It has been brought to my attention that I’ve been slacking off on writing lately.  The thing is, I have a hard time coming up with ideas of what to write about.  I’m new at this whole blog thing, so it may take me a while to find my groove.  Just bear with me, because I can promise you, once I get going, it’s gonna be legen — wait for it… dary.  Legendary.  Yeah.

Anyway, this morning I thought I’d talk about something that really bothers me.  I like to think of myself as a pretty laid-back person, and there’s not a whole lot that really gets under my skin and makes my blood pressure go up.  But if there’s one thing that always manages to do the trick, it’s traffic.  Now, I’m no fan of the general public to begin with, and it seems like when the average person gets behind the wheel of a car, their brain just shuts off.  And when a whole bunch of these braindead menaces get together on the road, it’s a nightmare.  Usually it looks something like this:

So, without further ado, here is my Official List of Stupid Things People Do in Cars that Make My Blood Boil™.  This list is in no particular order, and is by no means exhaustive.

1) Changing lanes without warning

Every now and then, you’ll be driving down the road, minding your own business, when the car in the lane beside you suddenly realizes how much cooler your lane is than their lane, and makes a spur of the moment decision to join you there.  Now, normally I’d be cool with this.  The more the merrier, right?  But it becomes a problem when this decision is so spontaneous that they don’t even have time to warn you that they’re coming over.  They just cut right over in front of you with barely any room to spare, nary a turn signal or even a wave to let you know that they saw you at all.  You have a turn signal for a reason, so why not use it?  This is infuriating to me.  If you haven’t already done something to tick me off, I’ll almost always let you over if you just turn your turn signal on to let me know your intentions.  Just don’t spring a lane change on me at the last second without warning.  I don’t like surprises.  Bonus points if they slow down after they get in front of you.

2) Driving slow in the fast lane

The left lane is the fast lane.  Ideally, it’s the passing lane, but there’s nothing ideal about the way people drive around here.  There’s nothing worse than trying to pass someone who’s driving slow in the slow lane, only to get stuck behind somebody who’s driving even slower in the fast lane.  A good rule of thumb is if you’re doing less than 5 over the speed limit and you’re not passing someone or getting ready to make a left turn, you have no business driving in the left lane.  You have no one to blame but yourself if you get tailgated while doing this.

3) Rubbernecking

“Gee whiz, there’s a traffic accident!  Never seen one of those before!  I better slow down, take my eyes off the road, and stare at the wrecked cars as I drive past!”  NO.  This is NOT OKAY.  There is no excuse for southbound traffic on a divided highway to start backing up for miles because of a wreck in the northbound lanes because everybody wants to stop and gawk at the wrecked cars.  Unless you’re aspiring to be the star of the next roadside show, keep your eyes on the road and quit causing a hazard.  This counts for police cars on the side of the road with their lights on, too.  Yeah, I get it–I like the flashing lights and pretty colors, too, but they’re not nearly as cool to look at when they’re pulling you over for driving like a moron.

4) Rush hour

This one isn’t really anybody’s fault, but it’s probably my least favorite thing in the world.  I’m fortunate enough to live in a city that’s small enough not to have too bad of a rush hour, at least compared to some of the bigger metropolises, but it’s still irritating.  Everybody in the city is in a mad dash to get home from work, or school, or whatever mundane thing it is that they do all day, and it leads to total gridlock.  Unfortunately, until somebody invents the transporter from Star Trek, this is probably never going to change.  Seriously though, somebody needs to invent that transporter thing, that would be awesome.  Also lightsabers.

5) Tailgating

Oh, this is the big one.  There is nothing in the world that I hate worse than looking in my rear view mirror and not being able to see the headlights of the car behind me because they’re so close to my rear end.  For whatever reason, this unleashes a fury in me that I just can’t control.  Every now and then when this happens, I literally transform into the Hulk.  I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not nearly as cool as you’d think it would be.  I have to buy new clothes every time, it’s really kind of a hassle.  Anyway, nothing makes me angrier than somebody driving so close to the tailgate of my truck that I can’t hardly even tell that they’re there.  Now, if I’m going 10 mph below the speed limit in the left lane, sure, tailgate me til you’re blue in the face, because slow people in the left lane are just a bummer (see Item #2).  But if I’m doing 15 over and you decide it’s not fast enough, I’m sorry, but you’re just gonna have to get over it.

Now, like I said with the lane change thing, if I’m in the left lane and I can tell that you want to drive faster than I’m driving, as long as you haven’t been a butthole about it, I’m happy to try my best to get over and let you go by.  But if you’re letting me know I’m not going fast enough by trying to drive through me, I’m gonna do whatever I possibly can to make sure you don’t get by.  This may include slowing down, the “brake check” maneuver, or flooring it to get beside another car so you can’t pass me.  I get way too much enjoyment out of that… but it sure does make me feel better.

So what have we learned here?  Use your turn signal, don’t be slow, keep your eyes on the road, don’t get stuck in rush hour, and for the love of all that’s good in the world, get off my tailgate.   But I think the most important lesson to take away from this is that we’ll all be better off when we can just get Scotty to beam us up to work every day.  Until then, I think I’m gonna hire a chauffeur to drive me around everywhere so I don’t have to deal with all this crap.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment with your own traffic irritations, or worst driver stories, or suggestions for awesome sci-fi technology that we need to invent.

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