Riding With Jim

In all our baseball travels, mostly in the Midwest, I’ve realized that, for the most part, other drivers frequently tic me off.  It’s not anything I should care about, or that even causes any real issues while on the road but small children should not hear the things muttered under my breath when I’m driving.

The obvious place to start is our very own South Main Street.  The turn lane.  I don’t know which is worse, the person who drifts into the turn lane for 300 yards or the one who merely makes a left turn across it.  The only thing worse is the person who uses it for a traffic lane from Hy-Vee all the way to Wal Mart.  If I spot these soon enough, I turn into The Marrymart just to ruin their day.

Let’s just keep driving south and get on 71.  It’s the same for any divided hiway.  You’re cruising along and come up behind a slower car, so, you pass.  However, you didn’t know you were in a NASCAR race until the slower car speeds up just enough to ever so slightly pull away from you.  Really?  I don’t care if you’re in front of me or behind me.  You don’t even know where I’m going so what makes you think you need to beat me there?  Similarly is the person who still hasn’t figured out how to use cruise control.  I had a 1973 Impala that had cruise control.  We should all be able to figure out how to use it by now.

I’m pretty much a speed limit guy, occasionally I do the 5-over but only if it’s a long road trip & it will actually make a difference on my ETA.  So if I’ cruising along at 70 and you go around me at 75 (or more), why do you need to cut me off?  Wait 3 seconds & do it right.  And what’s with tailgating me for 5 miles before you pass me?  I can see the passing lane.  It’s been there for several hundred miles.  Do you think you’re drafting to save fuel before the next yellow flag?  I used to think these types of things happened more frequently the closer you got to a NASCAR track, but when we drove to South Carolina to watch Jarr play ball for a week, I didn’t notice it happening at all and that’s about as big of NASCAR country as you can be in.

Now exiting a hiway presents another of my driving peeves.  They’re not on-ramps and off-ramps.  They’re acceleration lanes and deceleration lanes.  Slowing to 40mph on the hiway because you’re going to exit is dangerous and it’s nearly impossible to merge into 70mph traffic with your foot on the break.  One exception: the clover leaf at I-29 & 36.  That thing’s a pain.

Turn signals are helpful.  They let other drivers know what you’re planning on doing.  Not using it at all is bad enough but I really like the people who only use it after they’ve actually started making the turn.  Thanks.  I’ll just sit here in the ‘Vill parking lot a little longer because you couldn’t let me know you were going to Wal Mart until you actually made the turn.

Oh look, we’re back on Main Street!  How about letting people in or turn when there’s a ton of traffic?  Unless you’re about to give birth, I’m pretty sure you can afford the extra 30 seconds it takes to be polite.  If I let you in, you need to give the obligatory wave otherwise you end up on my imaginary list of people I won’t let in.  There’s also right and wrong times to let people in or turn.  You can see the traffic light at South Ave. from a long way away.  If it’s green, keep moving.  If it’s red let others in or turn.  Now this one swings both ways.  If you’re trying to get on Main, put you’re phone down and pay attention.  There’s nothing worse than holding up the line to let someone in but they’re too busy looking at a cat video on their phone.

There’s also the drivers who block streets when stopped at a red light.  In driver’s ed, I was taught you never block a street in this manner because you could keep an emergency vehicle from getting somewhere.  It might even be against the law but I really don’t know.  Of course there’s also running red lights and slamming on the brakes for yellows, rolling through stop signs and don’t get me started on texting and driving.

If everyone would just drive like me, we could finally get the flying cars like in the Jetson’s.  What?  Oh yeah.  I’m on my 3rd rear bumper in as many months.

Never mind.