Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Brief Intermission for a Rant on Crazy Drivers

I know, I know. I promised y'all a continuation of my drunk driver Parolee story today. And you'll get it. But first:

I thought when I left Houston and then Dallas, that I had left the lands of crazy drivers. And for a good many years I drove in relative calm up here in my nice little town. Now two plagues have beset my world simultaneously; suburban sprawl and the street construction that goes with, and the blight of cell phones.

I love my cell phone, most of the time. It allows me to keep in touch with folks when I'm away from home. If I want to. If I don't feel like being on the electronic leash,I turn it off. If there is an emergency, I can call 911, for FREE! That is a HUGE blessing. When I'm at the grocery store and don't have a list or think I may have neglected to put something on the list, I can call the Dearly Beloved and have him check the fridge or pantry for the item{s} i'm not sure we need/have.

But there are times I wish cell phones were not a common item in our culture. Like August 4, 2005. The day a Chickie {and I use that term with all due derogatory designation} on a cell phone rear-ended my truck while I was stopped at a stop light. She was so involved in her IMPORTANT conversation that she did not notice I was stopped, with my brake lights ON and thus she hit me going 20mph. That caused me to do my Crash-Test-Dummy imitation, threw my poor Boo into the dashboard {thank goodness it was padded} and generally ruined my day.

Yesterday, I'm driving down a street, and there's a car about 10 yds in front of me. About 1/4 mi. down a flat, straight road are two cars in the right lane, stopped, flashers on. Obviously, to me anyway, there is some sort of problem and they are not moving. I immediately change into the left lane and give the driver in front of me plenty of room to do the same. But she does not change lanes. As I pass her, I see why. She has one hand on the wheel and the other is holding a cell phone to her ear. She is too focused on her conversation to notice the obstruction in her traffic lane until she is less than a block away.
She has to come to a dead stop and wait for three cars to pass her before she can move around the obstruction.
But Wait, it gets better!
As I turn right at the intersection, there is another obstruction, again in the right lane. This time it is a Police cruiser in the right lane, with his light bar lit up, red and blue lights going and the solid yellow lit up, too. He's blocking traffic for another car w/ a mechanical problem on a busy street.
Chatty Cathy doesn't notice this, either! She has to wait for others to let her get over, while I, having noticed the problem as soon as I turned the corner, had made the lane change early and went on my merry way. But I monitored her progress in my rearview mirror, just so I could have blogfodder.
What an ADDLEPATED TWIT! And she wasn't even BLONDE!

Did your cell phone come w/ an ear bud? Mine did! Please, if you're going to talk when you drive, use that and keep both hands on the wheel. If it didn't come with an ear bud, or you don't like the ear bud, spend the bucks to go buy one you DO like. Maybe, just Maybe, you won't be so distracted and you'll drive a smidge better and won't have a wreck and hurt yourself or someone else. Or become blogfodder and the butt of someones joke or tirade.


Rabbit said...

Be glad you don't live in the middle of a large Chinese population. I swear, some days I think the drivers around here are 2 years post-water buffalo in their driving skills.

SWMBO make a game out of it..."I.D. the Driver". Any time we see someone make an unsignalled lane change across 3 lanes or stop in the middle of a ramp we assign a point value for accuracy and make a tally based on gender, ethnicity, age and cellphone use.

Bonus points are added or subtracted for political or Latino radio station stickers.

I wait for a day when Lockheed miniaturizes laser weapon technology so it can be adapted to road vehicles. Lock on phasers!

cait said...

Mornin' Rabbit (and Holly!)

I hear ya, Rabbit. The folks up here, in my temporary state of residence, have no clue how to (1) properly merge on to a freeway/interstate and or (2) take the use of turn signals as a personal affront and do their very best to thwart your stated intentions in various insane and dangerous ways.

The ONLY time I talk on my cell phone when driving is when I'm at a dead stop during "rush hour" (talk about a misnomer!) and that's generally to warn my DB to take an alternate route. Or, I have been known to give Hollyb a call from time to time as I sit and contemplate the asphalt.

Can we pre-order our personal auto lasers? If so, please send me the addie LOL!


MadRocketScientist said...

There is a school of thought that the reason US drivers can be so bad is that everyone EXPECTS that everyone is obeying all of the rules of the road and is alert and awake, so a driver can become complacent and not pay as much attention because, of course, everyone else will be looking out for them.

The solution proposed, start removing road signs, lights (install rotaries), and such so people are forced to be alert, make eye contact, and perform fast driver to driver negotiations.

I never assume another driver has seen me unless they make eye contact.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a number of folks I've run across here in my temporary state of residence. I laughed when I saw a CNN article that rated the folks here as some of the best drivers in the country based on their written drivers test scores.

Over half I've come across seem to have forgotten what they learned.

Madrocketscientist--only problem with installing rotaries in this state is it leaves too many drivers too confused, much like merging into freeway traffic

G Bro said...

So, if we all drove like crap, we'd be better drivers? What do they call that in logic?

phlegmfatale said...

I have noticed that nearly every person I've seen running red lights these days is on a cell phone. This seems more than a coincidence.