Editor, This is an open letter to the woman driving the tan Honda Odyssey behind me up Highway 17 at 7:30 Tuesday morning to Highway 204, where she turned off and drove east. You were wearing a long-sleeved yellow blouse or sweater, eating a muffin out of your right hand while talking on your cell phone in your left hand.
I don’t know how you managed to steer the vehicle — were you using your elbows, your knees or perhaps your feet? None of which would be considered “safe driving,” of course.
You came up behind me with no lights on, during a hard rain, so I had a hard time seeing you in the first place. Then you kept changing lanes, trying to get around me, although there was a line of vehicles in front of us in both lanes so I don’t know where you were trying to go, in the second place. At one point, you did get in front of me, and that’s when I got your license plate number and saw the “Hilton Head Honda” plate holder and an “RHUMC” sticker on your rear window.
When I flashed my brights at you a couple of times, you finally turned your lights on. When you changed lanes in front of me again, shortly after that, I leaned on my horn to tell you to put the phone down and concentrate on driving that 3,000-pound hunk of steel, but you were too wrapped up in your conversation to pay any attention.
Why in the world would you think it was perfectly OK to drive like that? If a car in front of you had to swerve or brake suddenly, you no doubt would have lost control of your vehicle and run into me. I did not appreciate your callous disregard for me or any of the other vehicles next to you on the road. If I was a cop, I would have arrested you on the spot for operating a vehicle in a clearly unsafe manner and driving too close for conditions.
Put down your phones and pay attention to the road, drivers! If I ever get hit by someone who is too busy talking on their cell phone to properly drive their vehicle, I will sue the pants off of you for putting my life at risk needlessly and selfishly.
— Raphael B. Semmes, Midway