I was just thinking last night about some things that drive me nuts–most specifically about driving. Tom and I scored yet another date not out without the kiddies (yay!) and were walking around in Fairfax Corner, one of those places to gather these days that are popping up all over the place and filling our need for “things”. They are sort of like a strip mall, but are generally centered around a square and have higher end restaurants and boutique like shops to draw in folks with money to spend.
We just happened to see not one, but two folks who were seriously lacking in their parallel parking skills. We were laughing at one guy in particular who appeared to be pulling out, but actually was pulling in. I think we witnessed him backing up in a huge spot with a couple of feet of room, even with one side being an end at least 5 times–and he was still 2 feet from the curb. I was tempted to ask him if he needed some help, but knew for sure he’d probably be humiliated if a lady walked up and ask that question. I grew up in the city, which required parallel parking on a daily basis, as living in a row home meant on street parking. Not only that, but I didn’t have power steering and I also drove a standard, so if you didn’t know how to park well, you’d never be able to park anywhere near where you wanted to be. I was lucky enough to be taught by my dad, who has superior parallel parking skills. It’s a pretty basic skill to learn really. And once you understand it’s all about the angles, it’s not too hard. My dad’s golden rules: pull as close as you can next to the car that’s in front of or behind where you want to park. When your car is about halfway next to that car, start turning your wheel hard to back into the space. Pull in as far as you can, and then maneuver cutting as hard as you can in the opposite direction as far as you can, repeating the process until you are in. Unless it’s an extremely tight spot, this little bit of sage wisdom can get you kissing the curb in 3 back ups, or less. But as much as it drives me nuts watching people without this skill, it’s also pretty entertaining to watch.
Another one of those beauties that I’m sure many people are especially fond of is rubbernecking. How many times have you been stalled in traffic due to an accident, only to find when you get closer to the scene that the actual smash up is not even on your side of the road. Arrrgggghhhh, does that make me insane. Whenever I go by an accident that has happened on the other side, as much as I’d really love to gawk as much as the next guy, I try exceptionally hard to maintain my speed and not stare at the activity surrounding the other side of the highway.
Tailgating is another thing that makes me a little batty, especially if you have no room to pass and someone in front of you that you can’t go any faster than. It’s also very nice when they honk their horn or high beam you when you can’t go anywhere–NOT! I almost want the guy behind me to hit me, just so that it would be his fault if we got into a wreck.
Some people just have no patience on the road. I remember inadvertently cutting someone off while I was passing them, only to be retaliated against. He was so pissed off at me after the fact, he passed on my right and then slammed on their brakes so hard that I had to swerve onto the shoulder to avoid hitting the moron. Man, I was pissed after that, I can seriously empathize with folks who succumb to road rage, as I could have easily ripped that guy’s head off after that.
I also really love it when someone is not driving at least the speed limit. I generally try not to speed more than 10 to 15 miles and hour, and usually then I’m on the highway taking a longer road trip. These days when someone is driving slower than they should be, more often than not, they are on their cell. Why this causes people to slow down so much, I have no idea. If just talking distracts someone so much, I can only imagine what texting would do.
It also never ceases to amaze me what I’ve seen other people do while they are trying to drive at the same time. No lie I’ve seen: someone brushing their teeth, shaving (actually with shaving cream!), picking their nose (not sure how dangerous this is, but it sure is pretty disgusting, especially as I’ve also seen them eat them! EWWWWWW!), reading (that’s another classic, not just a map, but actually a book or a newspaper), and one of my personal favorites, putting on make up, most particularly mascara. I can barely see what I’m doing when I’m in the comfort of my own bathroom, let alone when I am driving a car.
So what really drives you bananas when you are driving? What have you seen that you couldn’t possibly be seeing someone else doing while they are driving? In closing, I’d like to offer just a little piece of advice in closing, try to keep your eyes and your mind on the road. I’ve seen enough of those videos now that illustrate how texting can easily cause you to get into a serious accident, that I’m not one to get into the habit of doing so. Here’s a fox news video talking a little bit about it, and refers to a longer AT &T video that very poignantly outlines why you shouldn’t be distracted while driving: