This is officially the worst day for sports in the entire year. The MLB All-Star festivities are over and the regular-season schedule doesn’t resume until Friday. NFL training camps are a couple of weeks from starting and there’s no NBA or NHL news worth mentioning.
This is the day that sports widows dream about – no games of any type. The only sports-related programming on TV is the ESPYs, and I’m not desperate enough to watch that.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a topic to write about today because I do occasionally tackle other subjects. This post has been on my mind for some time and my anger has been building up, so now is the perfect time to vent:
Here are my top-5 basic rules of the road that far too many Chicago drivers either don’t know or don’t care to follow.
We’ll do this Letterman style, working our way from the bottom of the list to the top:
5. LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING: I know, it sounds like a no-brainer, but I’d bet every pedestrian in Chicago has encountered at least one brainless driver looking to the left for oncoming traffic while the car is making a right turn.
On at least a couple of occasions, I’ve had to bang on the front end of a car to get the attention of the moron. Unfortunately, I didn’t leave a dent either time.
4. THE HORN IS NOT A TOOL OF AGGRESSION: In New York, a driver can be ticketed for excessive use of the car horn. It’s a rule that needs to make its way to Chicago.
Cab drivers are in a class by themselves when it comes to abusing the car horn, but I’m talking about everyday drivers here. We’ve all been in front of the asshole at the traffic light who must have his hand pressed against the horn and as soon as the light changes lays on it. Dude, chill. I know the light has changed but it takes a split second for my foot to transfer from the brake to the gas and for the car to move.
There are also the people stuck in traffic who relentlessly blow the horn, as if that’s going to make the traffic magically disappear. That’s no fun if you’re in a car in front of them with no place to go, but it’s even worse when you’re on street with no windows to roll up.
3. TURN ON RED ABUSE: Being able to make right turns on red was a good new rule a few decades ago, but it doesn’t mean you can make a turn every single time you’re at a red light. If you drive in the city, you’ve seen the people that turn right even when there’s oncoming traffic approaching. There also are the people who try to turn right when there are pedestrians in the crosswalk crossing legally.
2. RIGHT OF WAY WHEN PARALLEL PARKING: One of my biggest pet peeves is when you stop to parallel park on a busy two-way street and the jerk in the car behind you blows his horn and squeezes past, forcing you to stop and wait until he passes -- and then he gives you a look of attitude, as if you're in the wrong.
Learn the rules, morons. A parking car has the right of way and the cars behind are supposed to wait until the parking vehicle is clear before passing. I can’t count the times I’ve stopped to let a car park only to have the idiot behind me go around and get in the way.
1. TURNING VEHICLES MUST YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS: Most drivers do observe this rule when turning at a normal four-way intersection. The problems usually arise at the many six-corner intersections in Chicago.
If you’re making a soft left or right turn, you are obligated to stop for pedestrians crossing legally. I can’t tell you how many pedestrians I’ve seen nearly hit by cars making turns at six-corner intersections. Worse, the drivers react like they’re pissed off, as if their rights are being violated.
OK, that’s my list, but I‘m sure you have your own pet peeves. Let’s hear ‘em in the comments section.
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