Remember your first car? Mine was a 1972 Dodge Swinger with 87,000 miles. I bought it in 1976 when we moved to Massachusetts. It cost about $1,800. I have always been practical about a car. I never wanted a convertible because I always had visions of being decapitated like Jane Mansfield. It’s an ongoing worry. I learned to drive when I was 21 because when you grow up in New York City, you don’t need a car. Moving to a more rural area meant getting a car and learning to drive. So, after 43 years, I think I would be considered an experienced driver with an almost, unblemished driving record.
So this rant is for my fellow drivers on the roads in Massachusetts. I’ve been watching you and I have a number of suggestions. I can see you reading on your cell phone. I saw you holding it up at eye level, and glancing at the road between texts or messages. I quickly accelerated past you, on the left, in the passing lane, because I was convinced we might meet by accident, if you know what I mean. I also want to point out to those of you who are engaged in a heated conversation with your passenger, that turning to make your point, while you are driving, means you might not exactly see that Mack truck in front of you. Your passenger is there, right next to you. They have not exited the vehicle while you kept your eyes on the road. Perhaps a rest area might be a better place to settle your conflict and allow me to drive safely to my destination. Just a suggestion. For those drivers who apparently may have a woman in labor in the back seat and are racing in the passing lane and then pulling over to the right lane, it is probably not good for your wife/girlfriend/neighbor/daughter. I suggest calling for an ambulance or a police escort. You might be too rattled to drive. And, if by chance, there is no woman in labor in the back or front seat, please slow down. You are setting a bad example for those children.
Can we discuss turn signals? They come with your car. They are not an accessory. They are turn “indicators” which help those behind you not rely on psychic messages from you that you just realized you are getting off the exit. I am pretty good at anticipating your moves, based on others who drive like you. However, it is just such a help to me when you are considerate and let me know that you are slowing down or speeding up because you just realized that next exit is yours. I can’t thank you enough for changing that behavior.
I know that I don’t go too far above the speed limit because I don’t like to challenge the rules. However, on the highways around here there are usually two or three lanes. I encourage you to take advantage of this and pass me, on the left. You don’t need to come up on my rear bumper because I am not going fast enough for you. I don’t want to meet you, know you or have you that close at any time. You are not teaching me a lesson about driving faster. Go away.
Just a couple of points to consider in the city. Four way stop signs are something that people seem to struggle with. They either drive through them after doing a California rolling stop (and we are not in California) or they stop but aren’t sure if they are next to go. It is like playing chicken and taking your life in your hands or my life. I appreciate when you encourage me to go first. However, that just leads to more trouble because it confuses the drivers who thought it was their turn next. Let’s just use the whoever’s first at the sign goes first and so on. Thanks. If I am trying to parallel park and you are behind me, could you not hit the horn continually while I am doing my best to get out of your way? It kind of throws me off and then I am calling you names which are not nice and when you glare at me, when I look in the rear view mirror, it just slows down the process. Be patient and we will just get along fine.
Well, that’s about it for now. I feel better in the hope that this is just like a public service message. Just please don’t read it while you are driving, arguing, or transporting a woman in labor. Honk, honk!