Monday, May 11, 2009
I do not trust other drivers. I assume that they will do something stupid or selfish and prepare myself accordingly. Drivers can be assholes in a myriad of ways, but there are three in particular that bring out the most ire in me.
Improper Yielding: Pigs will have to fly before the average driver will every consider yielding to the person who has right-of-way. It's as if the sign telling them to yield doesn't even exist. They become speeding bullets trying to race you to your lane. Once I saw a tractor trailer in my rear view mirror suddenly decide that even though he was very much behind me, he would speed ahead and try to get into my lane. He was hauling ass and I was freaking out because I had no idea what to do. It's a massive vehicle and we could not share the same lane. Luckily the opposite lane was empty of cars and I swerved into it to avoid certain death. He barreled on through like my car didn't matter. I pull over once he was gone and just tremebled all over. My 6 week old son was in the car with me and if that other lane hadn't been empty, there would have been no avoiding disaster. Since then, I'm always hyper aware of yield areas and am never wrong about the foolish moves people will do there.
Tailgating: Unless you're a senior citizen, drivers need to be maniacally fast. It doesn't matter if you are in the right or left lane, you have to drive like you're trying to reach another planet. I am not a slow driver, but I prefer to stay only a little above the speed limit since I'm not interested in tickets and I always have young passengers with me. This often makes me a target for angry tailgaters. It doesn't matter if the left lane is free for passing, they need to prove the point that they are all-powerful speed demons and will ride my ass to do so. When this happens, I will mosey on over to the left lane, slow down a little, mutter an obscenity, and flip them off. I guess that's more about making myself feel better than teaching them a lesson.
Impatient Turns: If people are impatient about speed, impatient about yielding, then of course, they are naturally going to be impatient about stopping and waiting to turn. A lot of times, drivers simply do a California roll and don't even bother to stop before turning. Many times they've been waiting just too long and even if you are driving towards them, they decide to do a bat out of hell move and turn right in front of you and brake hard. This has happened to me more times that I can count. Just because someone sees you approaching and they are supposed to remain at a stop, doesn't mean they will. Once I was driving and I heard this voice in the back of my head say "T-bone" and so I immediately moved into the other lane and avoided a driver deciding to make an illegal left turn. Sometimes I think there are driving angels out there, looking out for you when you can't. We shouldn't need them, but I am grateful for their presence.
I wish there was a moral to these stories, but I'm afraid that mankind will continue to drive as badly as possible. I may loathe it, but I've accepted it. I can only rely on my own driving and have to be defensive. Impatience, distractions, and self centeredness are the reasons behind so many accidents and incidents of road rage. As long as I've got my driving angels, my distrust of all drivers, and my middle finger, I'll make it out alive.
Posted by Jessica at 6:36 AM