Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sometimes I am Invisible (well my car is)!

As I was driving to work the other day, there I was, me in my little car being swallowed up by all of the trucks, SUVs and vans.
I started to guess who was driving certain vehicles. I wasn’t guessing by the make or style of the vehicle, but by the style of driving.

I found that my guesses were completely accurate.

A vehicle came from the side road that had a red light. This is a four-way intersection with traffic lights. I was driving on the main highway; therefore, the light was green longer for the direction I was traveling than the light for the side road. Just as I was about to pass through the intersection, the vehicle came zooming up and stopped rigidly just on the “outer” portion of the stopping area of that road.
I thought to myself, a man (because of the aggressive style of driving).
YES, I was right.

Then, I came along behind someone that was trying to change lanes. The blinker was on, and the vehicle slowed down, then sped up a little, swerved, then swerved back, slowed down and when the lane was clear for miles, they changed lanes right in the middle of an intersection.
Guess what I picked as the driver of this car?
YES, a woman and I was right.

Two cars sped past me, (by the way, I was driving speed limit) weaving in and out of lanes…. guess….teenage boys.
YES, right again!

Ok, here was my last guess on my way to work.
I turned off the main highway onto a side road just a block before the turn into the drive for my office building. I came up on a car (SUV) that was just stopped. It did not look like there were any signs of distress, no emergency blinkers and was not pulled off to the side, but dead center in the right lane. As I merged into the left lane to go around the vehicle, the vehicle began slowly moving. I thought….what the heck? There was nothing wrong with that car, they were looking at something and decided to stop.
This had to be a woman…..uh, yeah….it was.

On my way to work, all of my guesses of driving styles were correct.
I was not trying to stereotype…I was just guessing.

When I lived in Houston, Texas, I used to be a very aggressive driver.
I found out that I had to be aggressive or I might be killed. The timid drivers were the ones that were in the accidents.
Don’t get me wrong, the drivers here in Birmingham are crazy, but since I have lived here, I now tend to drive more defensively than aggressively.

Some days, I just feel invisible on the road!


Saur♥Kraut said...

I've been in Birmingham a couple of times, never noticed any crazy driving (you're right). Come to Miami, or even Tampa nowadays, and you'll see crazy driving.

It bothers me that people are driving around in big vehicles because they haven't been made to feel stupid enough about it yet. Their gas consumption is helping to drive up our prices.

It also is simply a waste, when you see these little Suzie Homemakers driving about in Monster Trucks. How much sillier can it get?

Henri Banks said...

i never was in Birmingham but i think it everywere the same.Here in europe how more you go to the south how more people drive agresive,than you got these old germans the drive speedlimit corect on the right side of the high way and make you crazy.When i drive with my VW van i drive the EASY style,when i drive with my triumph(Mbike) i drive like a moron(not always)

Ellen said...

Oh yeah, those silly drivers... like we don't have enough problems to worry about on the road. I really wonder how they passed their drivers test in the first place.
You've been to Atlanta, and have witnessed first hand the numbskulls we have here.... it hasn't gotten any better, and might have even swung further to the sublime.

I can't think of how many times I've almost been creamed on the road. I actually witnessed one woman trying to put on make-up while driving.... geez, how stupid is that?

My other favorite driver is the person who has no use for blinkers... like I'm going to know which way they're going to turn, or cut me off.

OB Juan said...

I love the comments about the woman trying to change lanes. I have noticed this everywhere I go. I am not trying to stereotype either here but if I see someone that is not decisive about changing lanes I know it is [usually] a woman. Why? Not sure, but when I see a car that just changes lanes with no blinker or with only a blink or two (ie. didn't even really trun it on just held it close to the on position so it would blink in case there was a cop around) and then just changed lanes fast and decisive I deduce that there is a guy driving that vehicle.

OB Juan said...

Saur: From your comments above, should I be scared when I fly in to Tampa in a couple of weeks and rent a car to drive to Bradenton? (not that I would ever worry about it, I would just get in and drive my own way anyway)

Becky said...

I know exactly what you need, same thing I got when I felt like you are feeling, you need a system put in your car! A loud obnoxious way to be known! Regardless, of how much it annoys other drivers, screw them anyway, you're stuck commuting so you might as well enjoy it!

The Appalachianist said...

I don't like driving in B'ham. I've seen worse though. What was bad the last time I was there was I-20 between Talledega and Pell City, all of the construction.
Part of that is that I live in a rural area. And, my main extent of B'ham driving is on 280. The booming south.
Oh well, I'm driving.

