Who taught these people how to drive?
BY BARBARA SOROCHTY
Friday, January 11, 2013
1/11/13 at 3:13 AM
Driving in Oklahoma is often a study in what not to do on the road. Every day, road warriors climb behind the wheel and rightly or wrongly think they are driving competently. I have lived all over the country, but have spent my longest stint in Tulsa and my frustrations and observations regarding Oklahoma drivers prompt these thoughts.
To be fair and to avoid the wrath of drivers who do drive competently, I must say that I have observed these same behaviors in areas outside our great state, but lately my frustrations have increased as I see infractions taking place around me more often.
Does anyone know the meaning of yield? The dictionary says "to give up to another; concede," but evidently, not here. Yield in Tulsa for some people means step on the gas and drive as fast as you can to cut in front of the car driving in the lane which, according to the yield sign, has the right of way.
Why do cars come equipped with turn signals? Evidently, for many drivers signaling is optional. When they do signal it is not an indication that they will be making a move ahead, but they apply the brakes, move to the turn lane and then signal. Signaling should alert the driver behind that a change in direction or lanes is about to occur. Is it too much trouble to move the little lever to indicate where your vehicle is headed next and do it in plenty of time so as to give the driver behind you some advance notice?
Speaking of turn signals, could we get more people to properly use turn lanes? These are the lanes in the middle of a street that are designed for people driving in either direction to move into, well in advance of when they want to turn left. They are designed for people to move into at their present speed and then apply the brakes before they make the turn. They are there so the rest of the traffic can continue to flow smoothly.
What about speed limits? Are they optional for some people? Sometimes I find myself a few miles over the limit, but how can one justify the idiots who think they are on the Daytona International Speedway doing more than 20 miles or more above the speed limit? It is only a matter of time before they kill themselves or some other innocent drivers.
Don't even get me started on texting and talking on cell phones while driving. What is so important that it can't wait until drivers reach their destinations? Would it be too much trouble to sit in your car and make that "important" call before you put the key in the ignition? Will turning off your phone for the duration of your travel result in some catastrophic incident, or would you rather take your chances in making a stupid, potentially fatal move for the sake of finding out what your friend had for lunch?
Lastly, I have one complaint for the ladies, although I did see one male offender who was shaving while driving! Please get up early to apply makeup. Applying foundation and mascara while driving is not safe. Also, the lighting in your car will not optimize the look you would like to achieve anyway. And heaven help us if you're trying to smoke at the same time and/or your cell phone should ring while you are trying to drive while looking in the mirror on your sun visor!
Bottom line: Driving is complicated and requires one's full attention. Maybe it's time that Oklahoma requires all would-be drivers to pass a driver training course taught by a trained instructor instead of issuing licenses to those who get their "training" from Mom, Dad, Uncle Joe or Aunt Betty - who too often exhibit these behaviors and then pass them on to the next generation of drivers.
Barbara Sorochty is a Tulsa resident.
Barbara Sorochty: Maybe it's time that Oklahoma requires all would-be drivers to pass a driver training course taught by a trained instructor