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My Top 5 Road Pet Peeves

So, there you are on the road…cruising along…window down….good music on the radio…not a care in the world…and then it happens.  Someone comes through and interrupts your feel good mood with the driving skills of a toddler.  Oblivious to their careless and sometimes dangerous actions, you have now been summoned into a slight fit of road rage.  Everyone’s tolerance is different, but we all have little quirks while driving that really get under our skin.

Here are my top 5 pet peeves on the road:

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5. Mr./Ms. Show Off

This is the wonderful individual who decides that they are the superstar of the road and wants everyone to know about it.  Typically this person has some fancy car with a loud motor, limo tents and can be seen weaving in and out of traffic at ridiculous speeds.  Their mission is to let you know that they have somewhere to be and you are obviously in their way!  On the street, this is the person that decides they are now in the Indy 500 and peels off when the light turns green.  Ironically, after hustling to be first, you usually see them sitting at the next red light.  Better luck next time.

4. Brake-r, Brake-r

Not only is this irritating, it is a TOTAL distraction.  This person may not really be driving at turtle speeds, but for some reason, they find it necessary to brake-check every 10 seconds and the constant flashing of their brake light is so annoying.  But it gets worse.  This is also the person slowing down or coming to a COMPLETE stop at a green light for no reason.  No one in front of them.  No car trouble.  Just a blatant disregard for traffic awareness.

3. The Speed Demon

This one is pretty self-explanatory.  Have you ever been on the highway and someone is driving past you so fast, YOU slow down?  Yeah, THAT’S the Speed Demon.  Times like this, I wish I were a cop.

2. Car in the Back Seat

Initially, this driver claimed the number one spot, but got bumped down to 2.  However, my fury with them is still unparalleled.  So, what exactly is the car in the back seat?  It is the car that is driving so close behind you, when you look in your rearview mirror, you would swear that you brought them along for the ride.  Here’s the issue, driving that close behind someone is dangerous and in the event of a quick brake, an accident will occur.  Also, this violates the law and could result in a citation.  As a rule of thumb, you should always allow about 3 seconds of space between you and the car in front of you, NOT a millisecond.  It’s just plain RUDE!

1. The Phantom Blinker

It was really a coin toss to see who would get the number one spot, but this tops my list because it grinds my gears to no end.  In the past few weeks, it is uncanny how many incidents I’ve had with the phantom blinker.   This is the driver that refuses to use a blinker and expects you to know their next move.  You usually find this person when traffic is horrendous and they decide to switch lanes at the same time that you do.  While you made sure to signal to move around the congestion, they just pull out very swiftly and sometimes totally unaware of the oncoming traffic, putting others at risk of a collision.  This may also be the person that is preparing to make a left or right turn, but decides that no one else needs to know that.  As they approach their turn slow to a near stop and turn, all without so much as a tap on the signal indicator.  SO ANNOYING! Let the road rage begin!

At some point, we have all been victims (and culprits) of these behaviors and I know that there are a lot more that didn’t make the list.  Which ones top your list?

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Black Friday: The Story of Madness.

Well, that magical day of the year has come.  Camping out in front of stores for DAYS,   unbelievably packed parking lots and long lines and total ravenous CHAOS that turns your favorite department store into a seething madhouse.

Yes, folks.  I’m talking about BLACK FRIDAY.

The day that is notorious for bringing out the best in deals and the worst in people.  This is possibly the only day in the year where you will see someone’s grandmother wrestle to the death for a $2 toaster.  Black Friday is considered the official kickoff for the Christmas shopping season and is crucial for the profitability of many retailers. In fact, that is where the name “Black Friday” originated.  It was considered the day where retailers turns such a profit, they go from being “in the red” to being “in the black”…Get it?  BLACK Friday?

So, here’s a question.  What does Black Friday mean to your car?  It’s no big surprise that your car plays a huge part in the shopping you will do as you need it to drive around in, pack full of stuff and cart it all home.  However, in all of this holiday madness, car safety and precaution is equally as important as car availability.  Being in a rush to get to the next sale or fight for your right to park, it is easy for drivers to become a little more aggressive behind the wheel, which could possibly lead to fender benders.  

According to auto insurance company Progressive, insurance claims on parking lot accidents doubled from 2010 to 2011 and had an increase of 36.5% when compared to the two weeks preceding and following Black Friday. Additionally, of those claims, roughly 11% of them involved parked cars!  

Come on, people!  These sales are not worth compromising your car or anyone else’s.  I’m willing to bet that if we take it easier out there and slow down just a tad, whatever you are looking for will still be on the shelves.  Personally, whenever I go out shopping on Black Friday, I tend to steer clear of the entire parking spot scavenger hunt and take the hike from a spot further back on the lot.

For some, Black Friday is an anticipated tradition to cap off that bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast.  Others may not participate at all and choose to wait until the dust settles to shop.  In either case, holiday shopping can be a tedious, time-consuming activity.  Let’s all vow to do our best to be courteous careful drivers out here so we can keep the parking lots and roads as safe as possible.