Three Things That Give Me Road Rage

I don't have road rage most of the the time. But when I do it's because people are idiots. Road rage is different than road panic, which I get often- usually when I've waited to long to fill my gas tank and I am in a gas station desert. Or when I have to go to the bathroom and I'm in a public bathroom desert. Worst ever when they strike at once (that's how I ended up in this gas station bathroom with no light, door handle, or ceiling). No, road panic makes for poor but meaningless driving decisions. Road rage turns into a crazy person.

What makes me crazy?

1. Driving with no headlights on, in the rain or at dusk. Bonus points if you drive a silver car. Here in lovely Seattle, we're surrounded by a beautiful silvery gray. The water, the sky, the highway, and yes, a third of cars are all about the same color. The only thing that keeps me from telling the difference between you and the mist? HEADLIGHTS. Don't want to get side-swiped, buddy? Try being visible.

2. Stalled lane changes. You know how sometimes your lane will inexplicably come to a stand-still while all others proceed at normal pace? That's because some moron decided to put their brakes on and wait for someone going 50 miles an hour to slow down to a pace where they can merge. They stop, you stop, even though you're 30 cars behind them. It's cause and effect at it's most infuriating.

3. Early mergers. Merging should take place where the merge lane, ahem, merges with the continuing lane. Most polite drivers recommend zipper style, one car at a time. If you follow this protocol, merging generally happens with little stalling, back-up, or confusion. Higher speeds occasionally merit alternative timing, but merging generally happens at low speeds, so it is rarely an issue of deciding. Problems occur when drivers merge preemptively, making a back-up in the receiving lane and a huge hole of useless road in the ending lane.

--Last week I got honked out because I merged into the continuing lane as my lane was ending. The driver behind me gestured a "WTF?", to which I responded with a mimed "Merging! That's what this lane is for! It only started 50 yards ago!" To which he mimed back "Merging's supposed to happen back there!" Back there, in this case, being an intersection where cars were skipping the merge lane entirely, blocking 2 other routes of access to the freeway, and 50 yards of open lane that could mitigate the entire hold-up. The exchange had been surprisingly coherent up to this point and I was frustrated I couldn't mime my rational for using the spare lane instead of blocking the on-ramp, which in turn blocks the intersection behind it, which in turn blocks the on-ramp to another high way.

(The intersection in question, if you're curious, is the beginning of I-90, coming up from the Stadiums. I come up from 4th Ave, many others come up from 1st. There's another car source I'm not sure where it comes from, but it's directly across from 4th. Every time it's the same: blockage in the intersection where all 3 sources convene, and an entirely unused lane up above. I just don't get it.)

1 comment:

Mike said...