Monday, June 21, 2004

You're Driving Me Crazy (Revised Version)

Driving habits that seem to have become universal in the past several years:

1. Pulling onto the road in front of an oncoming vehicle when it's the only vehicle in sight.

2. Looping left to make a right turn, and vice versa.

3. Making an abrupt turn without giving a signal, when there are other drivers around you who would benefit from knowing your plans.

4. Going just slow enough to make it through a light as it turns yellow, then speeding up after the cars behind you have braked for the light.

5. Staying in the left lane of an interstate highway while driving at the speed limit (or slower). (This habit dates back at least 20 years, but it has become standard practice in certain places: Virginia and Florida, to name two.)

6. Going 55 mph in the middle lane of an interstate highway when the speed limit is 65 or 70 mph. (Can't you and the jerks in the left lane read the signs that say "Slower Traffic Keep Right"?)

7. Getting all ticked off and speeding up when someone tries to pass you on an interstate highway, even though you had been dawdling along obliviously at 55 mph.

8. Yielding the right of way when it's yours -- out of a misplaced sense of courtesy -- thus confusing the driver who doesn't have the right of way and causing traffic behind you to back up needlessly.

9. Of course, there's talking on a cell phone while driving in heavy traffic.

10. Then there's talking on a cell phone while driving in heavy traffic and leaning into the back seat to slap your child. (Here's a case where I think the government should confiscate your car -- and your child.)

11. How about those drivers who cross the center line while taking a curve because they can't exert the bit of effort required to stay in the proper lane? (What, no power steering, you self-centered jerks?)

12. Don't you love those drivers who like to take corners by cutting across the oncoming lane of traffic? Jerks, jerks, jerks.

13. Then there are the drivers who simply drive down the middle of unstriped roads and parking-lot lanes. They either have poor spatial judgment, suffer from extreme nervousness, or flunked sharing in Kindergarten.

14. What are those stripes for on either side of a parking space? Might they be meant to be parked between? No, they're just targets to aim for. As long as your car is straddling one stripe or the other, you're okay. SUV drivers -- being mostly obnoxious jerks -- are the worst offenders, but yuppie women in small BMWs are close contenders.

The longer I make this list, the more irritated I get. I'm ready to hop in my car and go 30 mph through a 20 mph school zone. Then I will keep going 30 mph when I get onto a nice 45 mph boulevard. Then I will honk at you if you dare pass me. Why not? Everyone else seems to do it.