Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Road Rage I

"Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car." ~ E. B. White
Today's edition of road rage is inspired by two instances observed during the seven minute drive between my house and my parents' house - one of idiocy, and one of incompetence.

Idiocy incident: Instead of making use of the left turn lane, an oncoming car crossed the double yellow line, pulled into my lane, and drove at least 10 yards down my oncoming lane to reach his left turn, which he took in plenty of time before I got there, without my having to slow down to accommodate him/her.

I have been told that this is a (stupid, dangerous, illegal) tactic used by drivers to ensure that they will be able to make their left turn and not get caught waiting for long streams of oncoming traffic to go past before they can continue on their merry way. By playing chicken with the people in the other lane, these idiotic, impatient aggressors force other drivers to slow down and yield their right-of-way. The best part of this incident, though, was that it didn't even fit that questionable profile! The person could have easily turned before I got there from their appropriate left turn lane, or if they didn't have the ability to judge my oncoming speed vis a vis the amount of time they needed to get across my lane, they could have turned right after I was past! And since when is waiting for a stream of traffic to go past the end of the world? Where is a cop when you actually need one??

Incompentency incident: While stopped at a red light at an intersection, I had the distinct displeasure of observing a woman driving a massive SUV. That in itself would be a mild annoyance (I hate those things), but what tipped me into road rage territory was the fact that she was seemingly unable to cleanly negotiate the left turn. She literally did not seem to be able to correctly manage the vehicle so as to take it around the corner in a smooth arc from one street to another.

There are purposes for SUVs. I concede this. But nine tenths of the people driving them do not use them for one of those purposes. They are fuel inefficient, make it hard to find my car in parking lots, make it hard to see when backing out of parking spaces, and are a general nuisance. But the worst part is that most of the people boating around in these vehicles have no clue how to drive them properly! You can't drive an SUV like a subcompact. It doesn't work. But millions of cell-phone jabbering soccer moms haven't gotten that memo. Which elevates the SUV from a general nuisance to a deadly weapon in the hands of bimbos!

That concludes this edition of Road Rage.

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