I’ve been cogitating on turn signals for the past day and a half.  Why?  Because yesterday I had three incidents involving turn signals that very nearly ended in a crash.  And a fourth one that was just plain annoying.  First, the incidents.  Then, the thoughts.

Incident One: Highway Driving.

Alright.  Let it be known that I hate driving as  it is.  But, that being said, the worst is when people just don’t signal.  I had just merged onto the highway and, due to the driver in front of me, was not up to speed at the time of merging.  Now, getting up to speed to merge is nearly impossible in Colorado Springs.  Trust me.  Unfortunately, every one on the highway tends to go at least five miles faster than the limit (not atypical, I realize), so that means when you poke onto the highway here, you’re liable to get run over if you don’t punch it.  Fast.  I was doing just that when a beater, who was two car lengths in front of me, swooped into my lane.  Thankfully, my car hadn’t really responded to punching the gas yet.  The pickup on the thing is HORRIBLE.  So, I took my foot off the gas  and waited for him to speed up.  If he had merged over even a couple seconds later, the scene would have involved a Dodge Minivan lurching into a close bed Chevrolet.  Not a close call, but the first in a line of yuck for the lunch hour.

Incident Two: Stalling And Reversing.

Some nimnol stalled in the left turn lane.  I know I should be charitable and assume that their car’s  transmission just fell out or something, but I think it far more likely that they were pushing the gas to the very last fume, considering the left turn lane dumped into a gas station’s entrance.  Of course, instead of putting on their emergency blinkers (that’s what they’re there for, nitwit!), they just sat there and made a good deal of us miss the light.  When these people finally figured out that we had no idea what was going on, they waved us around them.  Still no blinkers.  Push the little button!  It’s not hard!  To top it off, the person in front of me, who did not have a whole lot of wiggle  room due to the fact that they crowded the VWBug and the fact that I similarly crowded them, decided to reverse.  WHAT?  You have another car who is locked in by two rather large delivery trucks behind it RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!!  There was a lot of fault there.

Incident Three: Highway Merging.

After running my errand that required the left turn, I headed home for lunch.  I got dumped into the wrong merge lane.  I was attempting to go south, I was being forced north.  I nearly had to come to a dead stop in a merging lane to get over to the correct merge lane.  The sad thing is, I could have made it into the correct one if one car of the seven who passed me had tapped on their breaks.  There was one car who deliberately kept their nose parallel to my tail so I could not merge.  I was signaling for at least 30 yards.  It was unpleasant.

Incident Four:  The Bicyclist That Nearly Gave Me A  Heart Attack.

This was after merging off the highway to get to my house.  I got stuck behind a bicyclist (curse “bike to work day!”) who decided to hang out in the middle of the lane.  Not cool.  However, I kept my temper (a Herculean effort at this point), and merely swung wide into the right lane when we both turned left.  Unfortunately, he had the same idea, but decided not to use his arm turn signals.  There was almost a vehicle vs human crash when he drifted over in a collision course for the nose of my van.  Thankfully, I braked, he finally looked over his shoulder, I got back in the lane I always wanted to be in.  This was easily the most terrifying of all.

Now, how this applies to life outside traffic, I was thinking how nice it would be if life came with turn signals.  You know, a way to clearly indicate if you were headed left to college, right to work, or straight down the road of “I have no idea,” for example.  I know a lot of big plans that would have been ten times easier to pull off if the turn signals had given me a warning.

Then I realized, we’d never use them.  We don’t signal now, as drivers!  My own father, who I love and idol-worship, does not indicate.  It scares me half to death.  If we were so blessed as to have turn signals at our disposal or signals from the cosmos, we’d ignore them!  We always do!  When was the last time you thought about a turn signal if the car was two cars up?  I know I almost never look past the first car in front.  This shortsightedness can lead to a lot of damage.

So, from here on out, I’m going to work harder to indicate.  There may be some days I still pull the snap decision, but at least now I’ll be trying.  And I will continue to faithfully use my turn signals on the road.

Because dying is not good.

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