Ten Things Tuesday – June 15

15 Jun

One thing that really irks me is uncourteous (discourteous?) drivers. Very few things annoy me more than merging into traffic that won’t let you over or tailgaters that pressure you off the road. Here are ten of the worst driving habits, and things guaranteed to give me road rage:

1. Driving in the rain or the dark without your lights. It’s kind of illegal to do this, in the first place, not to mention the fact that it’s highly unsafe. Some of us out there don’t have the best vision, and it only gets worse after night or during bad weather. If I can’t see you at all, who’s to say that I won’t just go ramming right into the back of you? It always infuriates me to see how many cars drive around without their lights when it’s raining. And it’s cars who are rain-colored, too. That just adds to the fact that you’re practically invisible. Don’t you want people to know where you are? It’s not like you can outrun the rain in your invisible stealth mode. Last I checked, we were not all driving Batmobiles. For your safety and mine, please, please, please turn on those lights!

2. Staying in the right lane when people are merging onto the highway. I realize there are cetain high-traffic times when this is really impossible, but you wouldn’t believe the number of times I’ve tried to merge on the highway lately and there was just one car close by, and that one car was in the right lane, minding his own business. Nevermind the fact that I’m about to run out of road in 30 feet and that I really need to merge left to avoid rumble strips and ditches. You just keep going, and don’t mind me. Especially when I sideswipe you trying to avoid hitting that guardrail or that sign. I make a great effort to be courteous and let you over, and I expect the same from you.

3. Tailgaiting. I know you’re in a hurry to get wherever it is you’re going, but frankly, my dear, I just don’t give a damn. I’m driving a few miles over the speed limit already myself, so there’s really no need for you to make up for your lack of manhood by making me feel like a tortoise. We’ll all get where we’re going in good time, and there’s absolutely no reason for you to ride on my coattails until I feel like I should have my license revoked. Seriously, back up.

4. Feet sticking out of the window. Particularly bare feet. I do realize that I live in the South and we don’t actually own shoes down here, that you’re likely in your old truck with no air conditioning in the middle of the sweltering summer, and that you’re a relaxed passenger along for the ride. That doesn’t necessarily mean I want to look over and see your toes hanging out of an open window. It’s not the most dangerous thing you can do on the road, but it’s certainly one of the most unflattering.

5. Four way stops. No one seems to know what to do at them, unless there is a traffic light. Seriously? It’s not that hard. Whoever gets there first has the right-of-way, and when traffic is backed up, you take turns going in a circle clockwise. It is not that difficult, and yet no one seems to know what to do. We’re all in such a big hurry to get places that we decide it’s our turn even when it’s not. And don’t pull that sneak attack where you go right after the person in front of you. That’s just not cool.

6. 18-wheel trucks. They’re just plain scary. And they don’t seem to have eyes most of the time. Numerous times, I’ve barely escaped getting run off the road by a huge truck that cannot see me. We need to rethink our mass shipping system.

7. Not using your turn signal. My mother is notoriously lazy about this one. I’d just really like to know if you’re turning, or going straight, or what. There’s a reason we have those little blinkers. Use them!

8. Loud, blaring radios. Look, I respect your right to listen to whatever crap you listen to in your car. I do not, however, appreciate having to listen to it in my car as well. I have something called taste, which you obviously lack or you wouldn’t tolerate that crap polluting your eardrums. I reserve the right to be in my car and not be able to hear your music. Especially with the windows down. And while rock and roll ain’t noise pollution, some things are, and this includes your loud, obnoxious rap music blaring from open windows and directly into my consciousness. It’s a nice day outside, and I want my windows down, too. I just don’t want to be able to hear your radio over my own.

9. People who walk out in front of cars in the parking lot. This is especially true if you live in any Southern town and you are at Wal-Mart. Just another reason not to shop there. These are the people who don’t seem to care that they are blocking everything from happening. They let their children run out in front of cars, block traffic with their carts, and walk right down the middle of the lot so you can’t go anywhere. I’m always tempted to creep up behind them (this would be impossible, seeing as my car is loud), and just blast them with the horn. I’d love nothing more than to do this, just once, and have someone crap their pants. That would be sweet satisfaction. It’s not like I’m in a huge hurry to get that parking spot. I’m not here to win any races. It’s just that I’m tired of watching your slow ass stop and check for you keys, while cars pile up behind me. Get out of the way, for real. That whole being a pedestrian thing should not be taken advantage of!

And for that matter, let’s talk for just a second about those terrible, hurried parkers who take up two spaces at a time. Yes, I’m talking to you, compact cars. There’s a reason your cars are compact – so they don’t take up so much room! This doesn’t give you the right to suddenly lose all ability to park within the lines. Remember that, from kindergarten – that whole staying inside the lines thing? I know we encourage breaking out of the box, but parking is not one of those areas where you should take heed of this. For heaven’s sake, stay in your own space! Nothing gives you the right or makes you so special to take up two whole spaces!

10. Cutting me off in traffic. Nothing makes me more nervous than you have you whip your snazzy little sportscar in and out of traffic, just to prove that you could beat any NASCAR driver with your eyes shut. I’m not impressed in the least, and honestly you’re scaring me a bit, because I don’t know where you’re going to pop up next. And God help you if you weave in and out of different lanes just when I’m about to make a move. I can’t stand getting cut off. Would you like it if I did the same thing to you?

And actually, add NASCAR as my #11. The whole thing just pisses me off.

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