Road Raging

Day 22: Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel. (a pet peeve, a current event, a controversial topic, something your husband or roommate or neighbor or boss does that really ticks you off)

Soapbox ascended.

People of Cleveland. I cannot remain silent any longer. We must address this grievous, grave problem you all have.

You don’t know how to drive. Or you do, but you are terrible drivers. Or you are miserable excuses for pedestrians.

Let me go point by point and explain the ridiculous things you do that pass for driving around here. (I realize many of these problems aren’t limited to one geographical area, but for some reason I’ve been particularly peeved about this problem since moving here about a year ago.)

A. The turn signal. Guys. Do you know why the turn signal exists? To signal turns, yes, and also to signal lane changes. Did that just rock your world? I think you may have missed that in drivers’ ed. When you want to change lanes:Capture

Correct action:  You put on your turn signal. Then you change lanes.

Wrong action: Wait until you have  a tiny opening. Then cut off the driver in the next lane.

Did you know that if you put your signal on before you want to change lanes, other drivers may even give you more room to do so? Either because they’re nice or they don’t want you to hit them. This also applies to people who put their signal on as they’re in the process of cutting someone off. You know the type. It blinks once, they’re suddenly in front of you, the light goes off. Great warning there. Turn signal: JUST DO IT.

B. Pedestrians: Consider maybe using the crosswalk. I know sometimes it’s easier just to dash across the street at a more convenient location. But realize your size in proportion to the large metal machine barreling down the road. You maybe don’t want to get in a confrontation with that machine. Do not start across the street if your little joggy-walk won’t get you there before my car does. And if you are in the crosswalk, remember that there’s probably a line of cars waiting for puny little you to get across already; do not casually amble so you’re halfway there when my light turns green. At least attempt a joggy-walk and make it look like you’re trying. I will blast my horn at you. And if you head halfway across the street and wait in the turn lane until the other lane of traffic clears, remember that sometimes cars want to use the turn lane too.

I think I should include in this category those random dudes who ride their bikes in the street going against the flow of traffic. Especially the one guy who was doing it at night. What?

C. This last group of people, I struggle with mightily. Here’s the situation: two lanes of traffic going in one direction are about to become one lane, usually because of construction. There are signs like this:

600px-Road_Closed_Ahead_sign_svg     untitled       Singapore_Road_Signs_-_Warning_Sign_-_Road_Narrows_On_Right

But. Some people take no heed. So they drive alllll the way up to the flashing arrow, then put on their turn signal (oh, NOW you use it!) and expect to be let over. And someone always does. And I wish I were the car to let them over because I wouldn’t do it. This also occurs when an exit is backed up onto the highway. People are waiting in line but others decide to drive in the next lane over allll the way up to the exit and try to weasel their way in. Rage, rage against the jerk driving move.

Also, it’s a common thing in Cleveland Heights for people to assume you’re going to let them over. In the situation above, when there’s a parked car in the curb lane, drivers frequently change lanes without slowing down and checking to see if they have room or if you’re going to let them, always without the turn signal. Not okay.

Clearly I have a lot of anger about this. As I was typing it, I had the urge to use a lot of profanity. I guess road rage would’ve been a good subject for “something you’re struggling with in your lot in life,” my lot being someone who drives on roads.

Ah. That felt good. Safe driving, everyone.

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