Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m sorry I ever asked you to let me drive. Don’t let it get to your head, though. I haven’t quite come to terms with you being right about everything. Not just yet.
When my doctor tells me I have stress I need to work on, part of it comes from the stresses of driving. Perhaps it’s my area. Full of tourists, older people who were alive before cars were even invented, one ways in and out of four different towns, it’s just a mess. And constant road construction. They can’t let us have one…stupid…road to drive on. But I digress.
There are 6 things that cause me to pound my steering wheel and scream. The sources of my road rage. And trust me, I’ve got some rage.
#6. Stopping At Crosswalks That Don’t Have Stop Signs
I’m all about stopping to let pedestrians go (kind of, but I’ll get to that in the next point). They have the right-of-way, it’s true. But listen to me when I tell you, dear drivers, that just because there is a crosswalk does not mean you have to stop. If there’s a pedestrian there, sure, absolutely, stop and let them go. But if not, move along.
I hate this. I really do. I’m even cool with slowing down to make sure no one’s there. But heaven help me dear readers, I can’t tell you how many times I shout “THERE’S NO STOP SIGN THERE” every…single day. Because there’s not. If there isn’t a stop sign, there is no reason to stop, am I right or am I right? (And I’m right even if you say I’m wrong because that’s just the way this blog post is going to work today. Not that I’m irritated or anything from all these stupid drivers.)
Again, I digress.
I put this as the least most irritating thing on this list because I understand where the idea comes from. Most crosswalks are either accompanied with a stop sign or a stop light. So the confusion is natural to people who don’t like to pay attention. And it just so happens that’s a good 86% of the drivers I come into contact with.
So, I leave with you with this dear readers: Forget “No Cop, No Stop” and replace it with “Only stop if there’s a stop sign or a red light.”
Unless someone’s crossing the street. Because you don’t get 30 points for hitting them.
I know in my previous point I said to let the pedestrians go. They have the right-of-way, and they do. But you know what I hate? You’re driving down the road. You come to a stop sign, a stop light, or just a crosswalk. Some pedestrian decides to walk across the street.
That’s cool, you think. Let them go, they’re being healthy while they walk.
Then, the pedestrian decides a snail pace is a good one to keep hold of.
Helllooooooooo do you not see me trying to go?
If you are one of these pedestrians who holds up traffic (and I’m convinced you jerks do it on purpose), remember one thing: I’m bigger than you. Take too long to cross, and I’ll run you over. What else do you expect?
#4. Parallel Driving
I’ve almost ran into so many people for doing this. You’re driving in at least a two lane street, whether on the highway or a side street, or whatever. Say the speed limit for this scenario is 40. You’re on the left (which, driving lesson to everyone reading, is the fast lane, but I’ll get to that in a minute), and you come up behind someone who is going 35.
That’s ok, you think. I’ll just go around them.
Because, well shoot, you go into the right lane (which, driving lesson to everyone reading, is the slow lane) and OH LOOK! Someone’s going 35. And they’re right next to the person in the fast lane.
So now, you’re stuck behind two people going 5 miles an hour slower than the speed limit. And because you’re stuck behind them you have to go at least 2-3 mph slower so you don’t run into them.
I got places to be, people. I don’t got time for this right now.
If you’re going to go slower than the speed limit, move to the right. If someone to your right is going the same slower-than-the-speed-limit speed you are, and you see someone come up behind you, speed up long enough to move out of their way so they can pass you. It’s etiquette. And when you speed up to the speed limit, maybe you can stay there. It’s a good place to be.
I already know my parents are going to be like “You just need to learn patience” and blah blah blah. I have patience. I do. But not when it comes to people being in my way.
#3. Cutting You Off To Slow Down
This is the rudest thing anyone does, ever.
I’ll put us all into another driving scenario. You’re in the right lane, because you’re a good Samaritan and maybe you’re new to the area so you’re driving slower (because nothing is better than tourists who think they know everything and cause traffic jams) than the speed limit and you want to stay out of everyone’s way.
You notice about 50 feet in the distance, a car is waiting to turn onto your same road.
Don’t you dare, you think, because you already know they’re going to do it.
Then WHAM! they pull out in front of you, quick fast like a bunny, and you either slam on your brakes so hard they squeal, or you run into the bastard.
Angry and perhaps talking yourself down from a heart attack, this person decides to go 20 mph. Cursing (because you know you curse behind the wheel, don’t lie), you go to pass this person and you’re met with the #4 reason I hate driving. Now your journey is slowed down because someone else had no patience. They cut you off just to go slower than you.
What I hate even more is when there’s no one behind you.
Really, people? It will take me 10 seconds to pass you and then there’s no one. No one at all behind me.
That kinda stuff drives me mad and is probably the reason I’m going to be getting some grays in the near future.
#2. Green Means GO!
Did you ever play “Red Light, Green Light” when you were a kid? The rules still apply, drivers. Red light means STOP, yellow light means SLOW, and green light means….everyone say it with me now…GO!
As in move.
As in start driving.
As in stop holding me up.
I hate it when someone’s coming for a green light and they slow down. Does that happen to anyone else? Like I said earlier, a lot of this could just do with my idiot area drivers, but I’ve seen it in other places. You’re behind one, maybe two cars. That’s it. Just the three of you cruising down the street and you come to an intersection and they stop at the green light. Or just slow at the green light.
What? No. That is not how driving works.
It’s the same as the crosswalk situation above. No pedestrian, no stop sign, no stopping.
No red light, not even a yellow light yet, no stopping.
Stay with the flow of traffic.
If every driver actually followed the rules of driving, I’m convinced that traffic wouldn’t suck as much. Convinced.
(Also, side note, if towns would set the lights on their busy streets on timers for rush hour or something so they’re all green and all red at the same time, instead of green-red-green-red-red-green-green-red etc… perhaps that may help, too. Just saying.)
So, remember the games you played as a child when you drive, everybody.
Yellow: Slow (also doesn’t mean stop, just slow down. Or speed up real quick if you’re close enough).
Green: GO. Just…GO.
#1. 30 is NOT 15
Everything has led up to this. I understand it is the maximum speed you can go, but you don’t need to go half of it.
I could pull out my hair just thinking about it now.
Nothing irritates me greater when any of the above points happen when someone’s going so much less than the speed limit.
The street that comes to my house is one of these where the light system is messed up and we have idiot, idiot drivers. The speed limit is 30, which is why I chose that (because I was driving before I wrote this, can you tell?) and everyone goes 15. I’m not kidding you.
30 = 30 miles per hour. There’s a speedometer on your car. There’s no stop signs on the particular street I’m talking about, and when there’s no cross traffic it’s pretty much green the entire way.
Why, for the love of all that’s green, do you go so…slow?
There are two lanes. If you’re going to go slower than the speed limit, move to the right.
30=30, not 25 or 20 or even 10 or 15.
25=25, not 20 or 10 or 5 or whatever.
Most importantly, on the freeway, 65 is 65, not 45.
Remember these, good people. Let’s make the driving world a less road-ragey place. Together we can make a change.