedly improve the nation’s roads. Instead, all it has given us is a feel for what it must have felt like flying throughflack in a B-17.

The shortest distance between two points — across three lanes of traffic

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   al@motorwayamerica.com

It’s been proven to me that I don’t hold a monopoly on hate — especially when it comes to annoying driving habits of others. One of my readers sent me an e-mail saying what ticks him off are the “idiot drivers” who cut across three lanes of traffic to turn left. I’ve written previous rants on similar subjects but for the good of my reading public (whom I depend on as an audience for my vitriol) I’m going to use this column to address this exact crime against humanity.