Monday, December 29, 2008

Can't We All Just Drive Together

I have taken two major road trips this month and this caused me to experience a lot of driving from both Utah and non-Utah drivers. I am not saying one is better than the other - alright I am. I think Utah drivers are particularly bad. They are bad because they do things that are dangerous. Here are my top 3 pet peeves about Utah drivers (or as a friend called them "Utards").

  1. No Lane Discipline on the Freeway - The left lane is for passing, that is why there are signs every few miles or so that say "Slower Traffic Keep Right". People will get into the left lane and just cruise there, they won't move out of the way when you pull up on them but they will pull into the left lane and go imperceptably faster than the car in the left lane they were mindlessly following for the past few minutes, just as you get close to them. My friend from England used to tell a joke that driving in England is a lot like driving on the freeway in Utah - the fast lane in on the far right.

  2. Distractions - It is amazing the number of people who are eating, talking, putting on make up and who knows what else they are doing while they are driving that takes their mind off the task at hand. It usually shows itself by what appears to be a drunk driver; weaving, not paying attention to the traffic pattern or brake tapping. I actually saw someone on the belt route with a book in the steering wheel. That can't be good.

  3. Entitlement Driving - This is the strangest of the Utard phenomenon in that it takes many different forms. Anything from blocking the left lane so you can't pass to going three cars deep into a red left turn signal to yanking out on you from a side street to flipping a Uee in front of you without any forewarning to signaling and then squeezing in between two properly spaced cars, like they are entitled to the space because they put on the blinker.
Here is my moral of the story - we all need to drive with all of us in mind. Driving is a group effort - the objective should be to get everyone to their destination as quickly and safely as possible. This means we need to put our cell phones and food down, look around more often than every few hours and think about our next move more than a few miliseconds before execution. We don't do this on any other form of public transportation (yes I think driving in a city or on a major freeway or belt route is public transportation). We don't get to the airport or the train station and announce "I am here, we can leave". Can't we all just get along on the road?


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