Squirrel Rant: A plea for Missoulians to stop driving like jackasses

(Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series on Squirrel Thoughts in which Allison effectively — and hopefully humorously, as well — blows her top about some inconsequential matter. Enjoy.)

Designed specifically with me in mind.

At the risk of coming off as an incredibly self-righteous jerk, I’m going to sound off on one of my biggest pet peeves: bad drivers.

I’m not going to claim to be an awesome driver who’s never made a mistake on the road. (Actually, I just don’t want to jinx myself by mentioning I’ve never been in/caused an accident or even received a traffic ticket. But so much for that, I guess.) It’s just that I apparently have a lot of pent-up aggression that only comes out in the form of road rage.

When people do stupid shit while driving, it irks me to the core. I yell. I honk, sometimes incessantly. I occasionally use less-than-appropriate hand gestures. I’m not an overly angry person, but you wouldn’t know that from riding in my car.

The fact that I’m a stickler to the rules of the road probably doesn’t help. But come on, we are living in a SOCIETY, people! We all (supposedly) passed the same (or very similar) driver’s test, so can we at least try to use our blinkers? You know, before you’re actually turning, when it’s already quite apparent that’s what you intend to do?  Or how about when you’re changing lanes? Seriously, I’d be more than happy to let you in, green Chevy Tahoe driving next to me on North Reserve during 5 o’clock traffic – it’s just that I have no idea that’s what you want since you refuse to use your f#*@ing signal. So please do not curse at me when I nearly sideswipe you because you decided to swerve into the lane sans blinker. I’m the only one reasonably allowed to curse in this situation.

Also, whatever happened to turning into the lane closest to you? Do people even realize you’re supposed to do that? I would say about 90 percent of drivers (in Missoula, at least) do not. Which is why I refuse to turn right on red when the traffic across from me has a left-turn arrow, even if there are multiple lanes, and I should, theoretically, be able to turn into the one closest to me without getting tangled up in a fender-bender. But since the person turning left in the silver Dodge Ram is probably clueless, and most likely talking – or worse, texting (which is illegal in Missoula, FYI!) – on his phone, I just can’t trust he’ll do the right thing.

And don’t even get me started on drivers who apparently can’t comprehend the premise of a four-way stop. It’s a pretty simple concept: It basically works on a first-come, first-served basis. (Unless you both get there at the same time, then the car on the right goes first. Obvi.) Just because you’re going straight and the other person is turning left doesn’t give you the right-of-way, especially when the car turning left already waited for two other cars to go before you even got to the stop sign. This is why I obnoxiously honked at you when you did this, jackass in the dark blue Accord. And then again when you didn’t seem to understand that I was honking at you.

Trust me — I could go on and on (and on and on and on … ) with this topic, but that’s probably enough smugness for one post. Good thing I usually take the bus.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by BS on April 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    This was me at your age……trust me it’s easier on your blood pressure to take a deep breath and get on with it.


  2. Posted by carrie koppy on April 21, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Oooh, Allison. There’s that age thing again. You hit two particularly bad driving habits that absolutely make me crazy (four-way stops, signaling lane changes.) You go (and I won’t say “girl’).


  3. Posted by Jeff Dalton on April 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Well…that was me in the dark blue Accord…so… lol Well said Allison! There are horrible drivers all over here in Billings, too!!


  4. […] Sparing the lives of those who would otherwise perish due to my uncontrollable road rage. […]


  5. […] ever goes to a city and says “Wow, there are some really good drivers here!” In fact, I’ve previously written about how awful I think Missoula drivers are, so I’m not going to see much improvement on that front. But even if they are apparently […]


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