Odd behavior on the roads

Published 7:08 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2019

In all the years I’ve been observing the human condition, I’ve always been amazed at the activities of other drivers I see while on the road.

The next time you’re traveling, if you’re a passenger, take time to look at the people in the cars that pass by you as you drive along the highways and byways of this country. You’d be surprised.

I remember in my earlier years driving on Interstate 10 and seeing a man in front of me driving and reading a newspaper. As a journalist, I had to admire the fact that this man was so dedicated to the news in whatever paper he was reading, but as a driver I also felt it was best that I keep a safe distance from the individual for my own personal safety.

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On another trip I passed by a woman combing her hair (at 60 mph) and then later one getting dressed while behind the wheel. More recently, while traveling with my wife and daughter, my daughter called my attention to the woman in the Honda next to us.

“She’s flossing her teeth!” she said. I looked over, and sure enough, there she was, visor mirror down, bent over the steering wheel and moving the dental floss back and forth through her mouth. We passed her quickly.

But the strange behavior of drivers is not limited to the major highways. There’s a lot going on the local streets, beginning with the drivers who are fixated with green lights. You’ve seen them on your daily drives; you’re sitting in traffic, the light turns green and the driver in front just sits there like a deer in your headlights. You’re in a quandary what to do — honk the horn, sit and wait? It’s a challenge.

There are other examples. I recall one day when I lived in Pascagoula I was behind a man who was signing to a front seat passenger as he drove, and apparently the discussion was not a pleasant one judging by his violent gestures as he drove down the street, hands barely touching the wheel.

I’ve also had people pass me and then cut quickly in front of me, barely missing my front bumper. There are also the folks going the wrong way on clearly marked parking rows, and the driver who keeps that left turn signal light on as they drive down the road.

The left turn signal.

I have told people that when I get to be 80 years old I’m going to become one of those annoying drivers and get my revenge on the world by driving with my left turn signal on, going 20 mph and stopping at every intersection. I’ll get away with it. Why? Because if I do it now, people will say “that stupid idiot.” If I do it at 80, folks will say, “That’s just old grandpa; he’s senile and he doesn’t know any better.” How unaware those folks will be.

Enjoy your drive today.

John Surratt is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at john.surratt@vicksburgpost.com.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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