The Right Signals

Today I shall be starting with a rant, something I rarely do in public and usually only when driven to it by my perception of something ridiculous, absurd or plain stupid.  This is usually when behind the wheel of a car but does sometimes happen when I’m a mere passenger (in a car or a bus it doesn’t really matter).

Now I have to admit I am not ranting out of a sense of my own perfection I am not perfect and like all humans (yes I am actually human though sometimes I do wonder, perhaps I’m an alien whose mind was wiped clean or a new species born from humanity but ever so slightly different – then I tell myself to cease the deranged day dreams and get back to driving) I make mistakes every now and then.

I have mixed my colours (reds, blues and whites) in a washing machine and ended up with a lovely pink shirt (very fashionable I’ve heard though not really to my taste).  I have started my car and somehow managed to lock the doors but still been firmly and securely stood at the side of the car, my mouth dropped open in amazement at my stupidity!  I have let my children draw on my face and forgotten completely as I rushed out of the door to go to work (I wondered why so many people seemed happy that day with most people greeting me with hesitant but vibrant smiles).  And I have on occasion forgotten to signal when either changing direction or at a junction – for this I apologise profusely and it makes me feel ever so guilty it really does.

I have noticed an increasing number of people who seem incapable of indicating.  I am not sure if it is a one-off occasion (as with me above and to you people I also apologise profusely and I do understand completely how each evening you now spend some time in tortured anguish over the guilt).

What I am certain of is that there are far too many people not doing it to tell me that most of them simply don’t want to, don’t care or have forgotten that not only is it helpful to other road users to know which direction you intend to go but also one of the things you get tested on when you pass your test.

Of course it could be that they’ve not passed their test which means they simply won’t know which I suppose I can excuse; if you’ve not studied the highway code taken lessons or taken a test then of course you’re not going to know what that little stick connected to the steering wheel is for are you?

The majority of people I’m sure must have passed their test at some point.  So why do they sit there at a junction as traffic drives steadily past, with a look of pained anxiety on their faces, desperate to pull out and wondering why nobody seems willing to oblige?  I have a little rule I usually use – if somebody is waiting to pull out and I can let them do so safely then I will, as long as they are indicating!

There has been a couple of occasions when a car has sat there indicating correctly and I’ve slowed down half a mile down the road, flashed my lights madly, waved my hands etc. only for the person to calmly sit there seemingly waiting for a much bigger gap!  But that type of person is a lot rarer.

I am trying not to let other people’s’ driving annoy me.  Put simply there is not a lot I can do about it, I don’t have a blue light I can pop on the roof, I don’t have a machine gun installed in my car grill and getting angry tends to make me sweat far too much (which then means I have to use the washing machine a little more and I get more pink shirts).

Safe driving everybody.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Right Signals

  1. It’s a new option with the 2014 car models – no worries!

  2. It’s really not a rare thing John since Ju and I encounter it all the time.Ju gets cross as she’s the driver and says she’s entitled while I just tell her to chill. (I’m hip with the modern vernacular). In the end we made something of a game of it by shouting “Don’t they put indicators on Fords/Vauxhalls/whatever cars anymore” and deciding who we think most guilty and most polite. The winner of most polite goes to Hyundai drivers, now who do I know who drives one of those?

  3. This is a huge issue in Georgia, where people usually only signal after they’ve already made a turn or lane change. There are a couple reasons for this. One: on the busy highways around Atlanta, especially, if you signal that you want to change lanes, there will almost always be an asshole who will then deliberately cut you off so you cannot change lanes. Therefore, it is necessary to be sneaky about these things. Two: my husband is really bad about this. He’ll be looking over his shoulder for a hole, but won’t turn on his signal. I always tell him, “Dude, turn on your signal so they know you want out, no one can read your mind!” Three: in Georgia, and many other places in the USA, there is a serious and sad shortage of blinker fluid, so a lot of people are quite simply out of blinker fluid and therefore their blinkers no longer work. So sad. Maybe there is a blinker fluid shortage in the UK too?

    Okay, that last one is just me being silly, but that’s a joke my husband and I have when we notice people not using their blinkers. “Oh, dear, they must be out of blinker fluid.”

    Anyway, it’s not just you, it’s not just there. When I was first learning how to drive, I was religious about my blinkers, even using them to signal when I was turning off our rural road onto our driveway, or turning off the driveway into my brother’s driveway. My brother used to tease me mercilessly about it, but I think it’s just a good habit to have.

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