I’ve been in Alabama for twenty years now and perhaps one of the most annoying things I witness is people who refuse to use a turn-signal when they are driving. I have spent hours in traffic wondering, racking my brain, trying to discern the aversion that so many of us have to using a turn-signal. Are we saving those blinks for a rainy day? Are we afraid it will impact our gas mileage? Or, are we just rude and inconsiderate – careless and negligent?
I’ve been almost killed in a car accident cause by a careless and intoxicated driver. Maybe that’s why it’s such a sore spot. Or maybe I’m just perturbed at how thoughtless we can be. Such a simple thing, huh? I’m probably just blowing this all out of proportion, right? Using your blinker when you’re turning, changing lanes, or attempting to merge – such a small thing – what’s the big deal, Mr. Molehill? It is such a small thing, isn’t it? Reaching over with your left hand and flipping that lever – such a trivial thing, why even bother? Those milliseconds are so much better spent drumming on my steering wheel, picking my nose, or fiddling with my smartphone! Why waste the time?
We are not on the road by ourselves! There are people all around us on this road! There are old drivers and young ones, careful ones, and some distracted ones. There are those in new cars with good brakes, and those in hoopties with breaks that require an extra few pumps. That blinker gives them a heads up, lets others know what our intentions are, and gives them time to react!
I know we know how to use the blinker. We had to use it when we got our license, right? Remember that driver’s education course? I know we already know these things, so I’m sure this is just an annoying, smart-assed reminder, but I will say it again, “use your stinking blinker!” For God sake, use that bulb before it burns out! I promise it won’t drain your battery!
The consequences of carelessness and selfishness on the road can be fatal. You see we entered a contract when we received our licenses – this contract governs us every time we get behind the wheel of a car. This contract is not only with the law, but extends to every other driver on the road. When we don’t uphold the stipulations of this contract, we place ourselves and everyone on the road around us in danger. So, use your blinker, please!!
There are so many small things that we should do, that we often neglect because we are lazy and careless. And yes, there are some things we do or neglect to do, just because we are inconsiderate assholes. I am hopeful so I will emphasize the lesser of these evils, as I assume that our issue is the former and not the latter.
So, in case you didn’t pick up on it, I am not just talking about driving. We do not live on this planet alone. We are inextricably bound to one another – our actions, good or bad, have an impact on everyone around us. Our carelessness, our laziness, our inconsideration, our selfishness – all these come at cost.
But what if we could in a single stroke change all of this? With the flip of the switch – what if we could make the world a better place?
I suggest that we can.
Next time you’re driving and you are anticipating a turn, merging, or changing lanes – reach down to your left and flip that lever. Use your turn-signal, and make the world a better place!!