Thursday, December 21, 2006

Not a highly scientific study

OK, this is going to sound kind of bah humbug this close to Christmas, but see, I've been doing more driving than usual lately, what with all the Christmas shopping and other errands. And frankly, a lot of drivers really suck in the courtesy department.

I'm a nice person. Really, I am. When I drive, I always signal lane changes, I signal before I brake for a turn, and I will slow down to let a car into my lane in front of me. What really pisses me off are people who are not courteous, who view turning on their turn signal as meaning that they can merge blindly into your lane by Divine Right when really all a flashing turn signal signals is the intention to change lanes -- you know, like if there is *a space* between cars? Oh, and people who blithely change lanes without signals, trusting that since *they* know where they're going, that you should be able to figure it out too. Or the ones who stop dead in the middle of the road and *then* put on their turn signals. If they'd just reverse the order of those two actions, I wouldn't be screeching to a halt behind them wondering why they had suddenly stopped.

But, the people who annoy me most are those who don't wave or acknowledge it when you slow down or brake to let them into your lane, whether it's from another lane or from a side street or driveway. Really, is a little wave too much to ask? I wave. I wave every time.

So, this morning, on my fairly lengthy commute to work along March Road and Carling Avenue, I decided to conduct a little experiment. I would let people into my lane ahead of me, and I would keep track of how many gave the little 'thanks' wave. Here are the results:

Number of cars let in ahead of me: 10 (9 cars, one bus)
Number of waves: 5
Number of women wavers: 3
Number of men wavers: 2 (including very nice and enthusiastic wave from bus driver)
Number of men who didn't wave: 4
Number of women who didn't wave: 1

So, I'm going to conclude from this admittedly very small sample population (and no control group), that about half the drivers on the road this morning can be thought of as courteous, and that women drivers are more courteous, as 75% of the women waved, while only 33% of men waved.

I think I'm going to take the highway home tonight. The drivers may not be any nicer, but I'll get home quicker.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a stickler for the wave, too. It always annoys me if I do someone a favor like that and then they just ignore me, as if it was their right to drive there. I didn't HAVE to let them in, you know.

    People here are incredibly rude, intolerable drivers. It's bad. They drive fast, and recklessly, and often don't even stop for minor fender-benders.

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