Let... me... just... squeeze... inEarlier, I confessed that I'm not the most courteous driver when it comes to lane changes and yielding my right of way. Even though it's National Lane Courtesy Month, I still feel the need to exercise my right of not giving way just because someone else wants me to. I would like to make the distinction here that I don't, as a rule, usurp someone else's right of way or force my way into another lane. I may not give an inch, but I don't take one either.
As in tonight, on the way home on Route 93. I'm heading south and traffic is finally moving at a decent pace. I notice that the right lane is relatively open and I check to see if I can get in. As I look, I notice a green Bimmer move into the lane and start to pickup speed. I can either get in front and stop his flow, or I can wait for him to pass and then move in. I opt for the latter because the lane is clear behind him. We roll, almost in tandem, through the last few yards of Dorchester and over Granite Avenue. Just past the exit, traffic starts to bind for last crawl through the Braintree split. Bimmer and I are adjusting our speed. There's enough room between us that I'm not crowding him, but there isn't enough room for another car.
We pass the onramp from the southbound side of Granite Avenue, and two cars are coming up to merge with the highway. One has enough room and speed to merge in front of the Bimmer. The other, an Infiniti or Nissan Pathfinder, doesn't. For the sake of argument, let's say it was an Infiniti since they're both the same anyway. For him to merge between the Bimmer and me, I would have to slow down. But, see, I'm not obligated to slow down and let the merging traffic in. The right of way gives me the right to hold my ground. Besides, the lane was practically wide open behind me. In fact, so was the lane next to me.
The Infiniti driver believes he should be let in behind the Bimmer. He wedges his way down the road, and as the road narrows, he will have to choose between trading paint with me or the jersey barrier. Neither is appealing to him, but he's mad I won't let him in. He beeps a series of short beeps, but gets no response from me and merges behind me. He quickly gets on my left and speed up next to me and beeps again to get my attention. I don't care what he has to say to me, nor how many fingers he will use to say it. He starts to move in front of me, but thinks better of it because he again has a bad choice: either trade paint with me or the rear of an 18-wheeler. He decides the better part of valor is to give in and we part company with the flow of traffic.
Some may read this and think me a complete jerk. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I'm not a jerk. I'm the guy who is standing up for everyone out there in this region who is tired of being pushed around by aggressive assholes who believe everyone should get out of their way. I'm the guy who says, "You know what? If 70 isn't fast enough, go the F around." I'm the guy who stands his ground and forces the bullies to admit they're not so tough after all. HOWEVER, I am not the guy who thinks it's OK to get into a pissing contest, let alone a road rage match over driving technique. If someone cares to attempt that kind of behavior, I usually make a few turns off my charted course in the direction of a police station if I'm near one. Luckily, I can say that very few people have gone that far, and I feel satisfied at the end of the day that I have done my part for the rest of the region to demand some respect on these roads, if not a little courtesy. |