Dorothy Harris

Driving me to distraction

Okay so the snow birds are back. While one was trying to run me off the road, I saw a whole flock of Palm warblers working the shoulder. Least you miss my avian humor; I've enjoyed the influx of Eastern bluebirds, yellow-rumped warblers and others. What I do not particularly care for is the amaze-me-by-the-moment driving taking place on U.S. 27. I respect it's hard to remember exactly where that place was last year or which turn around needs to be used. What I don't appreciate is driving in the stop-and-go fashion of 40 miles per hour, then 20 miles per hour, as uncertain drivers attempt to read signage on frontage businesses. I'm pretty patient; the 18-wheeler behind me however, is not. I prayed for safety the other day when the vehicle in front of me came to a complete stop, on the highway, indecisive of whether they had passed where they wanted to go. A tractor trailer, already following too closely due to the pokey speed, made me fear the last thing I'd hear would be the snap of my fiberglass sports car, followed by a hearty greeting from Jesus. As that has not yet happened, allow me to complain further. I've watched drivers plow across three lanes of traffic to exit the highway. That's bad enough, but when realizing they really didn't want to exit yet, they whip back into traffic. It's insane, kind of like the other drivers who are now taking evasive action to avoid a wreck. I could go on and on, but you have already witnessed this, I'm sure.
With this in mind, I must respectfully ask year-round residents to chill. Just the other day, one, so doggone fed up, decided to race out of the merge lane, nearly side-swiping my kid. That lunatic should be thankful our young driver is a focused one. She saw him coming but never thought he'd channel Forza 4 in his efforts to jump a few cars ahead. This is our seasonal conundrum as freshly scrubbed Cadillacs fill our highways, restaurants and grocery stores, bringing much needed dollars while people flip out from being inconvenienced. I suggest we all slow down, put down the phone and start using signals again. No, not that signal; but the lever that tells other drivers what direction you plan to go, before you go there. Please realize, signaling left while merging right seriously ticks off the folks behind you. Also, stop turning left on the red arrows. I have witnessed this over and over this past Sunday. Drivers turn left, never seeming to notice the signal is red. If you aren't sure where something is, keep driving. There will be a turn-a-round coming up eventually, no need to move into a lane someone else is already driving in. If someone signals they're trying to move over, let them in. I personally believe this would end a lot of our driving issues in this community. For some reason, we have forgotten this is a common courtesy. It's nothing personal people, the other driver just needs to get over and you need to let them. Stop being a jerk about it. If all would drive the posted speed limit, it would eliminate a lot of the frustration by folks who can only use the "snow bird slowed me down excuse" so many times. I suggest we all leave a few moments earlier, take a deep breath and try to remain poised for anything. If nothing else, slow it down. The life you save may be your own.