Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Signal When Changing Brains

The diagram above has nothing to do with this post, I was just hypnotized by the "Directional Interchange Design" -- is it just me or do two of the lanes just disappear?

What this post is about is the spreading phenomenon of drivers not turning on their turn signals until they are actually, you know, turning. There are several variations:

First, we have the driver who sits at a traffic signal and then finally turns on his or her blinker once the light changes and it's his or her turn to go. This is especially annoying when you pull up behind a car on a side street planning to go straight ahead and, when the light changes, the left turn signal of the car in front of you comes on. So, instead of pulling to the right of the car, which you would have done if you knew it was going to turn, you sit there waiting for on-coming traffic to pass through the intersection. Then, after the light turns yellow, the @sshole will run the red light and turn left, leaving you and three or four other cars behind you to wait for the next sequencing of the lights. (Worst local intersection, 159 at Schwarz.)

Second, and a variation on the first, is the driver who waits to turn on his or her signal until actually begining a turn at a stop sign. Typical is a four-way stop, where everyone waits his or her turn, then when it's your turn and the turn of the car opposing you, you begin to start forward and the opposing driver flicks on his or her blinker and tries to turn left right in front of you. This is the occasion for which car horns were invented.

Third, we have the freeway driver who does indeed use his or her blinker when changing lanes, but only turns it on as the lane change begins. That's right, it finally occurs to this nut to signal once his or her car is partially in the new lane. [The concept of using your turn indicators when changing lanes will be completely foreign to those of you who are Missouri drivers. As best that I can explain it to you, it's that funny thing that cars with out-of-state plates do on I-270.]

Finally, and my personal favorite, is the driver who can see that you are waiting for him or her to pass you so you can make a left turn. If your left turn-signal were not enough of a hint, the fact that you are in the continuous left-turn lane should convey some type of meaning. As you sit there, of course, not wanting to make a turn right in from of that driver, he or she will suddenly click on a turn signal and hang a right into a street or driveway. And there you sit, like a beached whale, in the continuous left-turn lane, with there having been no actual reason for you to have waited. If you're having a really bad day, the car waiting behind you will honk.

Meanwhile, back at that interchange diagram from the official Missouri Drivers Manual, I labeled the two vanishing lanes A and B in the image below.


stan said...


Th nk you.

* ppl use*
Th nk you, th nk you. nd, for my next trick, I will m ke ll of the 's in this comment dis ppe r.

br C D br !


The Phoenix said...

I spent six hours driving all around Illinois yesterday...from Greenville to Decatur and back <== you were over here and did not drop in, whenever I'm over there I always stalk you for a hour or so!

and not ONCE did any Illinois driver signal when changing lanes. <==we have no need, we communicate with psychic powers, or maybe it's psychotic meow-ers

However, since most of the highways I traveled were only 2 lanes, it really wasn't necessary. <==being a door-to-door Bible salesman must be a lonely life and take you to many out of the way places

You take the five lane hwy like 270, you really need to use the signal. There, many drivers change lanes as if they're playing Pole Position.<==careful, Stan is very sensitive about Polish jokes

stan said...

I'm not particularly sensitive about Polish jokes. You have me confused with the other Stan(islaus) Kost(ka). :)
Well, in that case,

How many Stan's does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Three, one to hold the bulb and two to turn the chair.

Why does Stan hate M&Ms?
They're too hard to peel.

Why does Stan always smile during lightning storms?

He thinks his picture is being taken.