Thursday, 16 October 2008

Learn to merge or roast in eternal damnation the like of which not even Dante could conceive of!

Yesterday, while driving home, two different people acted as though they wanted to run me off the road and kill me while merging. Over the past week, I have seen so many incompetent examples of what should be a basic driving or riding maneuver that I despair for the continued safety of any road user.

And yet it's not that hard. It
shouldn't be that hard.

Merging consists of a few basic principles:

  • Find out what other traffic is doing. This involves looking.
  • Let traffic know what you're trying to do. This means your indicators. You know about them? Orange flashing lights on the corners? Make a clicking sound?
  • Check that nobody else is in the space you need to move into.
  • Move.
There now, it wasn't that hard, was it?

And yet, there are a few groups of people who have no idea of how to merge or how to cope when somebody else does. These groups are:
  • People who refuse to be polite or let anyone else take their bit of road, and rush to block them. These people are assholes.
  • People who don't seem to realise that anything is happening, and sit there being an impedient because they can't be bothered to lift off the accelerator a bit. These people are drongos.
  • People who expect other people to move out of their way, and drive into the lane without warning or any thought of checking to see if they can. These people are pricks.
  • People who are so nervous that they will put their indicator on and then sit there while other people politely make way for them, because they expect you to rush past and block them. You can even flash your headlights at some of these people and they don't get it. This is especially annoying because you're never quite sure if they won't suddenly move just as you decide the hell with it and accelerate past them. These people are sheeple.
  • People who crowd together while on the slip lane, so that there is no room to make a nice zipper after-you, then-you affair. These people are just plain idiots.
  • People who leave it to the last possible minute before dropping back when you clearly have right of way by virtue of being half a car in front, so that you're not quite sure until it's happened whether or not they'll take your bumper off. Or your rear wheel right out from underneath you, if you're on a bike. These people are cock-heads.
  • People who only give one flick of the indicator as they are moving. This may be because they have been told they have to use the indicator but don't understand why, but the rapidity with which they move suggests that it is actually because they are worried that if they give warning, they will get blocked by assholes. These people are twats.
And the two people who tried to kill me belonged to another group, and I would label them but the only sufficient insult I can think of is a bit too impolite for me to use in general company, so I'll just call them incompetent, brainless, bullying fuck-heads and leave it at that.

Both of them were in the left hand lane as we sailed into the start of the merging dotted line, one was in a van and one in an oversized 4WD with bullbar, and both of them were sitting behind my bumper but accelerated forwards until their front bumper was level with my B-pillar until they realised that they had run out of road, were driving on the verge (and, in the first case, were parents park to collect their children) and dropped back only just
barely far enough to not take my bumper off, and sat there at speeds up to 70, not dropping any further back as though it was an affront to them personally that they had to give way at all, until one overtook me when the road split into two lanes again, and the other one I managed to leave behind uphill.

All I could think of was how much scarier it would have been if I had been riding (which I only wasn't because an incompetent pack of pricks in Victoria hadn't sent me my new sprockets yet), and it was the closest I have ever come to wanting to hunt one of them down and ask "Do you not know how to merge, or were you just being an incompetent, dangerous

And there you have it - gross stupidity causes road-rage in others.

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