Friday, November 11, 2011

A Driver's Pet Peeves

We drivers don't ask too much. All we want is to be able to get front Point A to Point B. Unfortunately, many pedestrians don't respect our rights but expect us to respect theirs. Such pedestrians are rude and inconsiderate. Sure, many drivers (especially cab drivers--there, I said it) are reckless, but there are other drivers that are innocent bystanders. I mean, seriously, if a man was walking around with a shotgun, would you tick him off? No? Why not? That is exactly what you are doing to a driver when you provoke him. Think about it: 100 to 300 pounds of you against 2-4 tons of us? It would not take any effort to deliver you into eternity.

Why the rant, you may ask? Because I, as a driver, put up with ignorant drivers and cyclists on a daily basis. Let me outline how their behavior is both rude and dangerous.

1. Curb Jumpers
I was driving on North Avenue during rush hour once, and it was very busy. A woman with a toddler, even though there would be no way for her to safely cross the street, walked off the curb and onto the street as my car approached. Mind you, there were no yield signs or lights, and she was not at a a light. While she was still in the gutter, I honked at her and braked to avoid hitting her. Instead of appreciating my warning, she hurled vulgar insults at me for not allowing her to risk her life and the life of her child any further. Another time, on Division Street, the light turned green and I was just about to drive off when a man holding his child ran across the street. This dude must have been relying on the courtesy and wariness that some drivers just don't happen. If I were not watching, both him and his kid would have been goners.

2. Jaywalkers. You see them on busy streets. You see them on residential streets. You see them walk alone. You see them walk in pairs. You see them walk with shopping cards for aluminum cans. Hey, uh, guys? Streets are for vehicles (I don't care what your reasoning is; a shopping cart is NOT a vehicle)--not people. Not only do you hold up traffic, but you put your lives in danger. What you and the Curb Jumpers need to do is stay on the sidewalks and only enter a crosswalk either when there are no cars around or when you are at a light or there is a sign requiring drives to yield to pedestrians.

3. Weavers
These are the cyclists who think they own the road. They weave side to side of drivers, and getting into tough spots, particularly when the drivers are at stop lights. While these cyclists think they are doing no harm, they are freaking out the drivers. Stay in your lane!

4. Reverse Cyclists
Speaking of freaking out drivers, there are the reverse cyclists, those who prefer to cycle against traffic. Some cyclists do this to watch out for drivers, but this may end up having an inverse effect. Drivers are trained to seeing fellow drivers drive next to or ahead of him. When a certain driver sees a cyclist coming towards them, it confuses them and increases the possibility of an accident. If you are too chicken to drive with traffic, stay off the road!

These are just a few of many ways pedestrians and cyclists annoy, confuse, and provoke drivers. If you can think of other ways, feel free to share them. If you are one of the types of people I have mentioned, I hope you mend your behavior straightaway. Otherwise, you may one day press your luck too far!!!

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