After 10 days of travel, not having to drive a car, coming back to the reality of the road I’m reminded of my pet peeves when it comes to driving. It doesn’t matter in which city you live, these rule benders happen everywhere…
- Non-use of directional “blinkers”. Why, why, why can’t they just give a little flick of the finger (which leads me to the flick of another finger) when making a turn or changing lanes? One might guess it is because one hand is holding the cell phone while the other, hopefully, is on the steering wheel. We can’t read minds when we are at an intersection trying to turn left and it looks like the car, approaching in the other direction, is going straight. Then, at the last second, makes his own left without letting us know. Are these people in a bubble with no perception of other drivers sharing the road?
- Tailgating. Good lord, get off my butt! I’m on the 408, already going 10 miles over the 50 mph speed limit and you want to go 80?
- Speeding up to a stop sign, looking like you’re going to run it. I’m driving down the road and, out of the corner of my eye, see a car on a side road, not slowing down for his stop sign. Again, I can’t read his or her mind…do they see the stop sign? Why aren’t they slowing down? Then, as I have to brake, just in case, they come to a screeching halt and look at me as if I’m crazy.
- Four-way stop signs. The other driver gets to a four-way stop. I haven’t reached it yet and no other cars are at the intersection. When I stop, they are still sitting there…rules of the road, if you’re the first one at a stop sign, you go first. It’s like they are so timid…oops, maybe Gripe #3 is being processed by the other driver. Am I entering the intersection too fast and they think I’m going to blow the stop sign?
- Four-way stop sign redux. If we all get to the sign at exactly the same time this rule applies, taken from Florida State Statutes: At a four-way stop intersection, the driver of the first vehicle to stop at the intersection shall be the first to proceed. If two or more vehicles reach the four-way stop intersection at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right. It’s not rocket science, don’t just sit there!
- Green light means GO!! Please drop the phone and put your foot on the gas pedal so I don’t have to honk at you, causing aforementioned finger to flick in my direction. There are a gazillion cars behind you waiting for that green.
Perhaps, one of the problems is that kids are not taking Driver’s Ed in high school anymore. All 3 of my kids took it during a summer session and were taught every page of the Driver’s Handbook. Another issue could be the number of drivers out there who don’t even possess a license and have never seen the rules handbook.
Whatever the reason, please take yourself out of the bubble and realize there are other people on the road who want to get to their destination just as urgently as you. Unless you’re trying to get someone to a hospital, just cool your jets, put down the phone and concentrate on the task at hand…getting there without killing somebody!