Automobiles News

Automobiles: Numbers, types and speed

As we observe the process which ends our summer season, we cannot but keep in mind the thousands of automobiles which have both followed and passed our own for the previous weeks. “Where are they all going?” one queries, especially on Thursdays and Fridays. I have been to Rehoboth, Dewey, and Bethany – none of those towns seems large enough to envelop the volume of traffic we observe driving south. And let us not talk about Sunday traveling north! Lest you get the impression that I am about to comment vociferously about the number of automobiles on Route 1 and adjoining arteries, allow me to divert your attention. We do not really need to relive our individual NASCAR experiences of the past weeks or even the past summers. Also, the steeplechase has not yet ended.

We have the first weekend in September to anticipate, and one or two residual traffic events thereafter. Let me for a brief moment, though, dwell upon the miles per hour at which so many of our neighboring autos appear to be (and actually are) moving. They are speeding down the road and changing lanes (remember that movie) simultaneously. This could be considered madness! Several years ago, I asked the question in a contributing commentary, “What’s the rush?” There is the urgency to be at the next traffic signal prior to the rest of us, where we all just wait for the light to change. And then the race begins anew!

What seems to be much more interesting and safer to ponder are the hundreds of types of motor vehicles traversing our streets and highways. May I begin with what appears to be the most popular and most frequently seen, the Ford F-150 pickup truck. It is a beautiful automotive masterpiece, and useful too. The author has never owned or even driven this imposing combination of chrome and plastic, but will speak of it in admiration, especially its often-luxurious interior. It and its counterparts are called pickups no doubt because of the number and types of items which can be transported on what we call the bed. This vehicle is on the road with amazing frequency, except when it is parked at a Lowe’s or Home Depot. The next category of motorization for us here in the Cape Region is the commercial van or truck or sprinter bearing the names of well over 100 local companies which perform services for us. It doth appear, only too often, that these vehicles and their drivers may be late for an appointment. We know this without even being passed on the road (although we so often are), as we await such an arrival at our home with the leaky faucet. And, should I mention our ever-present Atlantic cement mixer, probably the slowest mover of the troop, and that’s a good thing.

It is now time to dwell upon the majority of our fellow motorists in their sedans and SUVs of every color of the rainbow and every shape which can support four wheels and an engine. If one were to stand (or sit like at a bus stop) in one spot either on the eastern or western side of Route 1 in the outlets area and merely observe the procession of gas-powered life passing before us, what a parade that would be. Hundreds of cars, mostly within a four-year model period, displaying their motorized skills and multicolored array of variety. Yes, have you taken note that our roads are adorned with the latest and the greatest money can buy, rent or lease? Whatever happened to the clunker, that 10- to 20-year-old car in constant need of oil and tune-up, and a new muffler? Now, we purposefully purchase some cars with a distinctive-sounding muffler! Well, there they go passing before us or next to us or in front of us. It’s Miss America, automotive edition! Except that the answer to Bert Parks’ question is not “world peace,” but gas at a lower price.

We take our automotive independence for granted, and enjoy the fact that we can transport ourselves to the beach, to the woods, to that favorite fishing spot, and even to the city with relative ease. Hopefully, we also take good care to be aware of those hundreds of vehicles moving at the same time and in the same space if we are to avoid collisions, which are much too frequent on our roads. Let us remain unimpaired via text or liquid so we may truly and constantly enjoy, “Happy Motoring.”

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