Thursday, March 1, 2007

What Happened to Driver's Ed in California?

So my friends on the East Coast want to get some insight into what goes on out here in La-La land...

The first thing that comes to mind to discuss is the driving ability of the general populace here in Southern California. It's not good... Here are my major complaints:

1. On major freeways throughout this county, the left lane is the passing lane. You use it to pass vehicles moving slower than you want to go. Drivers throughout the country realize this and move over when a faster moving vehicle approaches. Also, if there is no one to pass you move over.

People here simply use it as just another lane on the highway. This creates serious traffic hazards. Now, when I come up on someone who feels he only needs to go 60 in the left lane of the highway it forces me to go around him. This means I am now making an illegal pass on the right and I don't want to do this. It doesn't mean I won't/don't do this... I do it, quite often actually.

It drives me insane that this person thinks they are driving safely by doing this. This is also the same person who stays in the left lane until they are 10 seconds away from their exit. They must then cut across 4 or 5 lanes of traffic so that they get to where they are going. A sane driver (aka anyone else in the country) would realize they are missing their exit and simply take the next one, rather than risking every one's life just so they don't have to go to "the other Starbucks".

2. The blinker has become a vestigial option. If I am going to make a turn or change a lane, I use my blinker to let the other drivers around me in on my intentions. Out here it seems it is more exciting to just let people guess what your next move is going to be. I imagine the train of thought for someone in this situation is as follows: "Man, I really need to get over into that left lane... let's see, is there anyone coming... yup, there are a few cars over there... OK, lets give it a shot and hope for the best!" This is not a maneuver that will result in a high success rate over time. You will cause an accident and it will be your fault. The best example of this practice is when you are driving down the road behind another vehicle. The person in front of you decides they need to pull into this strip mall/gas station/El Pollo Loco immediately! No blinker, just a sharp turn of the wheel and they are in there. Meanwhile you are stopped in the middle of the street because you just slammed on your brakes... now your jeans are a mess getting the shit scared out of you and your heart is jumping out of your chest. This person is oblivious to this because they are from Southern California and they are all that matters.

3. Why is that person hitting their brakes right now? Let me paint a picture for you... You are cruising down the highway nice and smoothly. Their is a car in front of you but there is no real traffic in front of them and everything is flowing (which is rare with the traffic out here but it does happen on the occasional Sunday morning at 3:30am when it is raining out). All of a sudden you see nothing but red lights slamming in front of you! That's right.. the person in front of you felt that they needed to slow down a bit and the best way to achieve that is through a series of brake slams. This is highly frustrating and usually leads to me passing them on the right, giving them the "I hate everything about you" glare, and being in a shitty mood for the next 15 minutes as I ponder why people drive like absolute shit in this area.

These are the big there and if I keep thinking this post would be way too long... I do have a theory as to why the driving is so terrible out here. Well actually, my fiance came up with this theory, I am just taking it over as my own.

People only care about themselves out here and this extends onto the roadways. Why doesn't that person in front of you use their blinker when they cut into the In-N-Out? Because the only thing that matters to them is their Double-Double with Fries, not the fact that they only caused a major accident. Why doesn't that person get out of the passing lane? Because they think they are going the right speed, they don't care that it may be 10 miles below the speed limit and a line of cars behind them wants to go faster Why did that person in front of you slam on their brakes for no fucking reason whatsoever? They decided they could slow down a little bit and rather then let the car simply slow down by taking your foot off the gas, they need to slow down right now!

A final analogy... the 405 is how I imagine the Wild West was. Anything goes on the roadway and you should only look out for yourself or you will end up dead... (queue the theme song from "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" and fade out...)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

whilst I wouldn't call it a gift (more of fleeting moments of brilliance), this is a good piece.

btw, that is about as close to sucking you off as I will ever get.