Driving is not for the thoughtless, self-centered, or just plain stupid.


The problem is that we have a generous supply of all three on the road at any given time.


I have visited this subject many times over the years, but it is always worth a return visit.


One of my biggest aggravations continues to be the signal light issue. There are two schools of malevolent thought when it comes to incredibly bad signal light decisions: a 100% absence of signal light use or the spontaneous use of a signal light after the idiot/driver is already halfway into the other lane.




Suprisingly, I don’t know which scenario I loathe more, but let’s start with complete non-use of a signal light. I went through a phase very early in my driving career where I had a car with no working front signal lights and I was too hip to use hand signals. I made plenty of new friends every time I approached a left or right hand turn and held another driver hostage when I failed to extend the basic courtesy provided by a turn signal of my intentions.




Needless to say, I received a generous number of hand signals from other drivers. They were not friendly waves and the signals did not require a whole lot of finger digits from the other drivers. Eventually I grew up a little, succumbed to common sense, got my signal lights working, and became a member of the civilized human race.


These days I am very sympathetic to the other drivers who were forced to endure my massive dose of self-involved immaturity on the road. However there are many among us in every age group who choose to ignore the signal light- even as they grow older and most certainly no wiser in life. It is a selfish and thoughtless choice that appears to be a simple source of aggravation, but it can easily become a part of a bigger set of problems like an accident or road rage.




Please feel free to use the signal lights in every traffic situation that warrants its use. It may be the first step toward shedding that large burden of self-absorbed narcissism that has undoubtedly hindered several other elements of the signal light non-user’s life.


The second part of the traffic bonehead equation is the signal light that is employed after the driver has almost entirely changed lanes. This is a very brash leap-of-faith move that assumes that the other driver has somehow already anticipated the lane change prior to its actual occurrence. Plus it may require that the other driver has Superman reflexes, as well as a mystic ability to defy the immutable laws of physics and stop two tons of car on a metaphysical dime.




One can only assume that these I-never-use-my-signals (-or- better-late-than-never) maneuvers get played out in traffic court every day by drivers who are forced to defend their actions when they are hauled into court after a fender-bender caused entirely by them.


Fines and punishment for this kind of stupidity should be accompanied by a judicious boot in the keester, and I mean that literally-not figuratively- in these cases.


Jim Sutherland