VIII – Driving Me Crazy

We see signs on every road and highway every day—street names, recreation areas, freeway interchanges, cautions, speed limits, etc. Some people think speed limit sings are merely just a suggestion, others strictly follow them. Still others think they’ll get a ticket if they drive more than five below (for example, if the speed limit is 70, their cruise control is set for 65 or less). Then there’s those people who pass you like you’re standing still—you’re doing five over, and they bolt around you in a flash. Don’t people in traffic just piss you off? Traffic sucks, doesn’t it?

I have a lot of traffic pet peeves. Then again, who doesn’t? I’ll tell you some of my pet peeves. Okay, maybe they’re beyond pet peeves. In the words of George Carlin (there I go, quoting him again!): I don’t have pet peeves; I have major psychotic fuckin’ hatreds. Things people do in traffic that piss me off. Maybe you share these feelings with me. I try not to let some of them bother me, but others just push me to the brink.

For example, the ones who, driving down two lanes of traffic, move into the passing lane, and just sit there, “camped” in the left lane. They’re in the passing lane, but don’t drive any faster to pass the other car. They make no attempt whatsoever to go around. It’s like they just want the lane to themselves, no one in front of them. Meanwhile, eighty cars pile up behind them, like they’re entitled.

I currently reside in southern Utah, and one of the big tourist attractions is Zion National Park. To get there, you must exit Interstate 15 and follow State Route 9. This road used to be one lane each way. In the mid ‘90s, it was widened to two lanes each direction, plus center turn lane. Over 50 feet wide. The speed limit along this road ranges (depending on where you are) between 30-60 mph. The first three miles off the freeway have a speed limit of 60. Some people, however, think they’re on the freeway (I-15) and drive accordingly—at 75 mph. Depending on my mood, I drive, between speed limit and five over. To the speed demon rapidly approaching me: Take it easy, hot shot. This ain’t the freaking Indy 500! You’re probably gonna reach the red light the same time I do.

Road construction zones are another source of anger for me. Signs are posted well ahead of time. Right lane closed ahead. Instead of planning ahead, getting in line and waiting your turn like a civilized driver, some wait until the absolute last inch to move over and cut off some poor person who was patient, and just about cause an accident. I hate assholes like that!

Here’s something else that pisses me off. You see an emergency vehicle of some kind approaching, but you can’t reasonably pull to the right without cutting someone off or hitting them. Some people will do it anyway! Hey, let’s cause a fucking accident to give the officer, who already has plenty of room EVEN MORE ROOM. Just like when a cop pulls someone over. Obviously, lights are on. The law says that, if practical, move over. If not, slow down. Hey, let’s move over anyway, fuck the person I just cut off. Let’s cause an accident! How convenient. Cause an accident right where the cop already is. Should be a rather short response time! Oh my god, how stupid can people be?! This one I blame on the highway sign makers. They don’t word them clearly. They write “Slow down, move over” rather than “Slow down or move over”. The former sounds like you have to do both. Even though, any cop will tell you that if you can’t move over, you slow down and move as far right as possible within your lane.

Oh, yeah, people can be pretty damn stupid. For some, as soon as they get their license they become illiterate. Screw what the traffic sign says, I’ll drive the way I want to! It’s my car, I pay taxes on the road. Hey, I do own the damned road!

How about the ones who do something stupid, then flip you off or look at you like you’re the dumb-fuck? WTF‽ You’re the idiot, not me, buddy!

Does bad weather make people think they’re invincible? Shit, It’s raining–not drizzle, but steady rain, nigh unto a downpour. You’re driving at a reasonable speed. Along comes Speedy Gonzalez, thinks the roads are dry and barrels down the highway at normal speed, almost ramming other cars or washing us off the road by the wake caused by their vehicle. It’s people like that that you hope that karma gets them, and you see them off the side of the road a couple of miles down.

I guess some people are good multitaskers. However, these dumbfucks think they can multitask while driving! Shaving or putting on makeup while talking on their phone, surfing the internet and chomping on a burger and slurping their soda (or coffee or whatever), all while trying to text their next hot date, in the middle of downtown LA rush hour traffic (okay, a bit facetious, but you get the idea). Gee, isn’t that a fatality crash waiting to happen? I sometimes will have a drink or a bite to eat behind the wheel, but even I know when to stop when necessary. Nor do I text while I drive. I don’t need to communicate with anyone that badly.

Next pet peeve on my list: those jerks that ride your ass, just because they think they’re in a big hurry. You don’t have a chance to move over, and they’re honking, flashing their brights, or even flipping you the bird. I’ve seen many in this situation give the tailgater a “brake check.” I’ve also seen more than one video of a nasty accident caused by a brake check.

On the other side of the coin, people who think they have to slam on their brakes for a slightly reduced speed limit also piss me off. Why don’t you save your brakes and coast to slow down? It achieves the same goal, just not quite as immediately. Then they force you to slam on your brakes, almost causing a chain-reaction behind you. Then they give you that pissy look as if you’re the criminal. Hey, asshole! You’re brake checking me, because I don’t slam on my brakes to lower my speed‽ You’re the dumb-fuck who can’t keep your foot off the fucking brake! It’s no wonder your brakes are already giving out on you. Asshole!

Speaking of this, whatever happened to plain old common sense? Did it just go away with the politically correct movement? Why is common sense so uncommon anymore? Are the sheeple of this country waiting for their “leaders” to tell them? Oh, wait, that’s why so many asinine laws are passed! It has somehow become the government’s job to micro-manage everyone’s lives. Oops. I’m getting on my political soapbox. Put that thing away. This is traffic school, not political science. He hee. Sorry, my bad…

Anyway, yeah, I guess I kinda have some road rage within me. I don’t go to the point of plugging someone with a 9mm, but I do occasionally flip someone the bird when they piss me off enough. A lot of times, though, I’ll flip them off low enough where they can’t see me. I don’t really want the confrontation, but I do want to release the tension.

Ugh. If only people actually learned to drive, paid attention in driver’s ed and to the road once in a while, stopped taking stupid selfies behind the wheel in traffic (like the people who crashed and/or died in the act of Snapchatting while driving at 100+), and actually wised up on the road, using some of the common sense God gave them, the road would be a lot nicer place to hang out. Oh, I forgot, only about half of the people got in line for common sense up in Heaven. The rest were probably busy watching stupid reality TV shows…..Dammit! There I go trying to proceed onto another tangent. Stay focused, as if you were on the road, dummy!

Yeah, other drivers mostly just piss me off. As I get older, I try to keep calm, and not drive like I’m going to a fire. After all, I really don’t need to get into an accident. Though speed was not a factor in either accident, I was in one 8 years ago (my old Mazda van) and another just last February (totaled the Spark). That’s already too many. Wherever you may be, at home, or when you’re driving (don’t you dare read this while you’re driving! It can wait till you get to work or home, or wherever), please, be safe and be well.

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