Ever have someone point out just how bad of a driver you are?I thought my driving skills were unsurpassed.Until one afternoon, I met up with my boyfriend to see a movie.Since we were both in separate cars, afterward, he followed me home.When we arrived, he said “Hey there, Cougar” (that’s his pet name for me … and I call him my Pool Boy).“You didn’t signal one time the entire drive to your house.”I said “You know where I live.You’ve been there a thousand times.”Not good enough, I suppose.He just shook his head.Wow!Is it true?I’m one of those people who don’t use their signal?Now, I don’t know about you.But, I get a little self-conscious when someone points out a blatent flaw.After that day, I must say, I over-signal.Now, I turn on my signal before I even pull out of my garage.And now that I’m a reformed signaler, I notice that, more often than not, most people don’t bother themselves to signal.In all fairness to them … maybe they’re trying to extend the life of the bulb … so the bulb lasts the life of the car.It’s a well-known fact that, to replace the bulb is about $2.25.But the labor to replace it is about $60.00.An easy enough task for a do-it-yourselfer.But with some foreign cars, it is difficult to get to the housing to replace the bulb.Sometimes you have to remove the entire engine block just to get at it (well, maybe that was a mistake … an expensive mistake … and I have learned a lesson from it … I really have). Any more, if you do signal, you’re a novelty. I saw a guy on the freeway, who had his signal on and was driving a bit under the speed limit.I was thinking to myself “That clown left his signal on.”And all-along, he probably just wanted to change lanes.Maybe some people are more private. They just don’t want anyone to know where they’re going.It’s no one’s damned business.Turn signals may be the most underutilized device in the car.Although signaling is one of the most important actions you can take as a driver.It’s all about warning other drivers (and stalking ex-boyfriends) of your next move to minimize surprises (potentially hazardous surprises at that).Failing to signal may be the cause of quite a few accidents, and is probably a big source of “road rage” as well.Some people don’t signal in heavy traffic because they claim, once they turn their signal on, it’s a guarantee that no one will let them over.People move forward and close up the space, they say.But don’t give up.There are still some good people out there that will gladly let you over if you turn on your signal and beg. Just give it a chance. I’ve been practicing it and it really works (sometimes).Just don’t forget to waive “thanks” to those people … or they get really mad and try to hurt you.Some people are so emotional … take some Prozac, dude. Thing is, they don’t know through a tinted window if you’re waiving at them with all five fingers or just one. So, there. You just won.

The law is, you must signal 100 feet before changing lanes or turning. The fine for failure to signal intent to turn is just shy of a $200 fine.Plus, it just plain makes people crazy if you’re in front of them and you don’t signal.Even if they, themselves are a professed non-signaler.If you’re not sure how to easily gauge 100 feet, just ask the guy you have the restaining order on. He’ll know.

Having my boyfriend point that non-signaling flaw out to me, may save me some grief in the long-run.So I really should thank him.I think when you’ve been driving a long time, like I have, you get a little cocky with your driving skills.Plus, I haven’t gotten a ticket in many years.And that’s not something you want to go bragging about.If you brag, the Karma Monkey will trip you up … and then you’ll get three tickets in a row.And it’s always in threes … like celebrity deaths.Weird, huh?

Remember … 100 feet.So, get that tape measure at Dollar Tree.You’re gonna need it.

Daun Thompson

( Daun Thompson is a Comedienne, Artist, Writer and Idea Mogul residing in Dallas, Texas )