Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Changing Lanes

Used to be, the worst drivers I ever encountered were in Brunswick.

Never been to Brunswick?

Well, that can be good or bad.

If you like towns that smell like a paper mill ... because of the paper mill, no doubt ... then you've missed a good one.

Unless you'd rather smell fish. Which Brunswick also smells like.

Of course, with the paper mill being close to the shore, then you get that whole fish/paper mill smell. Like farts after a bad seafood dinner.

But the worst thing about Brunswick wasn't the smell. It was the drivers.

First time I noticed just how bad the drivers were, was one morning, when I was driving over there for some reason, I hit a straightaway outside of town. Long stretch of US 25, with no curves or anything.

I was traveling south on US 25, with a road coming in from the left at an angle. Old Jesup Road, I think. Yes, it's spelled that way.

Anyway, I was a good ways away from the junction of the road, traveling along at around 60 MPH, when I saw the car approach the intersection.

And stop.

And wait.

And wait.

Until I was close to the intersection, when the idiot pulled out.

Now, I didn't have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting him, but I did have to apply the brakes.

I wondered out loud why in the world he sat there and sat there with plenty of time to go, then finally go when I was nearly upon him. Only I said it a lot louder. And not nearly as nice.

But that's when I realized that if anybody in the state of Georgia took a driving test and failed, they sent them to Brunswick, gave them a car and a tank of gas.

Or so it seemed.

And of all the places I've driven in the past 30 years or so, I never found any worse than the drivers in Brunswick.

Until I saw the drivers in Phenix City.

Them's some non-driving fools.

For example?

Sure. Changing lanes.

It seems to be against the law to use a turn signal to change lanes around here. 'Cause hardly anybody uses turn signals.

Oh, there are some that are exempt from the turn signal ban. Those are the ones that, after that 5,000-lb. vehicle they're driving actually crosses the line, they'll flash the blinker twice. Or once.

Which sorta defeats the whole purpose of a turn signal. Those idiots seem to think it's supposed to mean "Hey, I'm already changing lanes, see?"

The thought of actually signaling other drivers that they're about to make a change has apparently never entered into their little brains.

Then, again, maybe it's a defensive tactic.

Because there are some drivers that, when you signal to turn (okay, when I signal to turn), the folks in the lane you're moving into decide to speed up so you can't get into their lane.

Those are the same ones that, when you're in the right-hand lane, they'll be in the left-hand lane, gun it to about 15-20 MPH over the posted limit, then pull over in front of you, then hit the brakes to make their turn. Because, Lord knows they wouldn't want to be in that long stretch of empty lane behind you when they go to make their right turn.

Unless, of course, you're in the left-hand lane. Then, they'll be weaving in and out of traffic until they pull over in front of you (without signaling, of course), then slam on the brakes to make their left turn.

I've never understood why some people drive like they do.

Driving's really not all that hard. You just need to pay attention. And use your brain.

And there's the problem.


  1. It's almost as bad in So Cal. People drive 20 MPH above the speed limit in the slow lane when the left is empty, speed up when you signal...


    Whew. I feel better.

  2. No one seems to like to use turning signals in OH, either.

    And I've noticed that as soon as the truckers cross into PA, they gun it like a bat out of hell.

    I hate stupid drivers.

  3. It should just be legal to run them over :)

  4. You mean it's not? Oh, heck...

  5. Those people are here, too.
    And I am married to one...sigh...

  6. Phenix City has long been driving hell. We used to live out 80 near Crawford and had to drive over to the other side of Columbus to get to work every day. It was like a military obstacle course before we got across the bridge. I think NASCAR uses 280/431 to test their drivers. If you can drive that every day without wrecking and still be on time for work, you can win the Cup.


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