I have generally resigned myself to the fact that there are a lot of bad drivers out there. It still bothers me that the government allows people to operate heavy, fast, potentially deadly vehicles without any qualification to do so, but I’ve gotten used to it. When I see somebody do something stupid behind the wheel I just sigh and move on.
But there is one thing that still irks me no end: I despise it when somebody makes a bonehead maneuver, nearly causes an accident, and then flicks me off or honks at me as if it’s my fault. Be stupid if you want, but do not blame others for it. I’m not responsible for anybody’s inability to drive safely!
This morning, I was almost in an accident on the way to work (the fault of a woman in a red Ford Explorer—damned SUV drivers). It is the second time I have been in a near-accident of this kind.
I was making a left turn from N. Beauregard St. in Alexandria into the parking lot for my office. Beauregard had a green light in both directions, and my left-turn lane (as well as its opposite left-turn lane) had ‘left turn yield on green.’
There were two cars coming from the opposite direction. One, the closest, was signaling a right turn (thus going in the same direction as I wanted to go). The second, a little further away (the red Explorer), was signaling a left turn. I figured—logically—that I would wait for the right-turner and then go. After all, why would I have to worry about the Explorer? Its path and mine were not going to cross.
The right-turner was out of the way, the red Explorer was still in the opposite left turn lane with the left signal on, so I was clear to go. I started accelerating and—out of nowhere—the woman in the Explorer gunned it out of the turn lane and back into mainline traffic (the lane that I was just about to start crossing).
I, seeing a collision about to happen, slammed on my brakes and stopped just before entering her lane—which was good because she was already right in front of me, laying on the horn, and continuing to accelerate through.
Now, look lady, I was yielding as required by law. You were in the left-turn lane and signaling for a left turn. You reentered the main line of traffic across a solid white line without making sure you were entirely clear to do so (violation of §46.2-804 Paragraph 2) and without signaling (violation of §46.2-848). Further, because you had previously signaled to do something different, you also violated Virginia’s law on ‘Change of course after giving signal’ (§46.2-850).
And you honked at me?