It’s A Dangerous Road Out There

Thus, the UVC course.

Why Urban Vehicular Combat? Because the scenario reminds me of the military preparing young warriors for combat. You can put them through the training and exercises, but nobody knows how they’ll react in combat until they’re in it.

When I was a young Marine, I once asked a sergeant major how long it took to be considered a combat veteran. He said, “Son, when that first bullet goes over your head close enough to make you hit the dirt, you’re a veteran.”

That’s sort of how I’ve felt each time I’ve gotten out of the vehicle after one of our high-speed driver’s education adventures; like I’ve dodged the bullet one more time.

But then, I pretty much felt that way every time I got home when I commuted daily, and I was the one driving!

I think there needs to be UVC re-certification going on constantly, too. I’ve seen “experienced” drivers out there doing some mighty juvenile and downright dangerous stuff.

Do people really think they will be able to react at 70 mph when the car 10 feet in front of them has to slam on the brakes for whatever justified or unjustified reason?

Do big-rig drivers really think those air brakes are going to stop them on a dime before they smush the little VW bug whose rear bumper they are riding?

Does the mom with three kids in car seats really think she’s concentrating on the road in 75 mph bumper-to-bumper traffic while she’s having an animated conversation on her cell phone?

Does the 20-year-old driver of the Honda CRX filled with four or five or however many other friends with the audio system from hell causing seismic disruptions really think he and his friends will survive a high-speed collision with the log truck in front of them?

These aren’t made-up examples. I’ve seen these things on the road…and more. It scares the bejeebers out of me, and I’ve been driving since the Kennedy administration. Imagine how it must look to a young, inexperienced driver just getting behind the wheel.

So, maybe there needs to be a driving simulator, like the flight simulators pilots use; maybe it exists and I just haven’t heard about it. They can simulate all the bumps, all the jolts, even the gut-wrenching sound of a car crash; with no real injuries.

What is the purpose of the UVC course, you ask?

A UVC course would remind people that speed does kill; that a vehicle is a weapon and, like any weapon, can be safe, or unsafe, depending on how it is handled.

It would remind people that we can control accidents by controlling our own speed and actions while behind the wheel. It would remind them that their speeding probably doesn’t get them where they’re going all that much faster anyway.

Maybe it would just remind people that there is no place so important to get to that it’s worth a human life to get there.

It’s a dangerous road out there, folks. So on this Friday, August 10, 2012 (or whenever you may read this), I hope everyone drives like brand new graduates of the first-ever UVC Course USA!

Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine, who also served until recently in municipal parks and recreation, lives in Peachtree City, Ga., and can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email

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One comment on “It’s A Dangerous Road Out There

  1. The black ribbon of death – Didn’t we ride that at Six Flags last weekend?

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