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July 8, 2020
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Pet peeves that irritate me (an article of opinion)

January 4, 2019

Do drivers know that there is a little object behind the steering wheel usually to the left that has a little knob on the end of it. This is called by several names. Formally called direction indicators, directional signals, blinkers or flashers and are blinking lamps situated near the left and right front and rear corners of a vehicle and sometimes on the sides or on the side mirrors of a vehicle. These are to be used when you change lanes or make a turn to your left and right. 

Sometimes I feel that it is merely there because the manufacturer put it there to hang a key chain or a cap.  On the inside of your car, these turn signals usually appear as green arrows facing the direction of the intended turn. So when you intend to turn left with on-coming traffic, how about turning the signal on before you get to the driveway so the oncoming traffic doesn’t have to slam on brakes?

The lighting system allows other drivers and pedestrians to observe the vehicle’s presence, position, size, direction of travel and the driver’s intentions regarding direction and speed of travel. The lights are blinking so as to draw attention towards them. If they would have been on-off or dim-bright, they wouldn’t have been that effective. The term “blinker” would have come from the fact that the effect and pattern of these lights resembled blinking of the eyes.

If you are in front of a pack of cars, please use the directional signals to indicate which way you will be turning and far enough in advance so again brakes don’t have to be pushed to the bottom of the car’s floorboards.

If the emergency lights and turn signal lights illuminate but don’t flash, check first for a burned-out bulb. This is the most common cause. If not, you may be dealing with a bad flasher unit or a bad turn signal switch. Check your automobile handbook for problems.

How about coming out of a driveway or a side street? Did it occur to you that you must check both ways for oncoming traffic? Many a time, I see drivers coming out of a driveway and only check the direction they will be going at the time and not checking the other direction.

Do you think just because you are driving the fastest you will get to your destination more rapidly? How many times do you hear horns toot and drivers giving their impression of hand signals? Switching from lane to lane in such short distances, makes you most probable to have a very serious accident. 

While you wait for a light to change colors, you can put on make-up, eat your cereal, glance at the morning headlines, fiddle with your music and comb your hair. These are all things a driver should not do, but is seen many times during the commute. Have you ever wondered why some drivers sit and wait forever at a stop sign? Are they waiting for the color to change on the sign? You don’t want to toot your horn, but can you restrain yourself from not doing so? 

Does it bother you when you see people texting and talking on the phone? Do they think we don’t know they are conversing with someone? You can see the glow from the phone on their faces or their lips and hands are moving trying to prove a point. What are your thoughts when vaping is coming out of all four windows? 

What about when able-bodied drivers park in handicapped spaces? Have you ever asked why they park and be told that they are only there for three minutes? Sometimes it only takes three minutes for a person to be looking for a handicapped spot and can’t park because the other person is “only” there for three minutes.

What is your take on tailgaters? Do you have the feeling that they could be coming up your trunk any minute? Are you the person who immediately slams on the brakes to “teach that driver a lesson?”

When drivers cut you off, do you curse and get agitated? That person is either going to cause an accident or will not get any further than you. Hopefully, the accident will not involve you.

Why do people prefer to merge early when a lane is ending? I have seen people stop in the ending lane and wait with their signal on to get over to the other lane, even when there is plenty of distance left to merge ahead without stopping traffic. Do drivers really know when to merge into traffic? There is no harm in merging as soon as you match speed with surrounding traffic. Enter the highway in the merge lane, get up to speed, find an opening and move over. It doesn’t matter if you are at the end of the merge lane yet. You shouldn’t drive in the merge lane all the way to the end if you don’t have to. Some drivers will drive all the way to the end of the merge lane, then just expect traffic to move out of their way so they can move into the other land.

Newer cars have the fancy high beams or the blinding kind that makes you wonder if they are from outer space. Does it occur to others that the high beams should always be dimmed when approaching traffic?

Jaywalkers, rubber neckers and those who will sit and wait after a light turns to green can be seen as half asleep or just not have their thinking caps on.

Do some drivers think that we all enjoy loud obnoxious music? Most of the time, the windows rattle and how about those who think some streets are freeways at 4 a.m. Either with a heavy foot and souped-up pipes or loud motorcycles, they will go through a residential neighborhood and forget that most of the residents are still asleep. Just because some people are up and driving erratically, everybody has to be awake!