Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Driving Me Crazy

I sometimes wonder if I am, in fact, a terrible driver, and I just notice other drivers like me on the road. But then, I’m quite certain I’m at the very least a considerate driver. I’ll let you merge in heavy traffic, I’ll leave a gap in the queue so you can pass through while the light’s red…and above all, I’ll use the correct lanes and medians so as not to make you brake suddenly.

I cannot get over how many motorists honk at me when I am abiding by the law, and they are breaking it. When a misconception is that common, SURELY it should be a televised public service announcement that in fact, they are wrong.

Misconception Number 1: I am turning right, you are turning left, you must ALWAYS give way to me

Buzz. Wrong answer. If there are two lanes, you take the one nearest you and so do I, you do NOT honk at me because I am not giving way to you. You are in fact breaking the law to come over in my lane. How often I have been A (below) and you Bs get mad at me.

Misconception Number 2: Turning bays and medians are for decoration

When you need to turn, particularly if it is icy or wet, and especially if you somehow forgot to indicate, use a turning bay / median, they are SO handy for allowing other traffic to keep moving. OR you could just block the main lane for up to 5 minutes; also an option. Or, you can disappoint me even if you do not block traffic – slow down to 5km or so in the middle of then main lane when there’s a 5 metre shoulder available for you to pull over into.

Misconception Number 3: I am a cyclist. The world is my oyster.

Do you not understand how vulnerable you are? Would you not take all possible care to ensure your safety, even if you look a little stoop? After all, if there’s to be a tussle between you and a steel beast travelling at a much greater speed, you will not win.

Cyclists vex me when they switch between being fellow motorists and pedestrians. What, you don’t see any cars coming? Oh, I see, if you’re a cyclist, you can decide to go through red lights. What, you want to cross lots of lanes of traffic, without getting off your bike? Ride across the pedestrian crossing, sure! Again, I feel like there should be signs showing people WALKING bikes across the zebra stripes. Yes, I seem passionate about this topic, but of course I am! To have a cyclist riding parallel with you, and then suddenly break and cross out in front of you (still riding)…and you’re meant to know that suddenly now they are no longer a fellow motorist, they’re a pedestrian to brake for?

Yes dear cyclist, you may look silly, but you need to communicate what you are going to do even more than the steel beast. Or you will get minced.


I don’t experience road rage so much as a shaking of the head in disappointment. To be honked at for keeping the law is a head-shake-worthy cause. A kamikaze cyclist causes my heart to race, and then my head to spin with things I would say if I could sit the cyclist down and play teacher. I won’t even toot at you if you hold up the lane, but every time I turn considerately, I will think of how I am kinder than you, that is all.

Lastly, let it be known that a shrug and cute smile combo goes a long way with me. In fact, I think, “Aw, you’re fine, you know you made a booboo.” But then again, even when someone does make an error in traffic, I try to tell myself, “Maybe this is the first time you’ve ever done that, you usually do the right thing, but you had this one ‘off’ moment, and I was there to see it”. Granted, there are some days where I am less charitable…but for the most part, I will not honk at you unless you are threatening human life.

Again, I’m not a splendid driver…but I’m a concerned and considerate one.

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