Version 4

Courtesy on the road is a Texan marvel. I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.
The past state of my birth and many historic life chapters is also known for its aggressive drivers. It is not a casual activity on the Left Coast. Rather, driving is a demonstration of status, a way to flaunt social success, and to make sure that attention is arrested from the common folks.
To use the turn indicator is an invitation to be victimized. It’s a consistent habit for me. Of course I check my mirrors before I use it. I have experienced the consequences it too often.
When I merge or change lanes and use my turn indicator, I have seen traffic behind me actually accelerate to crowd my move. Once in my chosen lane, the driver behind me often is growling aggressively at me. My move apparently inconvenienced him.
I have observed that many vehicles on the road have broken turn indicators. Those drivers move with dominant intent. Small gaps, barely a car length, become targets for the pushy drivers.
Here is my most peculiar observation. One of the more expensive auto makers doesn’t even install turn indicators in their vehicles. Of course I would never want to disrespect that brand but the common initials of these premium automobiles make them the choice of a person wanting to shout “success”.
They power their way down the freeway, dodging the rest of us as if we are a nuisance. Some times we all wonder or at the very least wonder if those drivers want us to see their brand while being cut off or passed while we motor our way at posted speeds.
Texans are very different. I remember my first days on Lone Star freeways. When I engaged my turn indicator, cars slowed down to let me in. I was shocked. Then, I smiled.
Now, I enjoy the pride of a people who are all plagued by heavy traffic. My neighbors still use courtesy to let other drivers make their way through our ribbons of asphalt. All y’all use your turn indicators out there.
photo by bruce w. fong photography