Posted On: Saturday - July 3rd 2021 10:21AM MST
In Topics:   Cars  Curmudgeonry  Peak Stupidity Roadshow
(Note: Just a file photo - woman in question looked more seriously pissed off.)
Road rage: There's a time for it, just like there's a time to every purpose under heaven. I've had my share, coming and going, though, when my Dad long ago would emphasize not letting myself get taken advantage of, he made an exception for events on the road. No matter who's in the right or who had the actual right-of-way, it really isn't worth the months of intermittent paperwork and hassle to get the car bashed up.
The problem for me is, as this one comedian went on about one time, those retards poking along ahead of me (at 2 mph over the speed bumps in their 4 by 4's*) and those assholes riding my ass behind me! Haha! Yes, my Dad was right, as I went through a lot of trouble based on one "I'll show you for cutting me off" incident many years ago. When you drive with the limit of bad driver points allowed in your State, and for a while over the limit, you learn to mellow out. "Want to cut me off? Go ahead. Have a nice day!" ... yet still, I'd really like to teach people how to merge.
Anyway, part of mild road rage, or incipient road rage, let's call it, is overuse of the horn. They'll be another post coming on that one. The horn is a safety device and another communication device in addition to those oft-misused turn signals. As a communication device it's supposed to be for warning others not chewing them out.
There's a road in the downtown area nearby on which even 30 mph is too fast, per common sense, as it's just one lane with parallel parking on the right and angle parking on the left. The point is to keep the parallel parking right next to the small stores, and the angle parking by the middle median, for people who will stay longer and/or walk a bit farther. That's the reason, but I can see that having angle parking on the left is worse for safety than having it on the right.
The problem is the visibility for backing up into the one lane of traffic. The driver is on the vehicle's left side, closer to the car in the direction he would like to see when backing up. Think of the geometry, and you will see that one has to go farther back to get a good sight line. It doesn't help at all that the modern vehicles have wide-ass pillars between doors to contain airbags (I think) and windows that start much higher up. Visibility sucks in the modern crossovers especially. The back-up cameras, something I think is a necessity now, the way these things are built, don't have that wide a view angle for help in backing up from that angled space.
Therefore, you just have to ease out, and hope for the best until you finally get a view past that big pickup or SUV to your left. That was us driving by, probably not more than 20mph just based on common sense. Pedestrians can come out from either side, someone may start backing out, etc. Well, this lady did. I saw the reverse lights on with the brake lights. That's normal, as you have to slowly get to where you can see. However, I was past the point at which I could stop and let her back out, and she kept on moving, too damn quickly and closely. I doubt she was even 4 ft. from me when I beeped the horn 3 times sharply. That did it. It's simply defensive driving.
That's what the horn IS for, as I explained to my son just a second after that. "It's for warning people, not to yell at them that they shouldn't have done that." (Then, he had to bring up "yeah, but what about that time when that guy was on the phone and you honked it when you passed him?" Kid have the darndest memories!)
Well, the lady pulls up next to us at the stop light only 100 yards past, and she was pissed. I really was hoping to just tell her nicely that I wasn't sure if she could see me. Nope, she kept her window up and said something that is not within my lip-reading capabilities. No flip of the bird, mind you, but just anger. Seriously?? I just wanted to make sure I could keep my old vehicle, as anything more that a scratch and the insurance company would tell me "you'll take $1,500, or you'll get nothing!" If the lady had backed up her much newer Subaru** (but none dare call it a station wagon) into us, she would have had months of intermittent hassle, paperwork, and higher premiums. With the number of complicated plastic parts on the new vehicles, minor wrecks are no longer minor. Everything's a big damn deal.
That's the thanks I get - some old lady getting pissed at me for warning her to quit backing up or there'd be a wreck. There really should be a Misanthrope topic key here, rather than just Curmudgeonry.
* See also Sport Utility Drivers - GET OFF
** Yeah, it's Honda for lesbians, but let me tell you, there were no fantasies going on in my head about THIS lady, me, and a willing lady insurance adjuster.