Once upon a time, I was a college student and rode the SF MUNI to class. Now I'm a working stiff -- AKA professional writer -- and I drive everyday, burning fossil fuels like my peers burn Marijuana leaves. But I've been driving long before this. Been on many a road trip to the bowels of Central California, Oregon coast, Washington forests, and the Mexico border. I've crossed Black ice and dirt roads equally with never a mind to the bumps, or when my wheels locked-up. Suffice to say, I'm a damn good driver. Not a single accident. (Knock on wood!) But I sure do know a lot of bad drivers and they piss me the eff off.
Most of the time I'm a chill dude. Patient. Real easy-going even when I've got reason to be annoyed. But put me behind the wheel with someplace to be and people just acting a fool all over the road... oy vey! I snap faster than you can "crackle pop!"
So here's my ranting advice and blistering pet peeves to all the drivers out there in the universe, especially those on the 5, the 405, the 580, and the 101.
[CAUTION: THIS WILL GET PROFANE]
Let me repeat: SIGNAL. FOR FUCK'S SAKE SIGNAL!
I can't tell you how many times I've nearly died and/or killed someone because they couldn't be bothered to move their hands two fucking centimeters to turn on their signal light before switching lanes, taking a turn, backing-up, parking, or whatever.
Here in California, you must signal for at least 100 feet before executing the turn. This is for your safety, and more importantly for the safety of those around you.
But mothafuckas don't signal these days I guess! I've known drivers who will just throw their car from lane to lane willy-fucking-nilly with nary a signal in sight. It's like they've got a death wish, or some narcissistic personality disorder that leads them to believe other people's automobiles revolve around them. And just when you'd wish for a cop -- to pull them over of course -- they're not to be found. Balls deep to epic fail.
This is my biggest peeve. Seriously, it takes TWO FUCKING SECONDS. I'll gladly let you by, but I'm not a mind-reader! I can't know what you're going to do if you don't tell me. So stop flipping me off for honking at you cutting me off because you think you're entitled to space on demand instead of signaling like a rational individual who values their life. AND FOR FUCK'S SAKE SIGNAL GODDAMNIT PEOPLE!
2. Speed Limit.
In California we have two speed limit laws. The posted speed limit, and the general speed limit. The first is easy to follow, because all you need to do is read it. The second is based on the flow of traffic around; you go the speed everyone else is.
Unsurprisingly, people are incapable of either speed limit...
I once sat behind a car doing 40 on the freeway IN THE FAST LANE for over an hour! I honked and waved. I politely signaled my intentions multiple times and all I got was another lost hour of my life.
Please people, go the speed limit. It's 65 mph on the freeway here. If you can't go that fast, then move into the "slow" lane. Y'know, that lane to your right with all the slow people! The left-most lanes are "fast" lanes for people going the speed limit and/or anyone who's not you and your grandma! Geebus P Cryst! And also, don't get into the fast lane to avoid a car going slower than you if you're going to go slower than the cars in the lane you just entered. That's how you create traffic jams, jackass.
As for on the street, people just lurve to cruise their POS up, down, and all around at a glorious five miles per hour. It's like they're purposely trying to lose a race with a three-toed sloth. Meanwhile, I'm just trying to get to the grocery-store 5 minutes from my house that takes 20 because somebody decided it'd be cooler to ignore that 30 mph sign clearly posted. Seriously, ya'll are such rebels! Go eat a bag of dicks.
It's ridiculous how bad drivers are at merging. Seriously! Did everyone learn to drive at Accidents-R-Us? First of all, you need to signal while merging. (See above). Secondly, you need to MOVE YOUR CAR INTO THE LANE YOU NEED TO MERGE INTO.
At the Bay Bridge from Oakland to San Francisco, so many goddamn people are fucking terrible at this. The lanes merge before the metering lights and it makes for a clusterfuck because, and I shit you not, there's always some stupid mother-pheasant-plucker who will ride the edge of the merged lane because they apparently don't understand that merging lanes means you need to move into the lane. STOP RIDING THE DIVIDER ASSHOLE! YOU'RE BLOCKING EVERYONE WITH YOUR GODDAMN ESCALAME!
Real talk bitches. Merging means merging. Not staying in your nonexistent lane from 20 minutes ago and holding up hundreds of cars.
Also, the merge lane is not a passing lane. Contrary to the assumptions of young blood d-bags in 90's sedans with faux-platinum rims who will go from 25 to 65 in order to pass me while I'm accelerating onto the freeway, which is actually extremely dangerous. You won't feel so invincible when your steering column has impaled you through the midsection,
Since I signal, people frequently speed up to block me from entering their lane. I find this hilarious since I actually drive faster -- read: the speed limit -- than most people anyways. However, I drive assertively. Once I signal for the requisite period, and provided I see the room, I change into the lane.
For the asshole who needs an entire empty carpool lane to himself this is apparently intolerable. So these fools will accelerate to 90 mph, only to have to brake suddenly as I move into the lane I signaled my intentions of utilizing about 300 feet ago.
Now the problem comes in when their inner-asshole road-rage hits and they flash their brights at me.
At which point I've been blinded and cannot see. So I'm tapping on my breaks because (thanks to your desire to assert yourself in the must dangerous and childish manner possible) I don't want to hit anything. This has caused more than one person to lose their shit as they have to swerve, brake suddenly, and otherwise try some crazy maneuver to not rear-end me and thus pay for my college education into the next decade. Unfortunately this often means they fuck up their ride too. Sorry kid! Next time don't be such a dick!
You'd think this was easy, but sadly it's not. People just love to stop whenever and wherever the moment fucking pleases. I've seen vehicles stopped 3-4 car lengths from the car in front of them, or even from the light itself. I've seen people stop in the middle of the road, no hazards, no signals (see above!!!), and just blocking everything.
Double-parking is especially problematic in my neighborhood. Fucking pirate hookers can't see their blocking everyone by double-parking FOR HOURS AT A TIME on busy streets. And again the fucking police can't seem to write these mothafuckas a ticket, yet they've got time to shoot innocent Black people?
For the record: you are the perfect amount of space from the car in front of you if their back tires seem to be touching the front of your car. Seem to be, not actually are! Don't stop in the middle of the street without a signal. Don't double-park without a signal, and don't do it for hours at a time. If you do, I will metaphorically shove my fist so far up your ass you'll feel like Kermit the fucking Frog.
This concludes my rant on the frustrations of a very frequent driver. Please don't be one of the assholes mentioned above. Thanks, and stayed tuned to my next installment where I talk about how cyclists just really want to meet Geebus.