Saturday, February 2, 2013

Road Rage and Women Drivers

By Margaret Tanner (Guest Blogger)

I write mainly historical romance. My only contemporary is Holly and the Millionaire, which is set against a background of the war in Afghanistan. Books We Love Limited has recently released a revised and updated version. 

What is Margaret Tanner raving about you might say? The war in Afghanistan, road rage and women drivers? What is the connection there? Well, none really. I just thought I would blog about something different, and take off my historical hat and wear a modern one for a change.

Recently, I witnessed a car accident.  A truck ran up the back of a woman’s car outside my work place. Luckily no one was hurt, but this incident brought to the surface something that happened to me more than twenty years ago.

I was involved in a serious accident when a fully laden semi trailer ran into the back of my car, virtually demolishing it. How I survived was a miracle, how I was able to walk away with just a few bruises was even more miraculous. Even the emergency workers who arrived on the scene couldn’t believe it. My car was crushed, the semi-trailer jack-knifed and ended upside down, and the driver had to climb out the window, but all I could blubber about was losing my shoes.  They weren’t even designer ones, just the low-heeled type I always wore to work. “Stupid woman,” I heard a by-stander remark. “Worrying about her bloody shoes.”

Everyone knows me – the lady who sits on or just below the speed limit. The one who gets tail-gated and abused by impatient road users who ignore speed signs.

I always leave a reasonable distance between my car and the one in front of me, only to be out-maneuvered by someone else squeezing into the gap. When the skies open up and the rain buckets down, giving the road surface the texture of an ice-skating rink, I reduce speed, while others roar past leaving fountains of water in their wake.

There are those who abuse me for stopping a few feet from a railway crossing when in a long line of traffic, instead of waiting in the middle of the tracks.  Everyone knows the cars in front will move before the train comes. Perish the thought that when the lights do change, someone might stall and hold up the flow, so I’m left like a sitting duck at the mercy of the boom gates crashing on to my roof, or the 5.08 express train, running me into the ground. Selfish woman driver that I am – don’t I realize everyone else is in a hurry?
Why do I get upset when some maniac passes me on the wrong side of the road? After all I can easily slam on my brakes, and let them in front of me when the third lane they have created peters out.  Tough luck if the truck almost sitting an inch away from my bumper bar can’t stop, but a few precious seconds gained, a few extra vehicles passed, means a lot when a driver's in a rush. Don’t I realize how busy everyone is?

The lights are green in the distance; they change to amber when I am meters away.  How can a woman be so stupid? All you have to do is accelerate, as long as your front wheels are at the intersection when the lights turn red, it’ll be o.k.  The tooting driver behind me is obviously running late, and there are no police cars around.
One might be moved to ask what all the fuss is about. Everyone knows you have to take risks on the road, show the machine you’re driving who the boss is, intimidate other road users so they know how tough you are.  After all, you’ll never have an accident because you’re such an expert driver.
A metamorphosis seems to come over many people when they climb behind the wheel. Their well-mannered, easygoing ways evaporate.  They become ruthless predators, waiting to pounce on some unsuspecting victim, whose only crime is that they try to obey all the road laws.

Margaret Tanner is a multi-published Australian author. She loves delving into the pages of history as she carries out research for her historical romance novels, and prides herself on being historically accurate. No book is too old or tattered for her to trawl through, no museum too dusty, or cemetery too overgrown. Many of her novels have been inspired by true events, with one being written around the hardships and triumphs of her pioneering ancestors in frontier Australia.

She won the 2007 and 2009 Author of the Year at Her novel Frontier Wife won the Best Historical Romance Novel at the 2010 Readers Favorite Award, and another novel, Wild Oats was a 2011 Finalist in the EPIC awards. In December 2012 an un-published manuscript was short listed in English publisher, ChocLit’s, Find An Aussie Star Competition

Margaret is married with three grown up sons, and two gorgeous little granddaughters.
Outside of her family and friends, writing is her passion.


Publishers: Books We Love, The Wild Rose Press and Whiskey Creek Press.

Holly and the Millionaire

Fleeing from her ruthless English in-laws who are intent on stealing her child, Holly Kirwan boards a flight home to Australia and meets Justin Devereux. They are instantly attracted to each other.

Justin doesn’t want a permanent woman in his life, particularly one with a baby in tow. Holly, still grieving for her soldier husband who was killed in Afghanistan, doesn’t want to be disloyal to his memory.

Can the young war widow and the commitment shy tycoon ever find happiness together?


Lisabet Sarai said...

Greetings, Margaret,

I'm delighted to have you as a guest on my blog. I couldn't agree with you more about the rash way some people drive. If it were only their own lives they were endangering, I'd shrug and say it's their choice. But they're a peril to everyone around them.

I love the new cover for Holly. Michelle does such a fabulous job!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Lisabet,
Thank you for inviting me here. Yes, Michelle does do wonderful covers.
There is no doubt about it, impatient drivers cause accidents.



gail roughton branan said...

Oh Margaret! Your driving soul-mate from the states here! I do the same things you do, especially at train crossings. The number of accidents at train crossings just amaze me. Do folks expect the train to move off the track to avoid a car?! They BLOW their whistles. They're COMING. How stupid can people be?

Love the cover and the blurb sounds great!

Ann Herrick said...

Margaret, I wish there were more drivers like YOU!

And that cover is just so beautiful!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Gail,
Thanks for dropping by,
So, it is not just an Aussie phenomenon then?. It is incredible the amount of train crossing smashes here, and they try to blame the train driver, for goodness sake.



Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ann,
Thanks for dropping by. It is a beautiful cover, no thanks to me, of course, I can't draw two straight lines on a piece of paper. It is one of Michelle's brilliant designs.



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