I don’t want this sign anymore

In truth, I never wanted it to begin with.

But I don’t know how to get rid of it because I can’t seem to find it.  I’ve looked for that pesky sign everywhere.  And somehow it must be invisible to me while others have no problem seeing it.  That part makes this whole situation extra annoying.

You know what sign I’m talking about, right?  The one on my truck that says, “Hey, go ahead and cut me off.  That’d be swell.”

Well, it’s not swell.  Not at all.

So goes life in beautiful southern California I guess.  The drivers come with the territory and the commuter lifestyle.  I’m used to it… up to a point.  I can handle the wild speed fluctuations.  I can handle the bumper to bumper traffic.  I can handle the fact that it is going to take me 30 minutes to get anywhere: the grocery store five blocks away and the Target 10 miles away.  Those are all unavoidable conditions of so many people living in close proximity to one another.

However, I can’t handle the lack of respect and the sheer obliviousness of some drivers.  This week in particular has been very bad in that regard.  On the freeway, on surface streets, in parking lots, and stop lights, I’ve been cut off every single day at least once.  At least two of those situations if I hadn’t been paying attention and anticipating that they other driver wasn’t going to stop or had no clue I was next to them they would have side swiped me.

Before you jump to conclusions, no, none of the drivers in question were talking on their cell phone at the time they tried to hit me.  So, what then is the problem?  Why am I seeing (and experiencing) this rash of people not paying attention to their surroundings while out and about in their vehicles?

Perhaps we as individuals are becoming more and more self-centric?  We are so focussed on our own problems, lives, destinations, etc… that we have stopped worrying (thinking) about the rest of the people out on the roads with us.  We are all the centers of the world, right?  And, therefore, everyone else should be watching out for us and getting out of our way.

Perhaps, on a less cynical note, it is just that the quality of driving has dropped as we built machines that are smarter and smarter.  From back up cameras, to road contouring headlights, and step by step navigation are we becoming too reliant on technology and in the process our driving skills are suffering?  That could be a very real possibility and could be placing on a slippery slope until we’ve perfected and widely distributed cars that can drive themselves.

Or… maybe I just need to look for that sign again and get it off of my truck!


13 thoughts on “I don’t want this sign anymore

  1. Or maybe you just need a big Hemi V8 to blow by everyone before they get the chance to cut you off and side swipe you.

  2. Sometimes I think that “virtual reality” has influenced driving behavior. At least some drivers seem not to realize that they’re in the real world, not a video game, or that the “room” they’re in is traveling on a highway with other moving rooms. Sometimes I think folks don’t realize that the laws of physics still apply!

    • I hadn’t even considered the “virtual” aspect. That’s a scary thought: to longer be able to tell the difference between our real and virtual lives. That has much more dire implications than my silly driving issues.

  3. I went through a similar experience late last year, where people were pulling out in front of me, causing me to break hard and everyone else who was behind me. But it didn’t just happen in my car, but the state car as well. The sad part is that the town where this happened is under 6,000 Meaning there is not that much traffic, nor any real reason to be in a rush as you can get to most places in approximately 5 minutes. So I think you are headed on the right track when you say that maybe we have become more focused on ourselves and pay no heed to the damage we may inflict on another.

  4. now that i live in seoul, korea, i don’t have to drive anymore, but the high-tech takeover of people’s brains is more extreme here than anywhere else i’ve been, and drivers of cars, taxis, buses, and motorcycles are no exceptions. what i can’t understand is why they’re called smartphones when so many of the people who use them look so stupefied. thanks, by the way, for commenting on my last post (breaking bad a la shakespeare) and for following my blog. i’m returning the favor.

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