I am a true believer that the chicken came before the egg. I also believe that embarrassing driving mistakes, followed by a “honk” from another driver letting you know what a goober you are leads to anger and sometimes full-on road rage. No one wants to be scolded in public, especially by a stranger. While it is currently uncool to scold a child in public, we still find it acceptable to scold an adult. I find that some of these embarrassing driving mistakes we all make (I know that I have done at least a few of these) can often be avoided.
Leaving your signal on for “eternity” is a common driving faux pas. Car manufacturers have remedied this by changing the signal so it blinks anywhere before 3-7 blinks before it automatically shuts off. Since older cars don’t have this feature, nor do “older people” with older cars, there lies your demographic. I am in that demographic. Since this happens so often, signaling to change lanes is a bit like crying wolf. If someone has their signal on in another lane, we don’t know if they really would like to move over or if they just left the darned thing on. So now, since you’ve been fooled before, you just back off for a few seconds and if they don’t get over immediately…oh well! Then you look in your rear view mirror and see them about a mile back in that same lane with that signal just flashing away!
Not going when the light turns green is another common driving mistake but this one fuels an already impatient driver behind you. And they know that the only reason you didn’t peel out like a bull out of the shoot when the light turned green can only be due to your inattention. Let’s face it, if you didn’t go because your car actually stalled out, you’d have turned your hazard lights on.
Driving too slow in the left passing lane makes other drivers completely nuts. If you are passing other cars, fine. But if you are impeding traffic by just cruising in the passing lane where no one can pass, it causes a wave of road rage. Is it possible that some drivers are not aware that the left lane is for passing only? Or perhaps they just don’t really care (which is what the other drivers around them are thinking).
Parallel parking (or parallel chicken) is a skill that is acquired with much practice. You’ll have it mastered if you are taught the proper way to parallel park by pulling next to the car you wish to park behind where your steering wheel is parallel to that car, then cutting your wheels and backing in, and then practicing that for about 20 years. That’s why some newer cars will parallel park for you.
So, stop driving like a knucklehead. Be mindful and considerate of other drivers around you. It will give you confidence and will make your driving experience at least somewhat bearable.
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Embarrassing Driving Mistakes – Comedy Defensive Driving