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Why You're Giving Me Road Rage

A response to a study by NBC about the millions of accidents caused by drivers not using their turn signals...and why The Incredible Hulk is getting so angry.

When “The Avengers” comes out this weekend, I imagine it will start something like this:

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Fade in from black.  Bruce Banner is driving down the road to Carter of Manchester to buy a Camaro…a little celebration for saving the world once again.

Out of nowhere, a 97-year-old man cuts him off without a turn signal, causing Banner to slam on his brakes and get rear ended. 

HULK GET ANGRY.

Bruce Banner turns into a big green monster powerlifter….just in time to join Thor, Iron Man, and a bunch of other A-listers to save the world from lousy drivers.

Fade to black while action hero music plays over scrolling credits.

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If I had a quarter for every time someone cut me off without a blinker, I’d have retired by now. Now in fairness, if I had to pay a quarter for every time I then proceeded to “accidentally” cut Mr. Jersey Shore off in retaliation for his failure to abide by the laws of the road, it’d be a wash.  *Fist pump*

Apparently, I’m not alone. 

NBC News has released a study showing that as many as 2 million accidents are caused each year by drivers not using their turning signals the right way.  According to the study, conducted by The Society of Automotive Engineers, drivers either don’t use signals when changing lanes or forget to shut off their blinkers 48% of the time. They don’t use signals when making a turn about 25% of the time. The society says that translates to drivers not using signals 2 billion times a day….or 750 billion times a year.

Connecticut cracked down on “distracted driving” a few years back, implementing a law that technically prevents you from texting, talking on your cell phone (without a hands free device), drinking coffee, applying lipstick, reading the newspaper, smacking your husband on the back of the heads (props, Gov’na), and a whole bunch of other things we really shouldn’t do while behind the wheel. But get this? Distracted driving only causes some 950,000 accidents each year.  That’s less than half the number of accidents caused by this turn signal problem. 

NBC then explores technology like a “Smart Turn Signal.” They suggest that a system like this would automatically shut off a turn signal after the car finishes changing lanes or would flash a “friendly reminder” to drivers who routinely ignore their turn signals.

Oh, good. Let’s dump millions of dollars into technology that enables people to be lazy (correction: “motivationally  deficient” for those of you politically correct people). 

NBC News concludes the article with a poll: “What’s Your Biggest Driving Pet Peeve?” The options:

               -Drivers who don’t use turn signals.

               -Drivers who forget to turn off turn signals.

               -Slow drivers in the left lane.

               -Fast drivers who tailgate.

               -Other

The winner of the poll? Slow drivers in the left lane. 

The moral of the story? As long as grandpa gets the heck out of our way so we can do 90 in the fast lane, Americans could care less if he uses his blinker.

Kyle is the Director of Marketing for Carter of Manchester

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jenny May 04, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I was driving at the speed limit, but definitely not under, in the left lane because I was taking a left exit. The woman behind me got so angry that she passed me on the right, pulled in front of me and braked hard. Before you get road rage, try to think of the repercussions. There should be some way to complain about the bad drivers as they are a risk to all of us, but unfortunately no one has come up with a good idea.
hbroer May 04, 2012 at 01:57 PM
hey Joe.. where does it say that about elderly drivers..... I've read that teens and young people cause more or are involved in more accidents...
William Brighenti, CPA May 06, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Since when if someone is driving the speed limit in the left lane that that individual is obligated to go to the right lane to allow those behind one to pass? Isn't the speed limit the law, and should it not be exceeded?
Maverick May 06, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Actually, the law in most states is that the left lane is for passing only, not for traveling. Massachusetts and Connecticut have recently begun a strict enforcement campaign complete with highway signs and commercials!
William Brighenti, CPA May 06, 2012 at 09:22 PM
There is a regulation: Sec. 14-230. Driving in right-hand lane. However, it does not apply to three-lane highways, like 91. It does apply to the Berlin Turnpike, where left turns to enter into Stew Leonards or Best Buy forces me into the left lane and, even though I am traveling the speed limit, other drivers behind me express road rage. With so many traffic lights and intersections on the Berlin Turnpike, is there any justification for road rage because law-abiding drivers are not exceeding the speed limit of 50 mph?

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