Anyone who spends any amount of time in a car or other moving vehicle can understand why Americans have been having bouts with road rage in recent years. Drivers—other drivers, that is—can often be very annoying and irritating. Cellphone irritation is probably the highest cause of irritation. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been behind a driver who repeatedly varies their speed 10-15 miles an hour for no apparent reason, only to pass them and see they’re on the cellphone. Or, to be moving on a four lane highway peacefully only to be frightened half to death because someone in the lane beside me is about to run me off the road…only to find out—you guessed it, they’re on the cellphone. And no, I still do not have a cellphone and no I still don’t want one. For now anyway.
Of course there are many distractions drivers can have. One of mine is trying to read a map while driving. I think I’m afraid I’ll miss the turn instead of pulling over to the side to read it. One of the funniest I see is ladies applying eye makeup while driving. I’ve seen that act done in front of big mirrors before—it must be truly a feat to perform that while driving, and yet I’ve seen in done quite frequently here in Oxford.
Recently, however, I’ve been incredibly irritated by the number of drivers who fail to use blinkers. I’m not talking about busy traffic lane-changers barging in front of you. I’m talking about sitting at a stop sign waiting for a car coming from the left to pass you by so that you can make that left turn—no traffic to your front or to your right—only for that car to suddenly turn right at your road. Meaning that you sat for 30 seconds when you could have pulled out into your own lane. And then when you shrug your shoulders at them—y’know, visually asking them why they didn’t use their blinker—they look at you as if wondering what your problem is.
Oxford has these set of “roundabouts”—I call them that because I don’t really know what they’re called. For some reason, the big mucky-mucks of Oxford think they’re cool…they’re not, they’re annoying—think Chevy Chase in European Vacation! Part of the problem is that in these roundabouts, you never know which “exit” other drivers are going to take. They could turn in your road, or continue past you to the next one. I’ve seen more than one driver who, like Chevy Chase, make a complete circle.
And then there are those people who like to turn their blinkers on…and leave them on.