stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
I was almost involved in an unintentional suicide-murder pact this morning. I was stopped on a cross street at a light, waiting to turn right. A driver waiting to turn left had his van stopped beside me. Out on the main road a driver turned left, onto our side street. There was a semi coming, but there was enough room and time, barely. that wasn't the problem.

The car behind them followed. And only avoided an accident by increasing speed with the dawning realization that their vehicle was about to become a grill ornament for a Peterbuilt.

This was on wet pavement; there was no way for that truck to slow significantly in the time available. If he'd hit that second car, it would have been shoved in the laps of myself and the van driver beside me.

The only reason the driver responsible for the situation got out of it was that his car was so old and decrepit that when he stomped on the gas it just didn't have enough torque to spin the rear wheels.
stickmaker: (Default)
I made it home safely this afternoon, in spite of the idiot in the red pickup who almost hit me. As the light turned green I started my signaled right turn, and he made an unsignaled left turn, stomping on the gas pedal to make sure he beat me. I slammed on my brakes and hit my horn. He decided he didn't like that, and not only flipped me off, he deliberately slowed in the right lane while I went by in the center lane, rolled down his window and screamed incoherent insults, increasing speed to stay with me until he almost rear-ended the traffic stopped ahead in the right lane. For someone in such a hurry that he'd pull out in front of an oncoming car, he sure wasted a lot of time and effort defending his stupidity.
stickmaker: (Default)
I watched the white, half-ton pickup whip deftly into a space against the curb, and gave it a wide berth. Sure enough, the driver opened his door just before I reached it. There was plenty of room, thanks to my caution. I saw him yank the door partly closed as I went by and then, staring at me, shove it back open. Right in the path of the minivan behind me. Which had a somewhat narrower escape, thanks to its driver not learning from my experience. All this on a narrow suburban street with vehicles parked on both sides.
stickmaker: (Default)
Was listening to a bit on the radio this morning while driving to work, in which some guy declared that behavior in modern US culture could be explained by the emphasis people place on their self-esteem.

That's nonsense.

If this were true, why would most people drive in a way which not only puts their esteemed selves in imminent danger but also makes them look outrageously stupid?

No. What actually explains behavior in current US culture is childish selfishness.
stickmaker: (Default)
On the way to work this morning, as I approached a left turn I needed to take, I signaled for the appropriate lane change. Immediately, the car behind me in the left lane moved up and blocked me. I lifted off the gas a bit to get behind her. Which meant I almost got rear-ended by the driver behind me in the right lane, because he wasn't paying attention, either.

I successfully negotiated the lane change, only to see the driver in the left lane - now ahead of me - make the left turn from a row of empty parking spaces instead of the well-signed left turn lane. (Despite me flashing my brights to let her know she was doing something wrong.) She then proceeded to drive slowly enough that we both missed the next light. Then started pulling into an empty parking space on the far side of the intersection, making sure to flip on her signal after the nose of her car was already in the space. (What good does that do?!)

The kicker was, the driver was a uniformed Kentucky State Trooper, in an unmarked police car.

I guess she was just trying to fit in...
stickmaker: (Default)
I've come to a realization. I have noticed an increasing tendency for drivers to not slow when traffic ahead of them does, and to cut a chord across a sharp turn (especially at intersections) instead of following the curve. I understand, now, that most people want to vary from a straight, steady course as little as possible. Because changing course or speed requires making a decision and using judgment to determine what to do. And BOY are those unaccustomed labors for most people...
stickmaker: (Default)
On the way to work I watched as the neckless skinhead in the powder blue pickup ahead of me made a left turn from a row of parking spaces. (Parking spaces and actual left turn lane both clearly marked.) He proceeded to travel another block and a bit, then swerved over into the oncoming lane (complete with oncoming traffic) to make an unsignaled right turn into a parking garage. All while driving well under the speed limit. He may have almost hit a much larger pickup in the garage; I don't know, by the time I rounded the turn they'd both moved.

I do not need this. I have enough stress in my life without having to deal with morons who don't know how to drive but insist on trying.


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