Dear Bad Drivers...

There are a few things I've been meaning to talk to you about. Not all of you, mind you; I know there are plenty of good drivers in this city. But some of you--and you know who you are--really need a few pointers:
  • That wand-looking thing sticking out on the left side of your steering wheel controls your turn signals. They're magical lights that let cars in front of and behind you know when you're planning to turn. These are especially important if you have the right-of-way and I'm sitting at a stop sign, as it gets kind of tiresome not being able to make a left turn because the last eight people with the right-of-way were all turning right but didn't bother to make that known. Turn signals are your friends.
  • If a stoplight turns red, that means stop. I know this can be confusing, but believe it or not, it does NOT mean to floor the gas pedal and keep on driving through the intersection. Those of us who have barely missed being sideswiped several times by this little maneuver would appreciate it if you'd just stop.
  • Speaking of red lights, for those of you that are waiting for the light to turn green, I haven't come across any evidence yet that proves that you get there more quickly by easing out as far into the intersection as possible before the light turns. What is that about, exactly? Could someone explain it to me?
  • Friends are nice. Who doesn't love their friends? If, however, you're driving down the street and you run into a friend who happens to be driving down that same street in the opposite direction, this is not the opportune time for both of you to stop your cars and catch up on what's been going on in each other's lives. Could you pull over? Pretty please?
  • Pulling over also applies when you're dropping your kid off at school, waiting for your car pool buddy to come out of his house, etc. I know you're in a hurry, but so are the people behind you.
  • Speaking of time, why do some of you think that your time is more valuable than everyone else's? Everyone in New Orleans knows that there are certain streets where the right lane turns into a right-turn only lane. St. Charles at Louisiana, for example. Please don't get into the turn lane and then gun it to try and get in front of me in the one remaining lane. You're not special--wait your turn. And since we're being honest, and because this is one of my biggest pet peeves, I'll do everything in my power to keep you from cutting in front of me. Just so you know. I'm not really an aggressive person, but this move drives me crazy.
  • A car horn can be a useful tool--when someone, say, runs a red light, you can honk at them after they almost sideswipe you to get your point across. It's also acceptable to honk when the driver in front of you doesn't notice that the light has turned green. But people, give it at least a few seconds, okay? You don't need to honk at the exact moment the light turns green. I see it, I'm going. I know you're upset that I didn't ease out into the intersection before the light turned green, but get over it, okay? And if we're sitting in traffic, with several cars in front of us who are also stuck in traffic, laying on the horn really doesn't help matters.
  • Finally, when driving a 2,000-pound car down the street, you really should try to pay attention to what's going on around you. It really isn't the best time to be applying your eye makeup, playing Suduko or reading the newspaper.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I feel better now.
Hugs and kisses, A

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