5 Dumb Things West Texas Drivers Do That Get On Our Last Nerve
We all know that driving in Abilene can be a nightmare. In fact, it's just flat-out dangerous more times than not. A lot of this has to do with some of the jacked-up intersections in town. But most of the time it has to do with the rash, ridiculous behaviors of Big Country motorists.
Now, before I get hassled for this article, I'll admit I've been guilty of some of these behaviors as well. Yes, I'm talking to myself too.
Hi, I'm Chaz, and sometimes I do stupid things while driving in Abilene.
Using Cell Phones
It doesn't matter if it's talking or texting, cell phone usage while driving has gotten out of hand. Whether it's someone going super slow because they are fiddling with their phone, or someone taking selfies (yes, I've seen this), or those who like to deep dive the interwebs at a stoplight, people just don't pay attention to the road anymore.
Add to this the fact that there are a ton of social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and others where people are trying to get that oh-so-funny video posted, and you've got yourself a potentially dangerous situation.
Can't Merge Correctly
The turn lane is supposed to be used as, you guessed it, a turn lane from one road to another. Yet many will use it as a "merge lane". If you're one of those people, stop it! I've seen so many near accidents in front of the studios here on South 1st when someone will try to merge from the turn lane.
Also, people don't understand how to merge onto a highway. You're supposed to yield to the people already on the highway. Not muscle your way in or get mad because someone didn't move over. That said, if you're already on the highway, moving over for other vehicles is a smart and courteous thing to do.
Practically Coming to a Stop When Turning
Now, I'm not saying you need to be on two wheels as you turn. But it is not necessary to come to a nearly complete stop when turning from one road to another. Obviously, some circumstances, like a kid in the street, or another car nearby, might force you to stop. But, on a regular turn, there's no reason to slow to a crawl.
Not Using the Turn Signal
Seriously, how hard is it to use that little lever by the steering wheel when you're making a turn? It's literally inches from your hand. Yet people forget to use it all the time in Abilene. If they do use it, they wait until they are literally turning before they use the blinker. If you know how to use your cell phone, you should be able to use the blinker.
Racing the Train to the Crossing
Why? This is one of the most dangerous things you could ever do. Never race the train to the crossing. Ever. I've seen so many cars try to race over the tracks to avoid waiting on trains that roll through town. As irritating as it is to have to wait on the train, it's not worth gambling with your life. Count the boxcars as they barrel past or check out the cool graffiti painted on their sides.
This is not a complete list. There are many other dumb things Abilene drivers do that get under our skin. But these are the top five in my opinion.