It is a very rainy, windy day in the Mid-Atlantic area today. Anytime the weather turns sideways or heads south in this area, you know driving on the roads is going to be interesting. Drivers in the Mid-Atlantic region are already bad, but add in rain, snow, or even an earlier sunset (thanks to Daylight Savings Time change) and you will want to pull you hair out with the insanity you are bound to face on the roads.
But the simplest thing to make things safer is if people would follow at least the laws in Maryland. When you have your wipers on, you have to have your headlights on! If you don’t turn your lights on, you are proving to be the most selfish driver on the road.
You’re driving along at just over the speed limit in the right lane of the Beltway, and all of a sudden you hear someone blaring their horn at you for what appears to be no reason, freaking you out thinking there is a madman hanging off the back of your car.
No, instead, after a few seconds of unwanted terror, you come to realize that the person wanted to go faster than you and also wanted to stay in the same lane as you. Since both weren’t going to happen, the driver used the horn thinking it would get you to move. Nope, sorry sir or ma’am, not moving because I’m in the RIGHT lane.
One of the most annoying habits of people on the road today is their over-use of the horn.
Now, I’m not one who never let’s out a little honk if someone takes too long staring at the green light–I count to three and then tap the horn–and I’m not the one who won’t let someone audibly know they are coming into my lane. There’s just too much going on when it comes to people on the road using their horns.
My phone is down in the car, especially at lights. As soon as that light turns green, I’m stepping on the accelerator because I want to get to where I need to go. Recently, though, there are drivers who are so impatient, they’re honking when the light turns yellow on the cross road. And it’s not a simple tap. It’s a long blast that continues about 500 feet after you’ve left the intersection. Why? Please explain this to me.
One of the greatest things I now have in my production equipment list are two GoPro cameras. I was given one by my brother as a gift last year and then I invested in a second one. I love using them from fun in the pool with my kids and friends, to capturing storms as they roll through our neighborhood, to time-lapse pictures of all kinds of events or occasions. I have also mounted it to my windshield to give me a chance to show off parts of my drives or to reveal some of the dumber things I have seen while driving.
As I rekindle this part of my blog (with help from some friends as well), I plan to use GoPro video I have captured to help tell part of the story when possible. Sometimes its obvious. Other times it might take some work to show you what we are talking about (due to the settings on the camera), but I hope it shows a lot of what we complain on this blog because it clearly is “Driving Me Insane.”
Let’s start with this example. We are driving home from spending some time in Ocean City, Maryland. We are actually in Delaware and cruising along a two-lane road where the speed limit is 50 MPH. You can’t see it from the video, but there is another vehicle behind us by about 100 yards or so. We are both going about 55 or so MPH (that’s what I set the cruise control at). As we approach an intersection, I noticed a yellow Ford Mustang convertible approach from the right and kept my eye on him because he was not slowing down enough to stop from my point of view – I was worried he would just keep going. Which he did. Blowing the stop sign and turning towards us, meaning staying in the intersection longer. I applied the brakes, started to move to the right to avoid a potential accident, and applied the horn to thank the driver for such a terrific decision (the bang you hear shortly afterward is me hitting the steering while since swearing in front of the kids wasn’t an option; my wife then makes a comment to keep the kids from being too concerned.
The wide angle of the camera doesn’t do it justice, but you can see how close we come to broadsiding the vehicle.
You can see by watching the video, the driver isn’t even looking in the direction of our vehicle as he’s trying to pull this stunt off and his passenger seems to be oblivious. Trust me. My vehicle would have won this case, but no one would have walked away.
Lesson: STOP your car at a stop sign or red light and there is NOTHING so important that jumping in front of oncoming traffic is worth the hassle. This really could have ended badly.
There are so many things that drive me crazy about drivers, but blatant disregard for others or the laws of the road may be at the top. When someone clearly does something that they have to know is illegal or will affect me or others as drivers, I lose my mind. I have seen my fair share of these occurences and will certainly blog about it as we continue, but what I experienced today drove me to get back to blogging about it.
As I approached a stop sign at a local shopping center, I noticed that there was a car stopped at the stop sign opposite of me. Behind him was another car. In the meantime, several cars were approaching from my left from a busy street and we had to wait because they do not need to stop. I put my blinker on to turn left and waited for traffic. All of that traffic was turning right and past me giving me the thought I could turn left safely while the car ahead of me waited for them… and thus me. However, I decided that wasn’t fair to him, so I waited.