I don’t know what it is about Columbia, Missouri, but this town has the worst drivers I’ve ever seen.
The drivers in St. Louis aren’t this terrible, same with Kansas City. Even when I drove through Atlanta traffic on the regular for goodness sakes, the drivers weren’t this bad. (Okay, Atlanta drivers are crazy but driving at insane speeds on I-85 is more of an art form, alright? You adjust or you die.)
My boyfriend Luke and I have exchanged many a theory as to why Como drivers are on the whole so atrocious and our best guesses are:
- It’s in the middle of the state so we get a lot of people passing through that don’t know the area well and tend to make stupid lane change decisions at the last second, which terrorizes the locals.
- Being a college town, we have a unique mix of young student drivers, working professionals, and old folk who probably are too elderly to drive anymore.
But really, a lot of the crap I see people pull on the roads just comes down to straight up selfishness and stupidity. Prime example: The other day, I got stuck behind a chick at an intersection who was in the lane to go straight, even though she quickly made it obvious with her blinker that she oops, desired to go left. Despite the fact that there were two turn lanes next to us full of cars, she proceeded to wait through the whole green light at the intersection until it was clear *enough* for her to make that illegal turn. I say clear *enough* because when she whipped out to make that turn she almost hit the poor soul turning from the correct lane.
Now, a reasonably sane person would say “Darn, I’m in the wrong lane, oh well I’ll just go straight and find somewhere to turn around, no problem.”
NOT THIS LADY. Nope, despite my honking and probably audible swearing, she sat in the wrong lane and held up everyone behind her through the entire light.
What, exactly, makes someone demonstrate this level of stupid?
In case these drivers threw out the driving handbook they give you when you’re 15, let me clarify some basic rules for driving:
First, if you’re turning or switching lanes, use blinkers. If you find yourself in the wrong lane, suck it up and keep going until there’s a place to safely turn around. DON’T endanger someone’s life just so you can make a last second turn into Starbucks. If somebody is merging onto the highway and you have room to move over, then do so. If you don’t have room, speed up or slow down so the person can get on the highway without having a panic attack. Don’t tailgate people. Don’t throw your nasty cigarettes and other various garbage onto the road. Don’t go into the wrong lane just to get around people. And for fhfhdksjsjfk’s sake, DON’T pull out your damn phone while you’re driving.
But here’s some ‘do’s: DO be kind to people, even on the road. DO practice defensive driving. Yeah, people are jerks sometimes but don’t antagonize them to make a point. What goes around come around, my friends. DO say something if you’re in the car with someone who isn’t obeying the rules of the road. (Friend-shaming works wonders.)
I have little hope for Como drivers, so my daily mantra in the car is “Stay alive and get to wherever I need to go as quickly as possible.” But if we can all at least attempt to be better, more considerate drivers, maybe the road will be a slightly better place to be.