I don’t exhibit road rage — my response to driving frustrations is more like traffic-induced Tourette Syndrome.
I wasn’t really aware of this until a recent trip to the coast with Carol and Cassie Greene. Cassie, who was behind the wheel during the sketchy part of the trip through the Portland metro area, didn’t seem to appreciate my backseat driving.
It was more like backseat blurting out. It’s not like I spewed obscenities — just short phrases that aren’t fit for print. I certainly should have budgeted more for the swear jar in the car.
In my defense, cars were darting in and out of traffic, passing on the right, merging inappropriately, not maintaining a safe following distance and generally not following the laws as outlined in the Oregon Driver Manual.
I’m not saying I’m the best driver in the world. However, I don’t weave in and out of traffic, I always use my turn signal when merging, I utilize the 3-second rule to provide appropriate distance and I make sure I can see pavement between my rig and the car in front of me when stopped.
More about turn signals — when used properly, they offer a clue to other drivers regarding where you intend to go. Use them! Really, it doesn’t take that much effort. Oh, and after they have served their purpose — turn it off.
While I’m not as crazy as my bestie Carol “Andretti” Greene, I do admit to some questionable driving habits. With traffic re-routed due to Hermiston’s festival street construction project, I experienced a bit of Olympics fever. Driving to and from work each day, I felt like a skier on a slalom course. Whipping around the cones, I would get as close to them as possible. And, I’m proud to say I never ran over a single one.
Also, pedestrians have laws, too. If I wrote an Oregon Pedestrian Manual, rules would address appropriate attire for nighttime strolls and the use of crosswalks, including a clear definition of what constitutes an unmarked crosswalk. They are NOT merely anywhere you decide to cross the street.
I totally respect that pedestrians have the right of way — just don’t make me plunk quarters in the swear jar on my way home from work.
Tammy Malgesini is the community editor. Her column, Inside my Shoes, includes general musings about life. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4539