Ok, show of hands, who really likes driving?
Me, I hate driving. Especially city driving. Well, at the very least, it's not very high on my list of preferred activities.
Why is it that some people turn into ignorant inconsiderate boobs when the seal themselves into their cars/SUVs/trucks?
After driving around here for a while, I've decided that while the roads are decidedly better than they were in Detroit, the drivers are not.
A few things I've observed in my four years of driving around here. Some of these are probably not unique to here, but I've noticed them more than other places.
1. Most people don't use turn signals. Apparently, this area has a large population of people who become telepathic once they get into their cars. So instead of using turn signals, they just transmit their thoughts to other drivers around them. Or else they think everyone else becomes telepathic in their cars, and should be able to read their mind to find out when they're turning.
2. When *you* use your turn signal, the person behind you in the lane you're changing into seems to take it as a personal offense and speeds up so you can't change lanes. They seem to think you're trying to move in on their territory, or that you're trying to get ahead of them in a race.
3. The minimum speed is usually around 5-15 mph over the posted speed limit. A lot of times, this usually ends up in the speeders making it to the red light a couple of seconds before I do. It's not like they're getting to their destination any faster.
4. Tailgaters. Plenty of those around here. Even though I might be cruising down the interstate at 70 (10 mph over the posted limit), it's still not fast enough for a lot of people around here. So they run up behind you and stay there until you have to slow down for the traffic ahead, or move over. Then they zoom ahead at 80, only to have to slow down for the slower traffic ahead. Sometimes I think people around here all think they're NASCAR drivers or something.
5. People around here always seem to be in a rush. Once they get into their car, it's like they *have* to get to their destination yesterday. So they weave in and out of traffic, flip back and forth between lanes so that they're closest to the light.
6. Accidents. Every day, there's always an accident. And usually they happen in the same place or the same area. Pay attention people!
7. The mistaken belief that other drivers are telepathic also leads to the problem that very few people do shoulder checks before changing lanes. More than a few times I've almost been broadsided by someone who didn't bother to check if anyone was beside them before changing lanes. Oh, but I forgot...I'm supposed to be telepathic, so I should have read the other person's mind to know that he was going to change lanes.
8. There are a lot of on and off-ramps on the interstate here where people are merging. People already on the interstate apparently think that those trying to merge on don't deserve to be there, so they don't let anybody merge, forcing prospective highway drivers to slow down or stop and wait for a long enough break to get on. Of course this causes traffic to back up behind the prospective highway driver. The new highway driver, once on the interstate, takes a while to accelerate to highway speeds, so the person barreling down behind him is forced to slow down, causing the rest of highway traffic to slow down.
9. Usually when it rains here, it *really* rains. Sheets of rain. Buckets and buckets. Plenty of roads flood, and there are plenty of areas where water pools pretty deep. I frequently get passed by people going way over the speed limit, while I've slowed down because rain has reduced visibility to less than 2 car lengths. Apparently in the world they live in it's not raining like it is in my world.
Ok, I guess that's enough ranting for now.