Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things I dislike INTENSELY about the way Americans drive

This post has been coming on for a while. However my frustration is at fever pitch and so it's time to vent on this here bloggie. After all, I AM Ms. RANTY Pants.

  1. Lanes are pick-and-choose. Fast lane? Slow lane? What? Noooo, I'll just poodle along in the fast lane at 10 miles an hour under the speed limit because, ya know, I just like it over here. Need to overtake? Oh, there's supposed to be a specific lane for that? I thought they were ALL up for grabs.
  2. Stopping distance is for Grannies. Really? I need extra space to stop at 70mph? Hmmm... but that would mean I can't read your bumper sticker and I'm awfully bored just driving along here... And why is the guy behind me flashing me and giving me the finger? He was at least twenty feet from the car in front of him when I jumped in between them. Asshole!
  3. Indicating takes too much time. I mean, why would anyone else need to know where I'm going? Once I'm there, they'll know, right? Plus, if I indicate, that just tells the other guy to close up the space I was moving into, just to be a prick.
  4. Each driver is the only one on the road. The problem is I'm looking for this street address and it's really hard to see. So, of course,  I have to slow down enough to read the numbers. WAIT! Break! Is that it? I'll just swerve in a little to see. Nope, wrong one. Swerve back out and continue on for another block. What? Huh? Why is that guy behind me honking his horn? Idiot! He shouldn't drive so close.
  5. Bends in the road are SCARY! Of course I have to slow down to 5mph to turn the wheel, I mean, it's hard with one hand. If I use two hands I have to put down my cell phone. Oh,I'm supposed to use one of those bluetooth thingies? Damn Nanny state, I'll show them!
  6. Consistent speed hurts my ankle. Why is it important that I keep a consistent speed, especially when it means I have to moderate the pressure on the gas pedal? That really tires out my ankle! Then there's the fact that I'm deep in thought here. Sometimes my mind wanders; I'm a busy person, always multi-tasking, you can't ask me to focus on driving exclusively. That's just unfair. Anyway, isn't that what the break pedal is for? If I just go balls-out for a while, break and then repeat, doesn't my speed average-out at the end of the day?
  7. Missing a turn or freeway exit is justification for extreme measures. Hey, I'm sorry that I crossed four lanes in rapid succession and at 80mph, almost causing you to swerve and hit a 26ft truck, but I was about to miss my freeway exit but you can't reasonably expect me to drive to the next one and turn around.
  8. "Have a great day!" does not translate to the road. I may be all kinds of fake-nice to you when I'm behind the counter at Starbucks but that's because they pay me to be. (Plus, hello! FAKE!) But when you go out of your way to let me out of a parking spot, or give way on a busy street so I can pass, I see no need to pretend. Raise my hand in thank-you what? You need a gold star? Man, you need a shrink for that.
Which is not to say I'm a perfect driver - far from it - and I have found myself doing some of these things myself since I moved out here 15 years ago. However, it's a kill or be killed kind of reaction for me. Defensive driving is a must in this country and the only way to mount a good defense is to match the offense head-to-head. If given the opportunity to drive a different, more civilized way, however, I would.

I would also say that America is not alone in having it's share of crazy drivers. I've traveled and I've been in terrible Turkish Taxis, Balls-Out Belizian Buses, and Kill-me-now Kenyan Cars. But the reality is that everyone seems to be playing by the same rules in those countries and they are almost always paying attention. It's the erraticness, cluelessness, selfishness and unpredictability of the average American driver that blows my mind and sends my blood pressure through the roof.

Anyway, done with my soapbox now. Feeling a tad better. Thanks.

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