Lee Ann said...

Saur ~ Yes, I used to live in Orlando and South Florida. I do remember the crazy drivers. I just cannot decide which city is worse! ...And when it rains! Do people just forget how to drive??? I totally agree with you about the gas guzzling trucks and the little soccer moms that can barely see over the wheel!

Henri ~ You are right! I think everywhere is crazy. Boyfriend tells me that I don't drive too good, but he is a good driver so I am trying to emulate him. Be careful on that triumph! (I used to have a Triumph was the cutest LITTLE car I ever had).

Ellen ~ Oh yes, Atlanta, the nuts converge on the roads there, that is FOR SURE! Yes, the no blinker usage...we are not mindreaders! ;)

OB ~ See! You understand...driving style is almost predictable! Haha, going to Bradenton...don't be is only your life you have in your hands! My parents live in Bradenton (until next month, then they will be here in Birmingham). My mom is NOT a good driver (bless her, but it's true). Be careful over there :)

Becky ~ OH...drown them out! Haha....I see. At least enjoy your commute..I hear ya! ;)

AI ~ You don't like driving in Birmingham?? Haha, I don't know which is worse...I-20, I-65, 459 or Hwy.280. I live right off of Hwy. 280 and I drive it EVERY DAY! My niece wouldn't even drive on 280 for almost a year after she got her driver's license! :)

Ellen said...

I got the finger yesterday because I beeped a lady in front of me, who was occupied in gabbing with her passenger then paying attention to the light system. Since it is a "short" light, I knew if she didn't move within 30 seconds, we'd be stuck waiting it out again. It's not that I layed on the horn, or that I beeped her before the 30 seconds... yet it was my fault for her negligence.
I've never done this before... but I returned the gesture... my way of saying *hello* back.

hotboy said...

I don't drive. When I passed my test first time, I knew the roads were full of nutters! The comment about European drivers is dead right. Italians are mad, but sane compared to Indian drivers. As long as they don't drive into you anymore, Lee Ann! Hotboy

WDKY said...

I reckon that stereotypes about driving are probably the only ones that are accurate.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Who says you can't judge a book by its cover?

I can spot an old person driving a mile away, and I'm usually right.

Lee Ann said...

Ellen ~ Oh, I can completely understand your frustration! I usually try to tell them to PAY ATTENTION! Haha..even though they cannot hear me!

Hotboy ~ You are lucky that you don't have to deal with those crazy people on the road! I know, I don't want them driving into me. Thanks Hotboy!

wdky ~ You are probably right!

lightning bug ~ I can too... at what age do they give up their license??

The Husband said...

the last thing you need is another accident.

truckdriver_sefl said...

OMG except for Jackson Ms. I can think of now worse place to drive than Houston Tx........poor baby:-}

Lee Ann said...

Carl ~ Ah, you are right! You remember! That is probably why I drive defensively now!

Trucker ~ I have never driven in Jackson, so if it is worse than Houston, I really do not want to! ;)

Menzies Milngavie III said...

I say!

I was under the impression that most drivers were very considerate in the USA.

You should see Mrs M when she gets on the Suzuki trail bike! She's been known to do a 'Wheelie', though not intentionally (the bike is rather aggressive).


Henri Banks said...

You had a Spitfire ,You speak that lovely southern accent you realy look good and you have humor damn Lee ann when i was free i take my suitcase and came over to JCounty and make you a dinner(or two);-)

Alecia said...

I almost got hit last night on my way to the store. The dude was completely oblivious to my existence on the road. And we're not even a high traffic town. We're small, it was kinda late, kinda dead, it was kinda fucking ridiculous! Once inside the store I comforted myself with buying a pint of Ben and Jerry's. hehe.

Lee Ann said...

MMIII ~ I try to be a courteous driver, but I promise, not everyone is!! I would like to see Mrs. M do a wheelie! Cool!

Henri ~ Awww, you are so sweet! I bet you cook good, I saw pictures of your dinner, I think I could smell the wonderful aroma from here!

Alecia ~ That stinks! It is scary when that happens. I don't think people realize how dangerous operating a 2 ton object can be! Wake up people! Oh, Ben and Jerry are such good friends aren't they! ;)

DaMasta said...

I live in Houston now [wow, I didn't know you were a former Houstonian!], and yes! you have to be an aggressive driver here. That's what I keep trying to explain to people. It's not that I drive crazy, it's just that I drive like I HAVE to in order to NOT get killed. Right?!