The Drivers in PA

21 Jul

femaledriversIt’s not hard to get on my nerves while I’m driving. I like to move as quickly – albeit safely – as I can from point A to point B but driving behind, next to and even near some PA drivers can send me up and over the concrete barriers.

And cell phone drivers are even worse.

Ok. I’ve talked on my cell phone before, whilst driving – I’m not going to cast stones without calling out my own faults but puh-lease! People!

If you are not a good driver and are only able to give 75% while operating a car period – DO NOT use your cell phone while attempting to drive. OR merge onto the highway.

I don’t know why it is, but Pennsylvania drivers tend to make up their own rules about how traffic should flow. They also assume telepathic abilities in that other drivers should know, hence predict, what their next move will be.

One of my least favorites is the wave. This one came about because no one in PA understands right of way, so even when a driver gets to the intersection and makes their full stop first, they will wave you through the intersection because they believe they are being courteous. So I simply sit. I don’t acknowledge the wave. I do not move forward. And it irritates the hell out of them while pleasing me. I know. Inevitably, they will wave two or three times and I still don’t budge. Then, as they drive through the intersection, they all shake their heads in disbelief that I didn’t take their courtesy.

Drivers in PA do this at stop sign intersections and – worst of all – intersections with traffic lights. If you get a green light and pause to let the opposing driver make a left you will be the one at fault for any ensuing accident. Know why? Because you’re not following traffic laws. No where in the PA driving handbook does it talk about hand-motions as an acceptable way to skirt traffic laws. The wave should be reserved for sporting events where the game has become the least interesting thing to watch and police officers working at a downed light.

This state is full of intersections with No Turn On Red signs. And I can’t help but wonder why? If I am at an intersection and I have the opportunity to pull out into traffic safely, I should be allowed to do it, but I think those signs are spawned from the aforementioned hand motions.

Traffic lights in this city are also too long. But they’re too long because they have to let the opposite direction go because it has become backed up because the opposite direction’s light was too long. Make sense? Yea, I thought so. It’s a vicious circle that will never end, even with a hand wave.

Which leads me to the merging incident I had this morning.

Usually, when merging in PA, you need to haul ass down the on-ramp and gun it at the end because the guy already on the highway has seen you coming and has sped up – while staying in the right lane – to meet your speed so you have to either go faster or slow down in order to merge. He would prefer you slow down because he was there first. Duh.

But today’s merging was something I have never encountered before. The car ahead of me seemed to be making a relatively good attempt at getting onto the highway – constant speed and all – perfect for merging into the gap in traffic on the highway. Three quarters of the way down the on-ramp I noticed they weren’t picking up any more speed.

I gunned it to the left (re: attempted to hit the speed limit) to pass this unsure merger and get slightly ahead of the oncoming car pack, when I noticed the driver was batting 1000.

I am a female driver, so I hate when people say women don’t know how to drive. I can out drive a lot of the men I know. But this ‘girl’ – there is no way she was over 20 years old – was attempting to merge while holding a cell phone up to her ear and have a conversation with her friend in the passenger seat. I know this because she was neither looking at the road to the side or ahead of her, rather at her friend.

Like all the disillusioned drivers I encounter with the courtesy wave, this girl looked at me – like I was the crazy one. And I had a hand wave I wanted to show her.

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