At the risk of sound like an age-ist I feel compelled to point out a troubling trend. It could be strictly a local phenomenon, but I suspect it is wide-spread.
Over the last two weeks I've noticed a growing number of elderly drivers in SUVs. I'm talking late seventies and up. The same people who pull out in front of me and drive 15 mph under the speed limit. The same people who turn on their turn signal and start braking two blocks before their intended turn. The same little old ladies who can barely see above the steering wheel. Those bald, sun damaged old men with coke-bottle smudged glasses who never took a driving test because when they learned to drive it they didn't need a license. These drivers, timid, blind, overconfident and under trained are driving massive vehicles.
My theory is that their mammoth old Cadillacs, Buicks and Towncars are finally conking out. When they go out to buy a new vehicle they choose the ones that have been intimidating them for a decade.
I fear these newly empowered drivers. When my Grandfather totaled his trusty Volvo he didn't want to spend the money on a new Volvo. Instead he bought a new Ford Taurus, the one I now own. By this time my Grandfather was a pretty bad driver. Timid, nervous and irritated by the fast pace around him. It made me nervous to ride with him but he was not yet ready to let his Granddaughter drive him.
The first time I rode with him in the Taurus he almost killed me. I was sitting in the rear passenger seat. He was in the left turn lane at one of the busiest intersections in Carpentersville. He waited and waited and missed a few opportunities I would have taken. Suddenly he decided to go, he just stomped on the gas and shot into the intersection. Luckily the oncoming driver had fast reflexes or he would have plowed into me. My Grandfather didn't even notice, he said, "This car sure has a lot of pep!"
This is the memory that returns each time I see another Octogenarian behind the wheel of an SUV. All these horrid drivers discovering the "pep" of their new 8-cylinder monsters. They scare me even more than soccer moms in Expeditions.