Random braking … really?

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=brake+light&iid=5229586″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5229586/moving-traffic-with-brake/moving-traffic-with-brake.jpg?size=500&imageId=5229586″ width=”500″ height=”326″ /]

So, it’s time to break out my “I’m annoyed” voice again, oh faithful reader. On my way home from work I experienced an almost comical drive.

While on the highway, I made my way into the fast lane in my bright red Nissan Versa SL tester (not the most exciting, but it is kinda cute and mighty good on gas, plus they upgraded the interior immensely and it feels less like a cardboard box with wheels and a few knobs and more like a real car now) using my signals, of course, I came to be behind a VW Jetta.

I like to take note of the cars I follow and am around and I try to see the drivers as well, just to assess the situation, take in my atmosphere and really know who I’m dealing with on the road. As I took in my grey Jetta driving partner ahead of me, he tapped the brakes.

So, I tapped mine.

As this was rush-hour I suspected he’d seen traffic stopping up ahead and had decided to slow down.

Then he did it again.

And again.

And again.

By the fourth random brake tap I was convinced he was having a seizure at the wheel. He wasn’t slowing down at all, just tapping the brake enough to turn on the lights.

The brake light show was enough to make me change lanes. As I pulled up beside grey Jetta and glanced over at the driver I expected to see an elderly woman clutching the wheel for dear life wondering why she ever left her cats and cup of tea at home to venture out onto the mean, overcrowded speedway.

Instead I saw a middle-aged businessman.

A little shocked I watched as Mr. Brake Light Show pulled ahead of me in the fast lane with another car following close behind. Mr. Brake Light Show put on the same performance for the car now following him. The car following him, naturally, hit his brakes quite a few times too before catching on to the game and changing lanes.

At first I thought Mr. Brake Light Show just didn’t like cars following him, either close or far. But as I watched him continue on his journey home, now alone in the fast lane, he continued to randomly tap his brakes, sometimes in rapid succession, as if he was tapping his foot to the beat of a song.

It actually made me laugh out loud. There was I was, giggling in my red Versa, cruising down the highway, utterly amazed at this particular driver’s antics.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen an overuse of brake lights or braking in general.

I’d like to announce to the world an amazing fact: When you take your foot off the throttle you will slow down.

I know, it’s shocking, but it’s true! Often, if you’re planning on slowing down in a normal situation you can just stop pressing the gas and save your brakes by simply letting the car cruise to a slower speed.

Slamming on your brakes when there’s no need is just plain stupid, and will often cause more problems than good. I’ve come close to rear-ending someone and not because I wasn’t paying attention, but because I was aware that traffic was simply slowing, not completely stopped, while the person in front of me decided the traffic deserved a savage and complete stop.

Mr. Brake Light Show in the Jetta is a prime example of poor driving skills. It’s not that he was speeding, or swerving from lane to lane or even being a dick in any way; but he was still being a horrible driver.

Everyone that got behind Mr. Brake Light Show ended up hitting their brakes hard and more than necessary, causing the cars behind to slow and everyone to be a bit panicky (because we all know how stressed drivers get when they see brake lights). His spastic foot could have cause a serious accident.

But I will say this; Mr. Brake Light Show did put a smile on my face after a long day at work, so at least I can thank him for that.

Drive on,
– M.

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on October 20, 2010.

2 Responses to “Random braking … really?”

  1. Even money he uses his left foot for the brake.

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