Thursday, May 25, 2006

Here's a grumpy old man post. For added effect imagine me waving my cane in the air as I wrote this.

Is it my imagination or have using your indicators when driving just become a quaint memory from the past?

I must be getting old, as my powers of telepathy have definitely waned at a time when I'm supposed to divine what other drivers are going to do.

How about the use of ashtrays in cars? Do the new cars not come with them? Is that why people routinely flick their butts out the window? And while some older cars must come with ashtrays, parking lots must no longer have trashcans as I see little mounds of butts routinely on the asphalt.

We all know that it's required to listen to other drivers' choices of music, not our own. This applies not only when you're driving, but also when you're at home in your living room trying to watch television or listen to your music.

And four-way stops have become exercises in knowing when to stare someone down and when not to establish eye contact so you can sail through the intersection.

Are people behaving worse when behind the wheel? A recent study about road rage has our own capital city as one of the worst places in the nation to drive.

"Norwalk, Conn. - May 16, 2006 - The commute to work can be an unpleasant one for people across the country, and folks in Boston have one of the noisiest roads to travel.

"In a new road rage study, Boston was ranked first as likely to honk at other drivers, compared to 19 other major American metro areas.

"Boston was also tied for the No. 1 ranking for "more likely to curse another driver," along with Chicago. Overall, Boston was ranked the fifth least courteous city...

"The In The Driver's Seat 2006 AutoVantage Road Rage Survey, released today, was conducted to determine the driving habits and attitudes of commuters across the U.S. and to learn more about consumer views on the topic of road rage.

"Least Courteous Cities (Worst Road Rage): Miami; Phoenix; New York; Los Angeles; and Boston.

"Most Courteous Cities (Least Road Rage): Minneapolis; Nashville; St. Louis; Seattle; and Atlanta...

"American drivers also feel that stress, frustration, bad moods, and being generally aggressive contribute to the widespread phenomenon of road rage.

* 'People being stressed out.'

* 'People cut you off and do not signal.'

* 'They think the road belongs to them.'

"Behaviors by other drivers that cause stress for commuters, and which can lead to road rage, include:

* Driving too fast (57 percent observe this happening every day)

* Tailgating (50 percent see this every day)

* Cutting over without notice (44 percent see this every day)

" Commuters also reported that other drivers frequently:

*Talk on their cell phones (98 percent observe this at least once a week)

*Run red lights (59 percent observe this at least once a week)

*Slam on the brakes (54 percent see this happening at least once a week)

"As a reaction to rude or bad driving by others, people surveyed reported that they:

* Honked their horn at the offending driver (40 percent)

* Cursed at the other driver (32 percent)

* Waved their fist or arms (9 percent)

* Made an obscene gesture (8 percent)

* Called the police to report the driver (5 percent)."

So how would you evaluate where you live?

© 2006 by Gordon Michael Dobbs
I guess someone could possibly take offense at this posting, expecially if you're a bad driver who causes the rest of us to want to kill you. If that's the case, I take full responsibility for your anger.

1 comment:

Josh said...


indicators have become a big deal for me. the higher gas prices go, the more i ride my bike -- and the more i ride my bike, the more i worry about people turning right in front of me without warning me, and into the side of the vehicle i go -- especially with vans and suvs.

up here in the 'cuse, we have 4-way stops everywhere, and people actually know how to drive them. western mass. would do well to eliminate some really annoying traffic lights and make them 4-way stops (most of plumtree road, for example -- it would move traffic along so much faster).

oh, and boston? i think people just close their eyes and try not to get hit.