Monday, June 26, 2006

Road Rage: Rule Reminders for the Vehicularly Challenged

For the love of Pete! I can't take it anymore! The driving habits of the distracted and disturbed make me crazy and I'm not gonna take it. Rather than buy a high-powered rocket launcher and attach it to my intimidating black SUV, I shall remind my dear readers (none of which need this education, of course, but they may want to forward this along to known offenders) of some basic road rules.

Don't people take Drivers Education anymore? Evidently, anyone with the I.Q. of a tree stump can get a license.

Here are my greivances and rule reviews in no particular order:

  1. The vehicle in the turn lane has the right of way. If you are sitting at a stop or exitting a shopping center, and someone is turning left off of the boulevard onto your street or into the parking lot, the other vehicle gets to go first. Always. Wait your turn, bonehead!
  2. Related to that, when pulling into a boulevard to turn, take it wide. The reason? You can see oncoming traffic. When you pull around tight and then another vehicle pulls in to go the other direction, you block each others views of the traffic and get "stuck". Idiots.
  3. At a four way stop, when two people get to the intersection at the same time, the person to the right has the right of way. First, don't sit there slack-jawed and dull waiting for the other person if you're to the right. And don't wave them through either. Just go, already and save the politesse for opening doors and letting old ladies sit on the bus. Second, if you are to the left, be patient, you selfish jerk. It is not a God-ordained right to go through the intersection first. Idiot.
  4. At a four way stop, when people in all four directions get there at the same time, those who do not cross traffic have the right of way. Those who turn right go first. Those who turn left wait. When done right, this driving "challenge" looks like a lovely vehicular ballet.
  5. When turning left or right onto a street, keep your vehicle in the lane closest to you. That is, don't turn right onto a street and veer into the other lane. Sideswiping is so much fun when some dumbass turns right while you have the left hand turn signal, but staying in the lane nearest you minimizes that risk.
  6. When passing someone on the left, you should accelerate around them and into the right lane, not slow down. No one, even Cops, gives a flip if you exceed the speed limit, momentarily, to pass. You are welcome to slow down to the speed limit once firmly in the lane. And, hello all buttheads? Listen up! Don't pass and then slow down to five miles under the speed-limit. Go to a shrink and get your subconscious anger and control issues resolved. Don't take your neurosis out on innocent travelers. Please!
  7. When merging, the person driving on the street should maintain speed. Do not slow down to allow someone into traffic. It is the other vehicle's job to merge. Thus the term merge.
  8. Mergers, if the sign says merge, merge. Don't stop! For the love of peet, if the traffic engineers believed a stop sign was necessary they would have had you stop. If you weren't talking on the telephone, rock head, you could "multi-task" accelerating and turning. I know it's a lot to manage.
  9. When someone is turning left and there is lots of traffic, and they need to turn in front of you to get into the parking lot, do not wave them across. You are then liable if they get broadsided by a vehicle that roars up to the traffic.
  10. If you are leaving a parking lot and need to make a quick left, don't cross four lanes of traffic, essentially travelling parallel to your desired route. Think ahead and go out of the parking lot another way.
  11. Use your turn signals. Maybe your wife can read your mind, but the rest of us can't.
  12. Parents, even though we are heartened that some Americans are still disciplining their off-spring, could you please refrain from doing so from the front seat. I have yet to see stellar driving from someone whose head is turned 180 yelling at junior. I dunno, I find it disconcerting when I make eye-contact with the driver ahead of me. Call me crazy.
  13. Not that you'll understand this point, but I'll write it anyway since this is a snarky rant, the Cops know you're illegal even if you drive 15 miles under the speed-limit. Towing lawn equipment is no excuse. If your car is road-worthy, drive the speed limit. You'll blend in better, I promise.
  14. A new immigrant Wop ("Wop" means without papers--a slang term used derogetorily against Italians at one time--although this guy disagrees), at least learn what the signs mean. Good grief, navigating around cell phone users only to be killed because someone doesn't know that Stop means Stop (an alternate version of "no means no".)
And finally, NEWSFLASH! You are an average driver at best. Some days you absolutely suck at driving. Don't blab on the cellphone and think that you can do two things at once. You can't. Your mediocre reflexes get 10x worse (akin to being drunk) when you yack on the phone.

Focus. Practice Zen. Be in the moment. Drive.

Oh, and follow the rules! I feel better.

Update: Psychology Today has an Article today (I hadn't read it yet) titled "Women Driven Mad". A study of 97 men and women (not exactly scientific, but fun and authoritative sounding, nonetheless) reveals this:

The change, Herman believes, stems from women's boost in self-perception and identity, resulting from a recent climb up the career ladder. "Women are now achieving things and are less tolerant of other people," she says. "They wonder, 'Don't you realize I'm a busy person?'"

In fact, what most triggers road rage among both sexes is their jobs, Herman finds in her study at Central Michigan University. "Oppressive conditions and alienation in the workplace lead people to misdirect their anger when they drive," she says. So for women, the rush of near-equality combined with the stress of high-powered jobs may be a recipe for rage.

I don't know what this says about me--a high-powered mostly stay-at-home mom with work worked around that job. I must say that I do experience "oppressive conditions [poopy diapers are definitely oppressive] and alienation [there is no one else to blame but me, I feel so alienated, from, me?] in the workplace".

1 comment:

vj said...

This post had me roaring just now. First of all Melissa, you sound like you are getting ready start your period.
Second, I came home from Houston today having to navigate myself around an area that I was totally unfamiliar with and I was a nervous wreck when I got home. I pissed one man off so bad he shot the finger at me. I slowed down when I should not have because I was not sure which way to go. This post could not have come at a better time!!:0
Glad though that I did'nt have you behind would have been writing about me today and call me a butthead and idiot. It's okay, I would have deserved it.