Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Drivers Listen Up! Thirteen Things I Hate

Yes, this TT is one huge rant. I spent an hour a day driving to and from work, and it’s always my most frustrating time of day. I do drive fast but I like to think I’m very attentive and focused and try hard NOT to be an ass on the road – my goal is simply to get where I’m going, as quickly as possible. I have this thing where it bothers me that I spend so much of my life in cars. Anyways, here is my rant (in no particular order), and let’s see how many people I manage to piss off today:

1.... It’s called the fast lane for a reason. I don’t care if you’re doing the speed limit, or (gasp) 5 over. Heck, I don’t care if you’re doing 95. If someone behind you wants to go faster, MOVE OVER. It’ll be okay, really – they’ll probably pass you by the time you get to that car 20 lengths ahead of you, then you can move back.
2.... That said, “unless you’re a hemorrhoid, stay off my ass!” Okay, so you want to go faster, I get that. Whether it’s possible for me to go faster or not, riding my ass accomplishes nothing but putting everyone in danger. Plus, you never know who will slam on their brakes out of spite (yes, I’ve been guilty of doing that when alone in the car – I wouldn’t recommend it, but it tends to work).
3.... If given a choice, I would follow the car ahead of me too far rather than too short, but some people take this to the extreme. Forget counting seconds, that only distracts you. Know how long it take you to stop, then give a little extra measure. Even if you’re going 80, you don’t need 20 car lengths to stop your car. Likewise, if you’re only going 35, you don’t need 8 car lengths to stop! General rule of thumb is 1 car length for each 10 mph – and these are car lengths, not SUV lengths.
4.... Don’t cut off a semi. That’s one of the stupidest things you can do. Yes, they tend to be big and slow, but because of that it takes a long time for them to stop. And, being as big as they are, I’ll put my money on the semi coming out victorious.
5.... Uphill semi-races are the worst! Why is it that if there are two lanes on the highway, and you’re going up a steep hill, there are always two semis racing each other at 50 mph?! I think the guys who drive the biggest trucks have the biggest egos, at least that makes sense to me. So I have no choice but to (grudgingly) watch the battle of the balls and hope I pick the winning lane. If there are any semi drivers reading this, well, I probably offended you, but if by chance you’re still listening, please, give us a break! Be the bigger man.
6.... Road Rage: Stupid and dangerous! Would you go out and murder someone? Because they what .. cut you off? Is that worth a human life(s)?! The other day I saw something really disturbing. A guy squeezed in between two cars where he really shouldn’t have. As soon as he passed the car that had been in front of him he moved back over to the other lane. The guy he cut off sped up, switched to the other lane directly in front of his car car, and slammed his brakes on something fierce (on the highway at 80 mph). To avoid hitting the man in front, the other guy immediately swerves two lanes to the right without regard for anything that was in it. I thank God there was no one in one of those lanes.
7.... Turn Signals: You have to know what they are and how to operate them to get your license, so don’t pretend you don’t know what they are! Seriously people – it might seem like no big deal to wander on over to the next lane, but you never know when someone is in your blind spot, or perhaps a car is switching in from another lane and you’re not aware. Your turn signal alerts people to your intentions. Some people whine that if they turn the signal on, no one will let them in. My advice is, spot your opening, turn the signal on, and squeeze in there before anything can be done about it.
8.... Headlights are also important. Your state’s transportation will tell you that when it’s snowing really hard, the big ass bulldozer things cannot see you without them! Any time the weather is bad, conditions are dreary, turn them on. It helps everyone see both the front and the back of you.
9.... Your horn is important. Make sure it works, it can save your life. That said, don’t abuse it, either. I never honk at someone because I’m angry, but to make them aware of their actions.
10... Stay in your lane: Pssst…. Hey you … you see those white or yellow line-looking things on the road? You’re supposed to drive between them. The lane you are driving in is not subjective!
11... Blind Spot: Check It! Yes, turn your lazy head around and check your blind spot before you turn. There is a reason it’s called a blind spot, and no, mirrors do not suffice. And remember the big guys. Semis have huge blind spots. If you are driving next to a semi, always be on guard for any chance they might be turning into you.
12... Don’t hover in someone else’s blind spot if you can help it.
13... Don’t roll it, grandma! Yes, I’m sorry, I’m very mean, but I do think there is a point where an elderly person’s license needs evaluated. I don’t mean a certain age, but there needs to be some test involved. If you find that you can get to your destination quicker on a bike than driving, you might have a problem.

One final note: ALWAYS always ALWAYS always ALWAYS wear your seatbelt! ALWAYS! There is a reason they say it saves lives, and please don't ever be caught without one. This is life and death, please (I'm begging you) take it to heart.

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maggie's mind said...

Oh, Amen. I'm one of the slowest drivers, but I know when to get the hell out of the way and stay in the slow lane, and tailgating makes me nuts (and makes me tap the breaks). People here do not use turn signals, and the best I can figure is that it's because if you signal your intention, it's game on for others who do that thing where they will not let you over. You have to be stealth. Craziness.

I get irate that people are so willing to risk my life out there driving like complete asshats so that they can be two cars ahead of me or whatever it is that's so goddamn much more important than that these are people's LIVES, real lives, at stake.

Gah. Now I'm all wound up. Glad I'm not alone ;)

Brandie said...

That's it more than anything else. Why is it people forget that you're dealing with life and death when you're driving? I vehicle is a powerful tool, not a weapon.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I love this list. Amen sister! I could have written this word for freaking word. I live in the Chicago area where there's traffic 24/7. I cannot STAND that it takes me 50 minutes to get to work due to morons on the road, when on a normal day it would take me 25 minutes.

The only rule that would never work here are turn signals. You MUST put on the turn signal for exactly 1 1/2 seconds, then QUICKLY change lanes before anyone notices! If you do not, someone will see the turn signal and turn into instant a-hole and move up so you cannot get in front of them. Ego problem, anyone?

I've thought about writing this list many times, I'm glad someone did because I'm actually relieved that it's not "just me" feeling this way!!!

MamaFlo said...

LOL is an understatement! I know I pee'd as I read this - way to go Brandie!!!
I've got a lead foot and sound as bad or worse than you every time I get behind the wheel, my husband hates to drive with me.
I hope your evening is better :):)

Nicholas said...

I agree with you 100% on all of those!

MamaFlo said...

I'm tagging you Brandie

Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.
Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’ve been tagged, and to read your blog