Thursday, December 17, 2009

v32.1: Holiday Drivers

Good morning folks,

-slurp-

You're not reading it wrong, the title of my musing today is Holiday Drivers.  We like to complain about holiday shopping and how busy the malls are this time of year, but we seem to forget about the traffic.  It seems the holiday season brings out the worst in a lot of us.  We drive erratically and sometimes switching lanes without signaling.  I see it all the time which makes driving extremely dangerous for those of us who follow the "rules of the road".

-slurp-

Yesterday on my way into the office I witnessed 3 (yes I counted them) lane changes without a signal; and that was only on the short stretch of highway driving I do.  As I got into the city, the crazy antics was everywhere.  People were weaving in and out of traffic, pulling U-turns in the middle of the road, double parking and all the other traffic no-no's you just don't do normally.  If you're not used to this kind of driving, it can be a very frightening experience.

-slurp-

Of course there are always bad drivers out there.  Unfortunately the holiday season seems to bring them all out at once.  It is very frustrating, especially when you have someplace you need to be (i.e. the Emergency room at the hospital) and you have DriverA weaving in and out of traffic so they can be the 99th person in line for a Nintendo Wii that is sold out until next week.

But I digress.

-slurp-

We have a show up here in Canada called "Canada's Worst Driver".  For those of you who have never seen it, the show consists of a bunch of bad drivers all nominated by friends and family who think they are Canada's Worst Drivers.  It seems a little extreme sometimes, but overall it is entertaining.  The contestants are filmed driving to the location and need to hand in their driver's license and keys.

-slurp-

The show consists of a few driving test per episode.  The host always performs the test first and after proper instruction from driving instructors, the "bad drivers" are then asked to complete the same test.  They can range from doing a 180 with the e-Brake to navigating through an obstacle course in reverse.  Some of the reactions on the show make me laugh.  At the end of each episode a panel of judges decide who the most improved driver is and they send them home.

-slurp-

Of course not every episode has a happy ending and I've seen many episodes where the judges have decided not to send anybody home because of how bad these drivers are.  Aside from the entertainment value of the show, I also enjoy watching it for the driving instruction.  They teach the viewer how to perform the driving exercises as well.  For example, we have a stretch of road near my house where there are two lanes at the lights and they merge into one lane on the other side of the lights.  I see people blasting their horns and flashing their lights at the other side all the time because the person in left lane isn't allowing them to merge in.  Well, come to find out, the law of the road states that the person on the right must yield to the person on the left and if that means they need to stop, so be it.  Why then, do people get so pissed off when they are not let in?  I suspect there is an education gap in there.  After you got your driver's license did you ever look at another driver's manual again?  Me neither.  Guess what?  The rules of the road have probably changed quite a bit since we got our licenses so many years ago.  I highly recommend heading down to your local DMV and picking up a copy of the driver's manual and giving it a read over.  I think you might be surprised at the number of things that have changed.

-slurp-

Anyway folks, time for me to earn my living.  Remember to watch out for these crazy holiday drivers this year.  You may have the right-of-way, but that doesn't mean the crazy maniac behind the other wheel knows that.  Be safe out there and always look both ways, even if the light is green.

-slurp-

Cheers,

Al