25 September 2007


I'm driving along in my lane, and you are driving along in your lane - either to my left or my right - just ahead of me. Then, noticing an open space (sometimes a questionably open space) in front of my vehicle, you suddenly appear in my lane. You don't need to send smoke signals or place an announcement in the local newspaper. You just need to use your turning signal.

By not using your turning signal you are assuming that I can either read your mind and/or that I am not going to suddenly accelerate, thus making your sudden movement into my lane dangerous. I say "and/or" because if I were of the jackass-driver variety, even if I could read your mind and knew you were about to change to my lane, I'd speed up anyway.

Of course, there is the instance that your turning signal light is not working and you are not aware of it. I understand this because this has happened to me, and I've gone weeks - maybe even months - imposing myself onto other lanes without proper announcement. (Usually, I don't even realize this is the case until I go in for an oil change or an inspection.) Then, yes, I may be that driver whom you curse at and write MySpace letters to.

But let's just suppose that your turning signal light is not working and you are aware of this fact. I would suggest replacing the light or using arm signals the way you were taught in driver's ed. If I had to guess, however, you are more likely the driver whose turning signal light is working, and you just don't choose to use it. What makes you choose not use it? Does it take too much work to flick the lever with your hand, or maybe even your thumb or pinky if you are already holding a 7-11 Big Gulp or a cell phone? Or perhaps you've got cause-and-effect all mixed up.

I've seen you do it. You change lanes, then use your turning signal after the fact. Or you're impulsive. You decide to change lanes so quickly that you simply do not have time to use your turning signal. Or maybe you don't even know where your turning signal switch is located. Or you're not even aware of its existence.

Whatever the situation may be, this is my request to you: please use your turning signal if it is in working condition, if you know where the switch is located, and before you actually change lanes.

Thank you,
Undercover Mexican Girl


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