Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Traffic Rant

I've had this post in draft for awhile, then I saw that Lightning Bug's Butt posted a similar one last week, so I figured it was time to hit that "publish" button.

Pardon me in advance for going off on a rant, as you know I'm loathe to do it here (pfffttt...), but over the past 10 days or so, I've witnessed all sorts of traffic behavior that makes me want to go hmmmm... I've often wished that there was some sort of gun-like device that I could aim at an offending driver's car and render it immobile. Until that driver was forced to take a battery of tests that proved their competency to drive (ignoring, of course, that they supposedly took one to get their license in the first place). In no particular order, things I've seen recently:
Running a red light - I'm not talking about sneaking through at the end of a yellow. I'm talking the full-blown, talking-on-the-cellphone, oblivious-to-the-color running through the light. It's good that the guy in the pickup truck saw her, because he would have caused some major damage to her...

Turn signals - Apparently some people don't quite grasp the concept. I'm not sure which is worse...not using them at all, or actually turning them on halfway through their turn. I can understand that some people don't use them at all times. I'm guilty of that myself. But when you're in traffic, and you're going to slow down to make a turn, using the turn signal could probably save your life! Or at least keep me from doing major damage to MY car! Which brings me to...

Stopping to make a right turn - What's up with that? Yes, if you're on a busy street and need to make a right hand turn, you'll need to slow down. But to come to a near stop on that busy street?? Unnecessary! Just ask the 5 or 6 cars who are backed up behind you! With luck, though, your turn signal is on. Speaking of nearly stopping...

California stops - I don't know if the rest of the country calls it this, but around here when a car slows down, but doesn't come to a "full and complete" stop at a stop sign, it's called a California stop. Just about everyone does it, especially at a non-busy intersection. But the extreme cases I've noticed a lot of recently are the ones who slow down barely enough to see if there's traffic within a half block or so. If not (or even if so) the speed through the stop sign. I'd love to plant myself on a couple of corners here in town with a video camera for a day or two...

Litter - I've ranted about this before. Where is it acceptable to toss a fast food bag out the window when you're through with it? Or a pop can? Or dumping cigarette butts from the ashtray? Sadly, the anti-littering PSAs of the 60s/70s only lasted one generation...

Lane changing - I sort of like this one. I love having some punk kid driving too fast, changing lanes constantly, thinking that it'll get him to his destination quicker somehow. If he's fortunate enough to be seen in my rear view mirror, I'm more than happy to keep him boxed in. I'm not above slowing down just ahead of the slow granny, being sure that there's not enough room for him to switch lanes. Or just ahead of the trucker who's more than happy to play the game too! And if I'm lucky enough to time it just right, to make it through an intersection before the light turns so that they're stuck at the light. It's the little things that bring a smile to my life...

Wrong way in the parking lot - If you're in a parking lot (big or small), and the parking is diagonal, and the cars are obviously parked in a manner that you couldn't possibly do, it means you're driving down the wrong way in the parking lot!! And rather than a.) avoid turning down that lane, or b.) extricating yourself as soon as possible, you decide to continue down the next lane in the same manner, just so you don't have to walk the extra 20' that a real parking spot would offer, then don't bitch at the person who backs into you because they didn't look for oncoming traffic, because YOU were driving down the lane the wrong way! I don't recall this being a huge problem in the past, but I've seen it happen maybe a dozen time since the beginning of the year. Even worse is when it happens in lots with big arrows painted on the pavement showing the flow of traffic...

Four-way stops - Another rant from the past. What is it about the concept of a four-way stop that women can't grasp??? Not all women, obviously, but I have to say that when I've come up against some sort of snafu, it is caused by at least one female driver. Literally. Every. Time. Four-way stop signs are a cost-effective way of controlling traffic in medium-traffic areas. If the drivers know what the hell to do!
Thank you for reading my rants. I feel somewhat better. Anyone have similar gripes?

6 comments:

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I'm with you on these ones.

You forgot parents who are strapped in but their children are standing on the front seat!!!

Hubman said...

You should come drive in Boston sometime, that's nothing!

Summer said...

Nashville is pretty bad with the driving also. I think I've always heard it called a California Roll (and I do it, but only occasionally and only if I already have a clear view before getting to the stop)

In Hawaii, the driving's not too bad. My rant here would be about the people who text/talk and drive. The speed limit is only 25mph in a lot of places, so people figure it's okay, I guess. One of my coworkers said he wouldn't upgrade to a smart phone ONLY because it would be harder to text and drive if he switched out cell phones.

Sissy said...

Actions as these make me want to run for the hills. Drivers in my area seem to think they own the roads and that I'm trespassing. I won't even go where the traffic is overwhelming but stick to side or backroads.

No one Special said...

If I drive aggressive enough I find that people dont hover around me.
:)
just kidding

Anonymous said...

I've had SEVERAL "near misses" with other automobiles in the last few months. Are drivers getting worse?

Had one this morning when my left turn arrow turned green & some guy in a minivan in the oncoming traffic decided it was his turn to go straight (it wasn't). I pulled into the intersection & waited for him to pass. He looked at me, then looked up at his RED light, but he had already passed, so I missed the expression on his face. I hope that was his only OOPS moment of the day!
-NoOneInParticular :)