I know, you don’t think you’re being an asshole. You think you’re helping. I understand where you’re coming from. But it’s really important that somebody tell you you’re being an asshole. So, asshole: you’re being an asshole.
Right of way exists for a reason. Do you want to know the reason? It’s so you can keep driving your car without killing or being killed. Pretty obviously a good thing for all involved. So why do you think it’s polite to surrender that right of way? It’s literally the only thing between you and a car accident.
It’s nice to think that coming to a complete stop in the middle of the road and waving someone past is somehow a nice thing to do. But it’s not. Because you haven’t just surrendered right of way…you’ve surrendered the silent agreement between another person and the traffic around them. You’ve put them in danger. I know you didn’t mean to do this, but you did. And that makes you an asshole.
Don’t surrender right of way. You will kill somebody. If recent history is any example, it’ll probably be me. So fucking stop.
Some reasons not to surrender right of way:
1) Nobody behind you knows what the fuck you’re doing when you suddenly stop your vehicle and sit there waiting. Nobody else can see what’s going on. They are likely to try to get around you, and then the person you were waving on gets hit.
2) The person that you’re waving on doesn’t know what the fuck you’re doing either. In the time it takes you to silently negotiate this temporary alteration to traffic patterns with somebody else via vague hand signal, you could have just driven past and the person waiting would already be on his way.
3) Pedestrians also don’t know what the fuck you’re doing, so they’re not going to know who’s turning where, or when, or at what point it’s going to be safe for them to cross with their groceries, their dog, or their child.
4) The other lane or lanes of traffic can also be added to the long list of people who don’t know what the fuck you’re doing. You may come to a dead stop and wave somebody on, and that’s so very nice of you, but traffic moving in the other direction isn’t privy to your grand gesture and they’re going to keep coming, and they’re going to hit the person you’ve just waved into their path.
5) You don’t know what the fuck you’re doing either. If you did, you’d know that you stop at a stoplight or a stop sign, and that’s it. The roads are designed and traffic patterns are determined on the assumption that vehicles move. The moment you betray that assumption, you’ve cast everything else into doubt as well, and motorists will take steps to keep moving forward themselves. At best, you waste somebody’s time. At worst, you kill somebody or start a pileup.
You’re not doing anybody a favor. When I’m waiting to cross the street, I’m waiting for a reason: I’m supposed to wait. I’m not waiting for some gallant hero to stop his car…I’m waiting for that fucking car to get out of the way so that I can cross.
Why? Because I don’t know…what…the fuck…you’re doing. And once I figure it out, and I try to cross, the guy behind you almost hits me because he had no idea what was going on. Because your dumb ass is in the way, and not going anywhere, and he has somewhere to be.
So don’t wave me on. And definitely don’t get huffy when I wave you right back on in return. Especially since you’d already be long gone and I’d be well on my way if you didn’t put me, yourself, and everyone else on the road in that particular moment in immediate danger.
When you drive, I know what you’re doing.
When you drive, everyone knows what you’re doing. Why? Because the roads have been laid out in such a way that it becomes easy to anticipate what you’re doing, as long as you follow the rules.
When you surrender right of way, nobody knows what your intentions are, why you’re doing it, or what they’re supposed to be doing in return. And you look like an asshole.
Which is fine. Because you’re an asshole.
This has been a public service announcement. Asshole.