When did driver’s ed classes stop teaching people what those little yellow and white lines on the road mean? I know it’s been a few years since I’ve taken the class myself, but I distinctly remember going over the various forms lines on the road can take, and also the simple procedures needed to follow these lines correctly. I didn’t find this part of the class particularly taxing, however, it appears that many people were either absent the day staying in the lines was taught or since we’ve been hearing it since pre-school, driver’s ed classes have dropped the concept, assuming people already understand it.
I know what happens when I assume things…I nearly get plowed into by a pony-tailed idiot who at some point attended Indiana University. Yes, this is going to be one of those griping, “people are bad drivers” rants.
When making a left turn from the mall area, there are two lanes open for use. One is strictly a left turn lane. The other permits people to either turn or go straight. I chose the latter as I knew I’d be making a right turn almost immediately to get to the main road I needed. Just like I did all those years back in my coloring books, when the light turned green, I stayed inside my lines. I turned my car wide as did the car in the other turn lane. It seems no one had taught her how to read the large diagrams hanging above the light that indicate which directions the cars around her are likely to go. Without even a glance, she drove right into my lane and if I hadn’t been paying close attention and slammed on my breaks and honked my horn, she would have proceeded right into my door. Thankfully the SUV behind me also realized she was a moron and was able to put on the brakes. The SUV was so close that not only could I not see the bumper, but I could see the anger in the driver’s brown eyes. Ms. Indiana University didn’t even jerk back into her lane, nor did she give me the embarrassed look or the sheepish “I’m sorry” wave when I was able to pull around her a few moments later. She was too busy laughing with her friend.
This incident, which kept my heart from beating regularly for about five minutes, is not isolated. The inability to follow simple yellow lines is spreading across Indy like an epidemic. I nearly get hit at least once a week coming home from work because people do not seem to understand that if they want to go to McDonald’s, which is on the left hand side of the road, they need to be in the far turn lane, not the inside one. How hard is this?
The thing is, it’s not teens new to the road who are doing this. Every offender so far seems either to be in their early to mid 20’s or middle aged, which leads me to believe that the summer I took driver’s ed was during some turn lane gilded age. Maybe the reason teens can follow the lines is because enough driver’s ed teachers have nearly been killed by their former students plunging into their lanes, that they have come up with all kinds of nifty charts to show kids just how to follow those wacky lines.
I realize the problem here isn’t actually what is being taught, but rather the individual driver’s lack of concentration, laziness or just plain inability to think of anyone but themselves, but I nearly messed myself, so I want to bitch a little.