Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Morning Commute, or They Let You DRIVE?

I'm not a punctual person by nature, but I'm not habitually late either. We have a normal morning routine, and if anything gets it a little off kilter I'm a wreck until we pull safely and timely into the kids' school parking lot. This morning, we just had LIFE happen, and we were all about ten minutes behind the clock. Fine, no big deal, walk in and get passes to go to class tardy, sign on the dotted line and check the "Other (Running Late)" box on the sheet. Since I'd still be on time at work, no big deal, no muss, no fuss.

That's when I noticed that there were an unusual number of STUPID DRIVERS on my route to work this morning. I can give you some slack - we're all idiots from time to time (if you don't believe me, you might be one right now, so be careful, ok?!?). I can overlook some I'm-distracted-and-didn't-see-you driving from time to time. I don't lose my cool when I'm cut off, and feel more pity than anything else when someone drives like a four-yr-old. But honestly, it was lunacy out there this morning.

  • I was almost nudged twice - TWICE. That means that your car came into my lane in the same general vicinity that my car already occupied. I saw you, moved a little to avoid you, and luckily you saw me before pushing me off the road. I wasn't even merging from an on-ramp or something. You came up from behind on the left while I was in the center lane, and proceeded to drift your car into the same space that my car was using. That rarely works well.

  • I saw four - FOUR - cars pass on the left to gain one car length of distance. I'm sorry, the guy in front of you might be slow, but whipping into traffic in order to whip back in front of him isn't going to save you any time that you're not going to waste somewhere else in your day.
    [NOTE: as Sarah pointed out, passing on the LEFT is okay. I don't think I caught the terror though - these folks passed from the middle lane of three lanes on I-20 East, moving from the slower lane to the much much faster left lane, cutting someone off who was hurtling way too fast, and then getting back into the middle lane just one car ahead - like they were impatient enough to get in front of someone, just not impatient enough to maintain that speed... how's that?]
    [Second NOTE: I might have to remove this one, since I probably do this more than I should complain about, huh?]

  • I saw two - TWO - cars pass on the right - on the RIGHT - to do the same thing.

  • I saw two more - yeah, TWO MORE - cars pass on the left in the median/turn-lane of a major non-interstate highway. I just waited to see them explode.

  • Finally getting to work, I came off the ramp to head across the highway to the left, where the entrance is, where I always go. The person behind me decided to take it upon herself to go left-er, trying to get around me because she thought I was going to stay right with the rest of the slow traffic. Never mind that my turn signal was on, and never mind that there's a campus entrance right there. This was nudging incident #2 (#1 had ended with the guy pulling back and then speeding up past one car to gain that advantage going into an off-ramp), and she turned around as she passed to let me know that I was number one in her book.

    And people ask why I work from home sometimes... Of course, tomorrow I'll probably cut someone off and end up on their blog. Go figure.

    [Disclaimer: I apologize profusely for my use of the word "STUPID". It is a dirty word in our house, never to be used to describe anyone or anything. But honestly, it's the only word I could use this morning without resorting to $%&## characters. Please accept my apoligies - The Mgmt]


    Blogger Porkchop said...

    Passing on the left is WRONG? Geez... I thought that in the abscence of signs it was ok...

    18/1/05 9:43 AM  
    Blogger Rick said...

    no, passing on the left is ok - but not to just gain that one friggin' car length ahead, and definitely not on a two lane road into oncoming morning school-zone traffic(one of them) or through a turn-lane median (the other) just before a stoplight with a regular turn-lane to the left. right lane, slow. left lane, faster. median lane to pass on the left and come back into proper left lane while guy you passed is turning left - freakishly awful :).

    18/1/05 9:47 AM  
    Blogger janet said...

    And just think, you get to do it all over again this evening -- after everyone is properly stressed. ;)

    18/1/05 10:20 AM  
    Blogger MTR said...

    Everyone is in such a hurry. It gets crazy. Put yourself in danger, so be it. Put me in danger, that's what angers me.

    18/1/05 11:19 AM  
    Blogger Debbie said...

    I see this as well every morning/evening. I have gotten to where I get in a lane and stay in it about 5 car-lengths behind until I get there.
    I find myself behind the guy who does the weaving back and forth as we get off the off-ramp. I mean he is like 15 second ahead after all that. ...rolls eyes....I stop right behind him at the signal.

    18/1/05 11:08 PM  
    Blogger Rick said...

    much less stressful on the way in this morning - hmmm, not running late, no one yelling, everyone peaceful in the car - hmmm, maybe that had something to do with my outlook, too :)

    19/1/05 8:41 AM  

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