Today’s muse is about blinkers. You know, the things on cars, trucks, scooters, vans, SUV’s, station wagons, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, RV’s, trailers (load carrying type), U-Haul’s, ATV’s, 18 Wheelers, ambulances, armored cars, cement mixer, UPS & FedEx trucks, fire engines, motor boats, airplanes, the space shuttle, hot air balloons…wait, now I am just getting ridiculous. But you get the idea. Almost EVERYTHING on the road has the ability to tell me in advance if it is turning right or left. Yet, the vast majority of individuals do not use this amazing, helpful, courteous devise anymore! Why? Is it too much trouble to raise your left arm and push a stick up or down? A motion that takes less amount of energy to perform than it takes to blink your eyes. I am baffled.
I am from a big city. I must say, blinkers were used on a regular basis, however only the person actually turning used their blinker. Everyone behind them surmised what was happening and carried on. Then I moved to a small town. Immediate culture shock. Not only did the actual person turning put their blinker on (miles before they actually had to), but so did everyone else! The person behind them – to let the next person know what was about to happen - and then the person behind that person and the person behind that person and the person behind that person and on and on and on, until it seemed everyone in the county knew someone was going to turn up ahead. I was amazed! What was happening? At first I thought they ALL were turning, but I quickly learned this quaint, charming custom and even I started to comply. Resistance is futile.
Back to the big city. Back to the one person, one blinker unspoken rule. I must admit that at first I continued to “warn” those behind me until too many passengers asked me what the hell I was doing. I quickly unlearned that quirky courtesy. But I continued to use a blinker before every turn.
I am back again in a small town. Not only does no one use the blinker to warn the one behind them anymore, NO ONE – as in maybe1 in 50 - uses their blinker at all! It mystifies me! It is now a daily game of “guess if someone putting on their brakes is going to turn” or is it they are just an idiot that doesn’t know how to drive. Too many drivers turn out to be the latter.
Me, I am sticking with the blinker method. Better safe than rear-ended.