FULL DISCLOSURE: If you choose to share any time with me at all, you’ll learn over time that I’m a chronic raging road rules of the road protagonist. There – you’ve been warned.
Tell me if you’ve been here before: you’re in your car at a stoplight, waiting behind another driver. The light turns green. The driver ahead of you doesn’t move. After a few seconds, you can see the silhouette of their head look up, and suddenly their car is moving forward. If you’re lucky, the light won’t have turned yellow just as the distracted vehicle operator up ahead is barely halfway through the intersection, thus causing you to wait right where you are through another round of light waiting. Better yet is when these people look both ways before proceeding into the intersection, despite the fact that the light is green and traffic has been stopped for several seconds now.
Hey, I get it. The red light is a great time to pick up your phone and catch back up on the world.
But here’s the thing: it’s a simple way to tell people that you seriously don’t give a flying fuck about anybody’s time. Maybe you don’t. But if you’re on the road, you should.
Am I overreacting? No.
Who am I behind you? What am I doing? If I wanted to be out for a leisurely drive, I’d take the scenic route. I wouldn’t parade down a major street full of shopping plazas and corporate buildings and slow down the entire local industry. I’m on this route because I have somewhere to be, and I have to get back to somewhere else. I don’t really want to be out here. Maybe I’m late to pick up my kids. Maybe nature calls. Maybe I just flat out miss my significant other and, well, would like to express that to them ASAP. Or maybe I have an emergency that I need to resolve. Perhaps my father just got rushed to the hospital. Or perhaps a client is going holy batshit about something and expects me to fix it ASAP or I’m fired. You feeling me here?
I’m not saying I don’t want to be safe or anyone else for that matter. Vehicular traffic is all about sharing the road. I’m not speeding 10+ MPH over the speed limit, running over moms in yoga pants with strollers, or playing bumper car demolition. No. I simply have somewhere more important to be than here. And I’d like to get there. I’m just asking for the common courtesy to consider not only that you’re not the only one out on the road, but to think who is next to you sharing the same road.
Meanwhile, I’ve started counting how many seconds it takes for knuckleheads like this to look up and see that the light has turned. I figure the amount of time before they look up is a great indicator of what level of an inconsiderate person this is. So the next time you see a Pop-Up Driver, clock that bobble head and let me know how many seconds it takes them to come back to reality. This has been a Level 1 message. Beep beep!