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The Ugly American
Thursday, January 13, 2005
  My take on bad drivers
I’ve lived and traveled all over the world and all over the U.S. I’m not exactly sure where the worst drivers are located but I am pretty sure that there are sucky drivers EVERYWHERE!

When I lived in San Diego years ago my folks came to visit me. After their visit, as we were driving to the airport my father made the observation that I was switching lanes without using my turn signal. I had to explain to my father that in California I was pretty sure that there’s a state law that says that if you see a driver in front of you signaling to move into your lane that you MUST speed up and take that position away from him or her. I was also pretty sure that it was a state law that all freeway exiting must be started from the left lane, unless of course, the exit is on the left side of the freeway, then you have to start in the right lane. They had to be laws. There were entirely too many people doing these things for that not to be the case.

I don’t remember learning this when I was younger, but there must be a law out there that states that if you’re doing 55 MPH, that you can do it in any freaking lane you want to! Those signs that say slower traffic keep right, or keep right except to pass mean everyone but YOU! I actually had a verbal sparing match with someone who had been issued a ticket for impeding the flow of traffic on Interstate 5 in San Diego. He was doing 55 mph, in the left lane. He actually believed that he was doing absolutely nothing wrong. He told me that if he was doing the speed limit he could do it in any lane he wanted to. Apparently, CHP didn’t agree with him. The thing about this is that while it’s illegal to impede the flow of traffic, it’s also illegal to pass on the right. So what are you supposed to do? Tailgate the person? That’s illegal too!

Why is it that when someone starts taking on a cell phone they automatically lift their foot off the accelerator? I keep hearing about states enacting cell phone bans in cars. This won’t do any good. If a person can’t hold a cell phone conversation while driving, what makes anyone think that they can hold any kind of a conversation while driving? If you’re gonna take away their phones, you better take away their passenger seats as well. If you can’t talk and drive you probably can’t walk and chew gum! Multi-tasking is not in your vocabulary! And while we’re at it, we better remove those pesky radio and CD players. Lord knows that tuning a radio can be a bitch!

Have you ever been driving down the road and seen a one car accident? I was driving to work one morning on the freeway and saw a car, about 500 feet in front of me do 2 360’s for no reason at all. No flat tires, no blown motor, there was absolutely nothing wrong with that car other than the loose nut behind the wheel. How about this one. In NJ, there are very large seawalls along a good portion of the oceanfront. I once saw a VW bug driving down the road attempt to move the seawall, for no reason at all other than, it was there. It looked like he just decided to make a left turn and BAM! 25 foot seawall! In a battle between granite and VW, granite will almost always win.

Here’s another one. Just because you turned on your signal does not mean that there’s room for you to merge. A turn signal is not Moses’ staff. It will not part the Red Sea and it will not make that 10 foot space big enough for you to fit your Excursion! On a side note, I think all Excursions should be painted yellow and have red flashing lights on top of them. They are big enough to be school buses after all!

So, in closing, remember, those signs on the freeway that say keep right, that means you! And if you see a little blue Dakota coming up behind you, GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!
LEt me first say this, I am a person driver. That said, I am the first to blame women drivers for many of the highway issues I witness daily. Women drivers of minivans seem to be the most aggressive, which is fine since I am aggressive, but don't ride on my tail, darlin', or I will be forced to educate you on the fine art of Tish driving...not for the weak at heart.
Great blog, my friend.
Turn signals to part the Red Sea....
Funny stuff my friend, funny stuff.

Every day I come up Lynnhaven and it's always a battle between my etiquette and ego whether or not I'm going to let people in.....If they turn on the signal and start veering over (where there clearly isn't room, as in, none) I always lean towards ego and slow down just enough to give them a spot of hope then speed up. It's immature, I'll grant you that. But when someone starts inching their giantic vehicle closer and closer to my vehicle, with my child inside? All bets are off.
Let's just say my horn rarely ever works anymore, and there's a good reason. I'm not prone to road rage (although some would disagree) but I am no pansy driver. I grew up with Detroit traffic. It's a fine line, sometimes.

Heh heh.
Red sea.
(shakes head)
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Not sure if I am THE ugly American, but I must be AN ugly American, because some Canadian told me so!!!

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Location: Virginia Beach, United States

20 year Navy vet, originally from NJ now living in Virginia Beach and yeah, Life Is Good!

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