Ok. This is a rant. Here we go.

Someone explain to me why it is necessary for someone to swerve left to turn right?

You are not driving an 18 wheeler … you are driving a VW for a Camry or gods sake.

I imagine my naïve thinking is … you don’t have the turning radius of an oil tanker therefore … don’t swerve left to turn right.

However I need to be a little careful in my rant because these drivers may have god on their side:

“Do not turn aside to the right or to the left, but remove your foot from evil.” – bible

Hopefully god is a better driver.

Anyway. Driving and drivers is an interesting topic. Rarely have I found a topic where the difference between perception and reality is so consistent.

Yup. The perception of how I drive versus the reality of how I drive.

And the perception of my driving skills versus others and the reality of others driving skills.

Bad drivers always think they are good drivers and good drivers actually have some bad quirks which irk the bad drivers <and other good drivers>. Honestly … I am not actually sure what a good driver is. But I do know a bad driver when I see one.

It would be funny if it were actually funny. But it can be sickening (I have one friend who believes if there is open space you should maximize speed in that space …what that means is you race forward in small increments and either get whiplash or seasick from constant acceleration and deceleration).

And then there is the lane changer constantly seeking “the edge” weaving side to side only to reach the stop light to find the grandma who struggled along glaring at people as other drivers weaved around her  peacefully idling by your side.

Anyway. This isn’t about driving quirks of which I am sure I would have if I wasn’t a perfect driver. This is about geometry (or algebra I am never sure).

This is about the left right turn. I am not sure you even are aware of it unless you live in a city where lanes actually matter. It is not only maddening but it is nerve racking.

What is it? It is simply what I wrote. A driver nears a right hand turn <curb not even necessary on right hand side>, it could even be their own driveway, at the turn <typically not before it> the driver swings their car to the left <often encroaching the lane to their left> and then they swing to turn to the right.


When I learned to drive I admit the two toughest things to learn were (1) if you take your hands off the wheel the car will naturally straighten (this made turning a lot easier and less work than spinning the wheel like a madman) and (2) you can turn a car by letting the rear end naturally follow the front end when going right (or left for that matter).

In other words. If you turn and bump the curve its not because you didn’t swing out enough to the left its because you didn’t go far enough straight before spinning to the right.

I am sure I could show you some parabolic curve diagram using physics < PARABOLIC SPLINE, smooth polyline, draws an open, curved shape defined by a series of node points called a frame. The curve draws through all the nodes. A parabolic spline must have at least 3 nodes and some ratio analysis (you know … I am in a car moving 45 mph and I throw an egg at your car which is moving 5 mph – it is just leaving a stop light – so how fast is the egg moving when it misses the front windshield and instead goes in the open passenger window and hits your mother?) but trust what I just wrote … you do not have to turn left to go right.

Ok. Before I get back to the right left (or left right) turn I will also admit “turning into a skid-spin” was a bear of a lesson but you don’t really need that lesson unless (a) you are a race car driver (b) you drive in snow or (c) you were trying to quickly come out of doing donuts on the high school soccer field because the security guard just burst out the side door (not that I would know about the third).

Sorry. I digressed. Anyway.

The left right turn drives me crazy. Not only because it can cause an accident but also because you never trust the guy in the right lane next to you ever again. So you slow down just to be on the safe side. And what does that mean?  The guy behind you gets pissed (or just annoyingly tailgates you in displeasure).

Hey. Here is something to ponder. I understand most drivers have quirks but oddly you may actually be able to tell if a driver is having an affair by watching how they drive.

Yup, why some people have affairs while others don’t may be explained by driving.

top50models gas and brake pedal

Thanks again to one of my favorite sites, www.top50models.com , I was able to adapt this little model based on research by the Kinsey-Institute in Bloomington and apply it to my aggravation with bad drivers.

Basically there are two parameters: how easily are you aroused versus how much are you willing to take risks.

The Kinsey researcher calls this “gas pedal” and “brake pedal.” <hence the reason I am applying this to the left turn right turn post>.

In the research in order to find out about your sensitivity to arousal they ask questions like: “If you touch a stranger at a party or brush against a stranger who you find attractive do you become aroused? If you make eye contact with her or her – do you become aroused?” People who answer yes, approximately 40%, have a strong gas pedal.

This may not mean you are unfaithful. It just means you get a lot of speeding tickets or rush head long as fast as you can to each stop light jerking to a stop ticked off you didn’t catch it green.

But this is not a guarantee that the driver you are swearing at is having an affair because it also may mean that you might just show good judgment and hit the brakes <so you have to follow them for awhile to truly find out if they are having an affair>.

In the research the ‘braking’ aspect is discovered by asking questions like: “If you are having sex with someone in a public place and someone else comes along  –  does that cause you to become apprehensive and stop having sex?” <how awesome is that question? … and … I love the fact some nerdy research type was creepy enough to even think of asking this question>.

We can also say people with a strong brake pedal have strong marital values. Now, people with a strong gas pedal and a weak brake pedal, about 20% of the people, these are the ones most prone to cheat.

Well. All that said … I suggest you watch very closely as your partner drives to see if they are having an affair or they just suck at driving. I will leave it up to you to judge.

In the end I would accept all the affairs, the gas pedal brake pedal thing, and aggravating driving quirks if I could just eliminate one thing … nose picking while driving.

And I think it is a Republican thing because it is almost always old white guys driving nice <Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, etc.> cars. I don’t know if they think (a) the windows are tinted enough no one can see them digging or (b) just because they can afford a nice car rules need not apply or (c) it is some fraternity thing they are reliving in old age.

The heck with my aggravation of the left turn right turn issue.

The heck with following people around aimlessly seeking people having affairs.

The heck with seatbelt ticketing too.

Let’s just give tickets for nose picking driving.

Written by Bruce