Road trip puts Colorado drivers in perspective |

Road trip puts Colorado drivers in perspective

Holly Marie Kay

Colorado drivers have it good, especially in spacious less-populated areas like Summit County.

I came to this conclusion recently, after returning from a road trip to California. I had never been to California before, but I had preconceived notions of what it would be like, based on what I heard from friends who had lived there. My prediction was that it would be a beautiful but overcrowded state. My prediction was quite accurate.

I am not a huge fan of crowds, and when I embarked on the trip, I knew that California was the most populated state. Thus, I expected to deal with loads of people and loads of traffic at certain points. The road trip itself was absolutely great. The drivers in California were not.

Either the fancy new BMWs and Jaguars don’t come with turn signals, or their navigators are just plain rude. I am guessing the latter. One would think that with an obvious overcrowding problem on the roads, people would be careful to communicate lane changes and turns by using their signals. Not so.

I don’t mean to single out fancy new cars. I noticed this problem with every type of car. But I have to admit that it sometimes surprises me more when people who drive flashy, expensive cars do not signal. You would think that investing all that money in a vehicle would kindle a desire to preserve it. Drivers who do not signal do not realize that they are endangering themselves as much as others.

I took such strong note of this issue because my biggest pet peeve is drivers who do not signal. When you are on the road with other people, you need to communicate. It comes down to basic respect and common sense. If you cannot figure out how to flip a switch while driving, you need to take another driving test.

Driving on Interstate 70 used to frustrate me when people would weave in and out of lanes without signaling. Now, I am thankful that at least some people in Colorado signal. It seems like nobody in California signals.

My companion and I drove in to the southern part of California first, and as soon as we hit L.A., there were people right on my tail. The next thing I knew, they were in the lane next to me, then the next lane. This back-and-forth pattern continued, but not once was a turn signal used. Keep in mind, these roads were very overloaded, making weaving and not signaling even more dangerous.

After driving in L.A. for two hours and moving only two inches on the map, all the while drivers were aggressive and careless, I thanked my lucky charms that I do not live there.

Ever since I returned to Colorado, I have seen drivers in a whole new light. There are always going to be some rude ones, but the pace of driving and life itself seems so peaceful compared to California.

I never thought I’d hear myself say that, since I used to get so angry with inconsiderate drivers in this state. Now I realize there is a decent amount of respectful drivers, and I am thankful for that.

California is a gorgeous state, but it’s a rat race, and I am also thankful that in Summit County I do not have to save myself an extra two hours of driving time for a 20-minute commute.

The author is a past intern at RSN-TV who is completing her education at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

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