Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Drivers get more selfish every day

Most people would probably agree that people seem to have gotten more selfish and self-centered in the passing years. I haven't actually seen the research to indicate how much of this is reality and how much is just our perception, but it sure is my perception that we've become a seriously "It's all about me." society. I guess I should point out the irony of talking about others "It's all about me" while at the same time posting to a blog hoping others will read it. I guess the difference is I don't expect the world to be beating a path to my door over this blog, well at least not yet *grin*.

Even with my ongoing knowledge that people are selfish, I have to ask "What is it with people when they get in the car?" You would think they might realize just a tiny bit that driving down the road is a shared experience. Yes, folks all those other hulks of metal moving around the roads are other people who also need to follow the rules and conventions of driving.

"What's he getting on about?" You ask. Drivers; that feel that won't be delayed any, and thus won't drive like a rational person. When I was taught to drive, I was taught to plan ahead as much as possible for turns, slow downs, etc, and that if for some reason you found yourself in the far left lane, and had 20 feet before you needed to turn right, you just took the time to go down the street in the left lane until you could either find a place to turn around, or found a way to go around the block. But no one seems to do that anymore. Finding themselves in the wrong lane, either at a stoplight or just driving, and suddenly they realize they need to "be over there," and away they go, either cutting people off, stopping in the middle of the road till it clears, or some combination there of. Whatever they're doing and wherever they're going is so vitally important, they can't bother with any driving courtesey by going down and turning around.

I also don't like the folks that get right up on your bumper so close you can't see their headlights because you aren't going fast enough for them. Now, it's one thing for them to come up behind you because they didn't realize how slow you were going, or heck, even for a moment to get up close to signal "I'm going faster than you, could you please move over." But, don't stay 10ft behind my car when the speed limit is 55, and i"m already going 62. How is staying 3 ft behind me going to make me suddenly say to myself "oh, since I couldn't move over before, and that guy's still there, I'll just have to speed up a lot so I can get of of his way because he's obviously more important than me." Not!. Now, before you jump on me about the "left lane vigilante," who drives in the left lane on the highway right at the speed limit to purposely slow "those speed demons down," that's not what I'm talking about. I try to get over if someone's going faster than me, but I won't make Herculean effort to do it when I'm already going close to 10mph over the speed limit, and I'm even less likely to speed up if you ride my bumper. Come up on me if you have to, but when you see I can't get over this instant, back off to a safe driving distance. This is just another form of selfishness on their part. How dare I get in the way of them going 25+ mph over the speed limit, and they're going to make sure I'm aware how much I'm slowing them down by staying close enough for me to identify the dead bugs on their hood. I'm for the rules of safe driving that make things run smoothly, move to the right if you can to let faster traffic pass you , and if you're a left lane cruiser (yes, I know it's smoother over there), keep an eye on your rearview mirror from time to time, and if you see someone coming up on you in the left lane, move over till they pass, then go back to the left lane all you want. But get off my bumper that you've been there for the last mile.

That brings up another thought. What do folks think about 4-6 lane streets with stoplights. Do you view them the same as you view a highway, with the "fast" lanes on the left, and slow lanes on the right? Or do you consider each lane equally ok to drive in due to more frequent turns and stoplights? Now, I'm not asking if you have found that the left lanes are faster; they tend to be, because of fewer left turns or using turn lanes. I mean, do you think slower traffic (normal speed traffic, not 20mph folks) should be moving to the right?

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