Signal light rant


I don't often monologue when I am driving alone, but when I do, it is often about the use of the amazing signal light.

I am so grateful to those many folks who turn on their signal indicator several seconds after they have started their turn.  They'll never know how grateful I am for the additional visual cue that they are, in fact, in the process of turning left or right.  It helps my tired and aging eyes to see that flashing light along with several thousand pounds of metal, plastic, glass and rubber moving in a particular direction.  Otherwise, I might think they were standing still.

Seriously, I think the signal light is the single, most important, tool for making things safe and efficient on the roads.  It allows us a simple way to communicate with each other about our travel intentions.  Its effective use has the power to increase traffic flow.  Its lack of use leads to collisions and road rage.

Normally, I am a pretty jovial and forgiving driver.  But, yesterday I was a little rung out and a bit tired.  That combination of circumstances made the language of my monologue a little edgier.

The lessons of my youth - either from my dad or the driving instructor - really penetrated.  I get tuned into the vehicles all around me and do my best to give them the information they need to know exactly where I am going, long before I get there.  For instance, if I am turning right on to Father Mercredi from Franklin Avenue, I will turn on my right signal light as soon as I've cleared the turnoff to Tamarack Village.

I particularly love it when people are driving on a two-lane stretch and they decide to switch lanes sans signal light.

"Yes!" I say aloud.  "I knew that you were going to switch lanes.  I have telekinetic powers and there was absolutely no need to warn me by using your signal light.  Have an awesome day."

We are all in different head spaces when we are behind the wheel.  Some people are day-dreaming, some are taking a long slow toke of their cigarette, others are....wait for it.....talking on their cell phone.  I appreciate that we live in a diverse world with an equal measure of rule followers and rule breakers.  But wouldn't it be nice if everyone used their signal light the way it was intended?  I promise you that we'd all get home quicker, there would be a lot fewer collisions, and the insurance companies would be able to lower rates.  What a wonderful world it would be.


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