Welcome to another edition of Choad Rage! I can't afford professional therapy, so the next-best thing is bitching about it on the internet.

After a pleasant couple of days in my homeland north of Brainerd, we drove back to the Twin Cities Christmas night. As it's been very well-documented, we did not have a white Christmas; we had a wet one. And it continued to be wet into the primetime driving-home-from-up-north hours after dark.

It also made something very obvious, especially on Highway 169 in Elk River.

Minnesota Drivers Are Being Set Up to Fail

As a four-eyed Choad with astigmatism, night driving is fun enough without the addition of traffic and rain. When driving southbound on Highway 169, there's a point in Elk River where the road rises and then veers to the right. This is brand new road construction, and they messed it up BAD. Whatever their excuse for it, it's dangerous, and it highlights a couple of problems Minnesota drivers are faced with.

#1: The Lines on the Road Disappear When it Rains

Figuring out which lane I'm in (or if I'm even in a lane) shouldn't take effort, no matter the weather conditions. I should be able to tell in my peripheral vision where I'm at. Yet, when it rains, most roads and highways I've driven suddenly don't seem to have lane markers anymore. Oftentimes it can be blamed on a road not being painted recently; but in the Elk River example, it's brand-new construction!

Another reason we can't see at night:

#2: Light Pollution

It's a term that's most-often attributed to city slickers not being able to see the stars in the sky, but I'm co-opting it for night driving. Digital billboards are too damn bright. Road signs are too damn reflective. L.E.D. headlights are too bright and there are too many idiots driving with them not properly aimed. This all contributes to problem #1 above, but they're pervasive enough to stand on their own.

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I learned a trick (life hack, if you will) years ago when driving near dusk in the woods. Closer to dusk, the sky is still bright; but since the sun is behind the trees, it's dark near the ground. Driving in these conditions can be treacherous, so to relieve the light/dark difference I was taught to use my sun visor to block the sky. BOOM, I can see gooder! I mention this because all of the light pollution we encounter on the road reduces visibility for the darker parts of our commute; darker parts where deer and road hazards like to hide.

And then there's:

#3: People

Can't really complain about something without mention people. We really are the worst. I've watched far too many dashcam videos lately.

People drive like s#&t in ideal conditions, then they get worse when conditions deteriorate. Put a goateed doofus in a big truck and watch the road rage spread like pee in a swimming pool.

With the shortage of police officers, there's far less enforcement of traffic laws (which - before the shortage - still seemed random, at best). I've watched idiots drive like a$$holes right in front of a police cruiser and not get pulled over. That's not an indictment of all cops so calm down, Hoss.

Drivers in Minnesota are being set up to fail. Overabundance of light pollution, traffic laws not being enforced with any kind of consistency, poorly-marked (and maintained) roads and highways...that's enough to trigger Choad Rage today.

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