Things that you can do to guarantee me wanting to punch a hole through your neck…

If there’s one time when I actually get angry, it’s while I’m driving. Two things drivers do that can raise my blood pressure and make every single one of my muscles tense up:

  1. Do not use turn signal when switching lanes, merging, pulling over to the side of the road, or turning at an intersection.
  2. Make turns from shoulder of the road.

What do both of these have in common lacking, you might ask? Consideration towards other drivers on the road.

Both of these are considered traffic violations and should you do either of them during a driver’s test, you would fail. Plain and simple. It brings me to ask some questions and think about them almost every day on my way to and from work.

  • What makes you think that other drivers can figure out what you are going to do next without giving them any hints?
  • Why do you believe that, even though I have my turn signal on to make a right turn, you deserve to go around me and other people to get somewhere five seconds before I will?
  • Why do you not use your turn signal? When did you decide to not use your turn signal. Did your parents use their turn signals? Did you ever?

Off the top of my head, I can say that almost everyone driving a truck or SUV that I see neglects to use their turn signal while doing anything that requires moving the wheel more than two degrees in either direction. Today was special, though. I saw a middle-aged woman driving a very large pickup truck use her turn signal to switch lanes. And it wasn’t the “blink once” duration signal either. She had it on slightly before she switched lanes, while she was switching, and slightly after she finished switching. I wanted to give her a smile and a handshake.

Perhaps the main reason why I don’t understand why people neglect to use their turn signals is that you will never see me “forget” to use my turn signal. I don’t even think about doing it. It’s part of the process of turning the wheel and it should be. People who “forget” to use their turn signal were not trained well enough to have their drivers license if they cannot perform such a rudimentary driving task without thinking about it. Consider it like shifting gears in a manual transmission vehicle. You’re not going to, at random, forget to put in the clutch when you shift and say “oops. oh well. it doesn’t matter.”

One theory I have is that if your parents used their turn signals all of the time, then you will use your turn signals all of the time.

The cause of gridlock is people driving and stopping where they shouldn’t be. Two of these places are in the middle of an intersection behind cars stuck at a red traffic light and driving down the shoulder to make a right turn (next to other people who are might also be turning into that same lane you’re trying to squeeze into). The major problem I have with people turning from shoulders is not that they’re getting ahead of me. It’s the fact that you don’t expect someone to pull up beside you when there is a solid white line next to you. Combine this with the person in the lane waiting his or her turn’s neglect to use their turn signal and you’ve got two very confused drivers and possibly an accident. Mr. or Ms. “I’m too good for the road” might be thinking that they can just go around this car in front of them because they’re not turning and Mr. or Ms. “Why can’t you tell that I’m turning” doesn’t know what the goofball next to them is trying to do but they’re certainly not on the road.

In a situation where a person is driving next to me on the shoulder to make a turn, I just sort of pretend that I’m ignoring them, hoping that they realize that they’re wrong. Eventually, they’ll be the ones getting cut off by the people who they just passed.

I’ve been meaning to make this post for months now, but the only time I remember to is when someone on the road triggers one of my Major Psychotic Fuckin Hatreds (tm). My hope is that, in posting this, it will spark an intellectual discussion that will help some of my questions to be answered. Not like it will help my anger management at all, however.