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There is a reason for some rules…

January 31, 2010

Warning:  This is going to be a rant thread.  Consider yourself forwarned.

I am a patient man.  This is not idle boasting, I have actually been commended on this trait by numerous others including work supervisors (that makes it official!).  As this is a personality trait, it is innate and has been developed throughout my life.  However, I also actively cultivate it as a necessary skill for my professional life.

And yet I too find myself yelling at my steering wheel.  All.  The.  Time.  As different scenarios occur that incite my wrath I intend to seek catharsis on this very blog, allowing the anger to flow out of me, through my keyboard, and into your face.

Oh, and I will also offer the (almost always) simple solution to preventing these interruptions to my serenity for all to read and understand.  Keep in mind that this is opinion and I know that there will be those who have differing opinions.  It just so happens that they are wrong.

Several times over the past few days, and countless times over my driving career, I have had to hit the brakes.  Now, while I don’t like doing so in general simply because I know that each application hurtles me closer to having to spend money on new pads, in this case it is a specific reason for hitting the brakes that has my blood up.  The cutoff.

I’m actually not even speaking about those drivers out there who purposely ram their car into the space between me and the car in front of me.  I guess they feel that they are accomplishing something.  No, that behavior doesn’t even bother me that much.  I take solace in the knowledge that those people are self-centered and probably angry and therefore, their life has already taken my revenge for me.  Plus I’ll wave when inevitably we end up still right next to each other at the next light, despite all their lane changing heroics.

I’m talking about the people who don’t realize they cut me off.  The reason these people don’t realize they have cut me off is because they don’t use this:

Notice that stalk protruding from the steering column?  Notice the lit-up arrow on my dashboard?  They are all part of a genius system! /sarcasm

On the message boards I frequent I often hear the argument that we all have the right to act how we want, make our own decisions, etc etc blah blah blah.  I have no problem with that, but sometimes the decision is so damn obvious that those arguments are ridiculous and petty.  “I have the right to decide whether I use my turn signals/seatbelt/etc or not.”  Baloney.  First off, it is in fact the law.  But most importantly, turn signals don’t just affect you.  Those people who have cut me off were simply lazy, and probably didn’t even realize that I had been accelerating and had to hit my brakes to avoid plowing into them.  Furthermore, believe it or not, I have and I will purposely let people in front of me specifically because they put their signal on.  The thing is, the turn signal is one of the few ways that drivers can communicate with each other their intentions.  Deciding not to use it, or being lazy about it, that doesn’t just affect you.

So please, utilize your turn signals.  Auto manufacturers have made it stunningly easy, they put the control right next to the steering wheel!  I really hope that at least one of your hands is already there…

PS.  Not to get off topic, but the seatbelt thing:  The argument “It’s my right to not wear a belt if I don’t want to, no one should be able to force me to, etc etc blah blah,” I have often heard the addendum that “It only affects me.”  I guess that is true…if there is literally no one else on the planet whose life would be affected by you going through the windshield and being severely hurt or killed.  Personally I know that maybe my family, friends, and significant other would probably be a bit upset should that happen to me.  So I like to wear my belt (and use my turn signals).


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