Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me”
By Comedian John Knight
Pittsburgh can take pride in the many honors it has received through the years. Most livable city, smartest city, best up and coming food city, one of the most breathtaking views in the country and one of the greatest skylines in the world. Last week we received our latest award when we were voted the worst drivers in the country.
An online insurance marketplace called EverQuote ranks us worst, tied with New York City. When I looked at where they came up with the rankings, I saw it was based on mainly speeding and cell phone use. If you can speed and text at the same time, shouldn’t you get bonus points?
They also mention hard braking and sharp turns. Yeah, those will shave off some points but it shouldn’t be enough to rank us last.
There was no mention of tunnel traffic, which is the biggest headache driver’s face in the city. For whatever reason, there are people that believe the speed limit drops from 55 to 30 in the Squirrel Hill and Fort Pitt tunnels. If you’ve never been frustrated by the backup, you’re probably one of the idiots causing it.
Last Sunday, a few days after this ranking came out, I was traveling back from the University of Pittsburgh commencement ceremonies. As I approached the Fort Pitt Bridge and tunnel, I began to wonder what kind of lunatic designed this mess.
You have traffic merging from six different directions, with nobody yielding for anyone. I was in the far left lane and wanted to get over to the far right, to get to West Carson Street. Meanwhile, there were people on the far right that wanted to get over to the left to go through the tunnel.
There were hundreds of cars crisscrossing each other, trying to get to where we were going. With about fifty feet to move over four lanes of congested traffic, we all managed to get where we were going. Nobody was giving anyone a break, we were all cursing each other out and giving the finger. All of this while we were texting at the same time.
Even the best Nascar drivers couldn’t maneuver that without ending up in a heaping pile of twisted, burning metal, yet we do it every day.
Let me give an example of why I don’t think it’s fair for us to be ranked as the worst drivers. When I was leaving the parking garage at Pitt, I was in a long line of traffic trying to get out. It took about forty five minutes to get from the fifth floor down to the first.
I was finally almost to the exit, with about four cars in front of me. That’s when the van began to back out toward my car. Like I said, I was in a line of traffic. I couldn’t move forward or backward.
There was a man standing outside the van who was unable to get in because of a pillar. I’m guessing he was the husband and the woman driving was his wife. At first I thought she was just backing up far enough to let him in, but she just kept coming toward me.
The only thing I could do was lay on the horn, but she just kept coming. Cars these days are equipped with back up cameras, sensors, all sorts of devices to keep us from backing into things. There’s also the rear view mirror and the ability to turn your stupid head around to see if anyone is behind you! Isn’t that one of the first lessons in driving? Look before backing up.
Meanwhile, she’s still backing toward me, probably wondering what some idiot is doing to get beeped at like that. Her husband is just standing there watching it unfold, like there’s nothing that can be done. One of the simplest laws of physics is that two objects cannot occupy the same space, yet you’re going for it.
Finally, she came to a stop about two feet from my car. I still can’t believe that she knew I was there. From witnessing these two idiots, I came to the conclusion, that luckily for me, she ran out of gas.
That’s when I looked down at her license plate. New York City! C’mon, were tied with these morons? I demand a recount.
Follow John on Twitter @jknight841
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