Dr. Baddriving: How I Learned to Hate the Two Lane Turn


Abilene drivers… suck. I guess I could just call it good right there, but I love the sound of my voice in my head.

Before I really get in to it, when I suggested this blog idea to some of my friends, one of them said “College Station drivers are the worst.” Although I would have to agree that Dallas drivers are terrible, Houston drivers are terrible, Austin drivers are terrible and San Antonio drivers are terrible; Abilene has there own special breed of illiterate motorists. The healthy mix of octogenarians and college students who just got their freedom is like combining vinegar and hydrogen peroxide with the same result: a nasty accident that pisses off you mother.

To me Abilene, for a town that is definitely in favor of creationism, needs to realize that they have Social Darwinism at work on the Winters Freeway. You have these younger drivers that are so bored with Abilene, they feel the need to re-create scenes of The Fast and The Furious amongst the gargantuan F-350s. I have sad news for you townie: it wasn’t cool when Vin Diesel did it and just because you put a Nos sticker on your ’94 Taurus doesn’t magically give it extra juice. You also have people in their Lincoln Towncars that are so closed minded that they are even against the invention of the turn signal so they just weave in and out of traffic, scaring the tar out of anyone within 5 car links around them.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love people of all age demographics in Abilene, however sometimes you just wonder where they learned some of these unwritten rules of driving. (The Driving Code of the Prairie perhaps?) Like I’ll be going down the street and I go through a green light which, last time I checked, was still kosher according the to the National Transportation Safety Board; but sometimes there are people who slow down at a green light. WHY!!!!!! Even if it turns yellow, you will still have enough time to get through it. I’ve never seen a cop pull someone for running a yellow (come to think of it, I haven’t seen anyone pulled for running a red. Knock on wood.)

You also have people, when stopped at a red light, sit and wait a good 10-15 seconds to actually go when it turns green. Didn’t everyone play red light/green light when they were kids? Green means go and red means stop. I guess when we played that when we were little we weren’t on our iPhones or yelling at the kids behind us, well if you had Turrets as a child the latter applies to you. But anyways, if your general driving reaction time is 10-15 seconds then I don’t want to be behind you because if I have to make a sudden stop then you would be 10-15 seconds up my bumper.

At this point you are probably thinking that I couldn’t gripe anymore about traffic, but if you have ever been in my car you know that I’m not even close to being done. Heck, I haven’t even covered the two lane turn yet. One other thing is the turning lane, especially on Judge Ely Blvd. It’s really used on Ely because of Sonic so when it’s Happy Hour, the idiots come out of the woodwork. One time I was driving down Ely and I went to turn into the designated turning lane like a good driver and all of the sudden a white car comes blitzin’ from behind, nearly demolishing my then new car. Abilene, I hate to tell you that you’re not hip enough to have a H.O.V. lane. This isn’t Dallas for crying out loud. That’s not what it’s there for.

When I lived Abilene when I was in elementary, I have some great memories and some bad memories; but the dominating memory is listening to my Dad complain about people who made two lane turns. I used to think that he must have been overreacting but during that first week of college when I almost got T-Boned via a two lane turn, I knew it was no hyperbole. It seems like people know when you don’t want them to two lane turn like if you are going down the road and they turn correctly right in front of you and insist on going 15 instead of the posted 40. They will correctly turn then of course but if you are there are two turning lanes lanes and you are in the right and they are in the left, they will feel the need to try to cut you off. Make up your minds people! This is you opportunity to be a good driver simply by turning correctly. To quote Captain Planet “The power is yours!” but like pollution, we have the power but still dump toxic waste into lakes.

I know that people probably think that I have been too harsh on Abilene drivers, but the fact of the matter is that this is a challenge for them to not suck as much at driving. Recently, the City of Abilene made a challenge to their drivers called “No Wreck Wednesday.” It lasted a total of 6 hours when a lady flipped her Explorer in an one car accident that morning. For a town this size it’s pretty sad how many accidents there are. I’m sure the way some of these people drive was acceptable in the ’70s when every car had as much metal as a tank. I’m sure back then driving in Abilene was like one big demolition derby. Unfortunately, with the invention of the SUV, the cellphone and the Soccer Mom, driving in Abilene has never been more hazardous. I’m sure the high rate of DWI’s in Taylor county hasn’t helped but that’s beside the point. So when you go out for your Saturday stroll, play some defense while your driving and for the love of all things holy don’t read this on your iPhone while you’re driving. That would be too ironic.

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