Ok. I am having some technical difficulties today. I had finished a yet amazing post and it disappeared. None of my revisions show anything. It is a bit strange. So here I am again although I do not expect this one to be as nice as the first.
Anyways, I had been sort of expected to write a blog about driving so here we go. Before I start listing those pet peeves of mine, let me give you some background about my driving experience. Having lived in Europe for a while, I had to learn how to drive a stick. I also took many hours of driving lessons. I had an amazing driver ed. teacher. She taught me many tricks, to be safe and how to always let crazy drivers go in front of you. She would say to me, it’s better than having them behind you. I agree. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to drive in Europe, Canada and here at home. I used to live in the Midwest before we moved to Los Angeles. I can tell you that there is no comparison between the way people drive there (or even DC where I used to travel a lot) and here in our beloved city.
I think the reason people drive crazy around here is because we all come from everywhere and anywhere and so when you put a bunch of bad drivers with different habits in one place, you get the mess that we encounter everyday while driving in our City of Angels. We have at least 5 lanes on our freeways.The biggest issue I had when I moved here was how there were pretty much no rules on the Freeway. I was terrified to change lanes. See, where I come from- the normal driver land- the left lane is reserved for speedy drivers and the right lane for slow drivers or people exiting or merging onto the freeway. Here, you can find someone driving 55 miles per hour on the far left lane! No one follow the rules. It’s like being on a racetrack. You will never know who’s coming behind you out of nowhere, speeding, passing you and then cutting you off. So imagine what it is like when you come from a place where everyone follows basic rules, put their signal and show courtesy. I was in sheer panic the first few weeks, and then, I became one of them. It is a bit like Survival of the Fittest. If you don’t blend in and do like everyone else, you will not survive our California freeways. If someone is slow in the wrong lane, then put your signal and pass them. You have to have eyes everywhere if you drive on our freeways or you will surely get into an accident. It is rough out there. You can’t count on anyone to do the right thing. Instead you should count on everyone to do the WRONG thing.
Here are some of my biggest pet peeves about driving in LA:
* Obviously, people who drive too slow in the far left lane. I will usually go on the far left lane if for example I am driving from the Valley to let’s say Burbank and will start merging down to the right lane when my exit is coming up. There are no good reason for a slow driver to be on the far left lane so move over people.
* People who do not put their lights on at night, or when it rains. This just happened to me this morning. It was raining cats and dogs this morning here in LA and it was really foggy as well. I flagged 2 cars today and they were both happy I reminded them to turn on their headlights. The first girl barely noticed me. Of course she didn’t. SHE WAS TEXTING! Can you imagine, texting while driving 65 miles per hour on a wet road in foggy conditions, without headlights on, on the 666 aka the 405 ? I barely saw her in my rearview mirror. People can be so unsafe.
* People who have a hard time staying in their lanes. If it’s late at night, I assume they’re drunk or tired and might call 911 if I think it is indeed a drunk driver. If people cannot stay in their lane and swerve into mine during daytime hours, I’m sure it is because they are texting or eating or whatever. Still it pisses me off.
* People who cut through continuous lanes. There are plenty of good reason why the DOT creates those lines at critical locations. It might be a construction zone or a low visibility zone. People cut through those lines all the time and potentially put drivers in danger. Sometimes, you jut gotta respect the rules!
* Drivers who do not drive the speed limit. Period. Driving slow is almost as dangerous as driving too fast. I once was behind a car that was driving 40 miles per hour. It is actually illegal to drive that slow on the freeway.
* Drivers who do not use their signal! It takes what- a second to lift that little handle on the right side of your steering wheel up or down to let us know where you’re going? So don’t be lazy and just do it.
* Those impatient drivers who try to get into your lane even though they knew way ahead of time they had to get on it. I’m talking about those turn right or left only lanes or the ones to get onto the freeway. That literally happens to me every morning. They end up slowing everyone down because of their selfishness and impatience.
* Not being friendly and courteous to buses, mailman and trucks. Seriously people, let them go. They do so much for us!
* Not being friendly to motorcycles. Just because you’re jealous that you can’t get where you want to go as quickly as them doesn’t mean you should be mean to them. Safety first.
* Not being courteous in general. It doesn’t hurt to be nice and let someone go in front of you if they gave you fair warning. If someone signals me, then go ahead. Also be nice to those trying to merge to get to their exit or those who enter the freeway. We all have to do it so be kind to your fellow drivers.
* Drivers who block driveways or crossroads. COME ON! Really? No. There is just no excuse. Even if it doesn’t have a sign warning you not to block the road, just use your brain and wait a few feet behind.
* People who liter. In LA, you have no excuse for throwing your cigarette buds out the window. 2 words for you: BRUSH FIRE. People who liter in general are just disgusting. Here is an idea for you. We have something called trash bags you can put in you car. Auto stores have all kind of cool accessories for your car that you can attach to the back of a seat, etc. So please be clean and don’t trash our roads.
* Pet owners who keep their beloved pets on their lap in the driver’s seat. This is dangerous for themselves, their dog and everyone else. It is very distracting.
* People who text, put makeup on in their car. KEEP your eyes on the road! I got sandwiched between two cars at a stoplight because the car behind wasn’t paying attention. Here is a tip. We have amazing technology now. Most phones have speech to text or vice versa, safereader that will read your emails, texts, Facebook status. There is also a cool thing called SPEAKERPHONE or BLUETOOTH. Android has a cool app called car mode. Att has a drive mode app that lets people know you are driving if they call or text you.
* Drivers who do not know how to park. I went to the store the other day and 2 cars where taking the equivalent of 3 spaces. People, make an effort to stay within your space. It is not very difficult to do it right.
* People who drive big SUVS and do not know how to park. Here is a hint: if you can’t parallel park it, don’t buy it. If you can’t park it without using the space next to you, don’t buy it. If you’re single, don’t buy it. Why do you need such a big car if you do not have kids or a specific business where you have to load bulky things all the time?
* Young drivers who think their car is a party space. Keep your eyes on the road youngsters. Party when you get to your destination
* Old drivers who really shouldn’t be driving anymore. I hate going to Beverly Hills where I am often stuck behind a Lincoln, Buick or Cadillac driven by an entitled old person who breaks every law possible. They are so obnoxious. A hint: if you’re too old to keep up with everyone else, take the bus.
I am sure I have many more to discuss but this is it for now.
Now it’s your turn, what DRIVES 😉 YOU crazy?
HAPPY SAFE DRIVING