“All I want to do is thank you — even though I don’t know who you are. You let me change lanes, while I was driving in my car! Whoever you are… I want to thank you who… whoever you are!” Now don’t these mellow, soothing lyrics (from alternative rock band Geggy Tah’s “Whoever You Are” circa 1996) paint a beautiful picture of driving tranquility? Calling up images of a happy highway, flowing and filled with courteous and alert drivers in your mind’s eye? All ready, willing and eager to assist their fellow motorists. Their only desire is ensuring that everyone on the road reaches their destination at the end of it as quickly, safely and expediently as possible.
Yes, what a lovely daydream… too bad it’s an optional delusion of what can be a roadside nightmare. Highways seem to be overflowing with a growing plethora of distracted, discourteous drivers. All consumed with the goal of getting where they want to go and you out of their way; with no logic behind their motives or the wheel in sight.
While driving in an unfamiliar area, I found myself in a left-turn lane when straight was the desired direction, turn signal activated to inform the SUV on my rear right of my merging intentions. Now… all I want to do is thank you — even though I don’t know where I are. You let me change… hey wait why are you speeding up? Matching my speed, effectively blocking my path… why? FYI those little blinky yellow lights on the backs of vehicles are not an indication to race.
Fine, fine, never mind, just slow down and slip in behind. BEEEEPPPPP! Geezus Pleezus what the??? Oh, the driver behind didn’t want us to slow down so now they’ll angrily swerve over and try to pass. Hmmm no blinkies and I don’t think that’s a proper hand signal to indicate a lane change. Well, have fun stuck behind that indecisive Stupid Unmannered Vehicle… guess I’m going left.
Pedestrians may have the right of way, but when stepping off the curb understand you’ve just entered into a driver’s equation. Stop, look and listen. Look left, right, then left again. “Step blindly into traffic like a privileged, invulnerable moron” was taught in no grade school ever!
Luckily for these fools, BRAKES… with a little assist from a conveniently empty sidewalk. More non-drivers-ed approved hand-signals accompany my life-saving maneuver and…
What’s that garbled thumping noise? Oh almost forgot, vulgarly lyrical, hippity-hoppity rapping music is only applicable if played at full volume. Well that’s certainly not a driving distraction. No more than this lady in front of me who has “no problem texting while driving.” But apparently does have a problem using her turn signal as she sways back and forth between lanes. It’s time to get off this street.
Almost there and… roadblock, as two good ol` boys couldn’t let their pickups pass without stopping to say howdy. Seriously fellas get a room! Or at least pull into a parking lot.
Finally left-laner guy pulls away and my-laner guy doesn’t move? What the Helsinki Sweden is he doing? Oh I see, he’s decided to park in the busy street and block traffic while waiting on his significant to return with their food… from the Chinese place… where I’m trying to go. Hey buddy, ever hear of a parking space? It’s made of asphalt, has parallel white lines and you’re blocking 3 of them! Inconsideration in the rear view, back on the open road, with the taste (I don’t smell) of hot lo-mien wafting through the air, the fun doesn’t end. Doing an acceptable 50mph in a double-yellow 45mph and the guy behind thinks we’re in Indianapolis. Any closer and he will become the junk in my trunk! Suddenly swerving (no blinkies) he barely misses an oncoming car to get around. Minutes later I’m reunited with speedracer at a stoplight as he turns into an ABC (not the alphabet kind). So he’d just risked 3 lives, to get one car length ahead, for a beer run?
Rules of the road aside, what happened to common courtesy and sense? Driving is a privilege not a right, so do it right! When you get behind the wheel, your life isn’t the only one between the white lines!
I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused! See ya.