Saturday, July 19, 2008

Driving: Not Just a Chore

And now back to our regular bitching: what the fuck is with these California drivers?

I spend my mornings driving to work pondering and analyzing driving patterns, and I've come up with a list of habits that seem common to the average Cali driver, regardless of where he or she originally comes from--why that is, I don't know. I have my suspicions...

Dear California Drivers,

First, we have the blinkers. You know, "turn signals"? Those things that are probably not familiar to you that jab out from the left side of your steering wheel? Yeah, those. Can we discuss your non-use of the blinkers? What's that all about? You expect everyone around you to rely on intuition and/or psychic powers to know when you're about to change lanes quite suddenly, and usually the only warning is a strange weaving pattern you do in your lane, back and forth, before you finally move over--without the courtesy to let the driver who's already there know what you're doing. Hi, yeah, that was me you almost ran into--which brings me to the next bad habit on my list...

You don't bother to look around you. Really; didn't you learn in driver's ed what that strange, shiny apparatus hanging from your front windshield was? Or maybe the things that stick out from either side of your front doors? Or, if somehow they're not there, maybe just looking over your shoulder--hell, even looking slightly to the left before you moved into MY lane, the lane that I occupied, would have helped. A short man in a neck brace could have done it. But I guess your cell conversation was more important than my safety...

Look, I admit that I have occasionally indulged in a cell conversation here and there, but here's where you and I differ: if I HAVE to talk on the phone, I put my driving first--the other person has to suffer through a conversation of nothing more difficult than talking about rainbows. Philosophical discussions? Dinner plans? Wait 'til I get home. I wish it helped that California recently passed a law making talking on your cells illegal, but you don't seem capable of following current events, and you've decided that participating in one of the most dangerous of our daily activities isn't worth the effort to concentrate.

But what really drives me nuts is how you drive in the farthest right lane, the lane that empties off the freeway, or allows drivers on, and you drive 20 mph below the speed limit. Perhaps you're not aware of how little time most drivers have to go from 20 to 60 in order to merge onto the freeway, with as little space as we're given, but really, unless you're slowing down to get off, why don't you move your slow ass over a lane to the left? Why do you bother riding in that lane for miles and miles?

I'm sure I could think of more things you do that annoy me, but for now, get off your phones, put your foot on the gas, and use your blinkers!

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