Friday, February 21, 2014

Frustrating Drivers

Anyone who has had the experience of riding with me in a vehicle lately knows that I believe there are frustrating drivers with whom I share the road. Frustrating because despite what is happening around them, they apparently cling to the belief that they are the center of the world and their actions are therefore justified despite the angst they cause for those around them.



It can be extremely frustrating.

Don't get me started on turn signal etiquette, or lack of etiquette. I just believe that failure to signal turns and lane changes represents a fundamental disrespect for the other drivers on the road. But there are other frustrating drivers out there, too!

Yesterday morning, for instance, there was a driver in downtown Baltimore who clearly wanted into my lane on a tight street using no turn signal. I was trapped with a bus very close on the passenger side and this driver crowding over the lane on the driver side. Even Chris mentioned that we seemed seconds from an imminent accident. Turns our, the driver was just making a wide, for some unknown reason, left hand turn and wanted a piece of my lane before executing the no signal turn.


I have found frustrating drivers in other places as well. Driving 55 MPH on I-95 where the speed limit is 65 MPH and traffic travels above 70 MPH. Or there is a road, Telegraph Road, where the speed limit is 50 MPH and for some strange reason some drivers want to travel at 40 MPH. While traveling at lower speeds certainly is their right and the can do it, failing to estimate the impact on the drivers around them is clearly dangerous.

I an equally frustrated, and scare, by the speed demons as well who believe that other cars on the highway are merely obstacles, like in a video game, to maneuver around at high speeds. I am convinced that they are going to cause a terrible accident should one of the drivers they are maneuvering around panic and hit their brakes. 

I believe that driving habits represent a person's view of interaction with society and their interaction with or respect of other people. Self-centered people may be frustrating drivers. I don't know, but I would like to test the hypothesis some day. 

Just do me a favor, consider the traffic around you as people and not just cars on the highway. Recognize the potential impact from your actions and be a considerate and not a frustrating driver.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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