"Aggravation Caused By Drivers, Phones"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, May 23, 2014

Most of us have things that aggravate us. Some of us get aggravated quicker than others. Some of us respond to aggravation depending upon the mood we are in. Some of us just instantly react — maybe forcefully or often with a simple gesture.

Many things that bother me go unnoticed by others but certain actions just seem to aggravate everyone.

One action that aggravates me, perhaps the most, is a person carrying on a long conversation on their cell phone in a restaurant. I think people should step outside or briefly advise the caller they will get back to them.

Cell phones are a major contributor to many aggravating activities. The person driving down the road chatting on the phone, especially during rush hour when everyone is changing lanes trying to get home. Although it is against the law in many states (Florida for one) about one in every three vehicles on the road where I drive a lot are on the phone. It is obvious no one respects the law — or others on the road.

Worse than talking on the cell while driving is texting. I have been behind drivers who were texting at stop lights. They are oblivious to the fact the light has changed they are so intent on their text. I have seen the same car I observed in that situation down the road packed in the rear end on the side of the road. The only good thing about the texter behind the wheel is that at least they are not reading. They are out there also and I think they have a death wish.

Many cell phone users disregard request to turn off phones in waiting rooms. People who are in medical waiting rooms are often anxious about their appointments or perhaps waiting for a person having one. Someone next to them will take a call and begin to speak softly but their voice quickly raises as they become engrossed in their chat.

In some states if your involved in an accident that results in the police being called to the scene, the officer will ask for your cell phone immediately. They can then determine if you were on the phone at the time of the accident. If you were, you will be ticketed and likely found at fault.

Another aggravation encountered on the highway is sports car drivers who, because they have faster cars, think its OK to cut in and out of lanes. At worst, the result of their jumping lanes is an accident — at the least is to see them no further ahead when you reach the next stoplight.

Let’s not forget the horn blowers when it comes to aggravating antics. In some areas you can drive everywhere, days on end, and never hear a horn. There are others places you travel through that you are lucky to make it a mile without hearing the irritating honking.

How about the driver that steps on the gas as the light turns amber or red. They are real danger to all of us, I have witnessed several accidents caused by the “run-the-lighters.”

Cameras should be installed at all lights in my opinion.

You may have noticed, I find a lot of aggravation on the highway. Maybe I’m doing this column about it because I’m about to hit the road for home. People who ride the brakes are not my favorites. I also am not fond of those who fail to turn off their turn signals. What are they going to do? Loud speakers with the windows down so we can all hear the music (not really, just dirty language) is another of those at the top of my list.

To close out my highway aggravations let’s mention those who leave their bright lights on and the dual lights that are blinding. Tickets need to be issued to those driving with illegal lights that blind approaching drivers. I may have missed a few road aggravations, but you probably have a few of your own. As I see it, I have a whole additional column of aggravations that won’t even mention cell phones or road idiots.

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