Ok, I'm going to rant for this column, so if you don't want to read, click away. I want to rant against our current perception of driving. We're not driving anymore but conducting life in our cars while it's moving, often at 60-70 mph on a crowded Interstate or 30-45 mph on a busy street, and endangering everyone around them. I want to rant because I'm tired of being a victim of careless drivers paying attention more to life than the fact they're in a two-plus vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.

My first rant is against cellphones, especially the handheld ones. Recently while driving on Interstate 5 to Highway 16 to go home a driver of a big SUV moved across in front of me while he had his cellphone held to his left ear. He didn't look in his side mirror or over his shoulder, he just signaled and went, expectiing everyone will understand. He missed by just a few feet at 50 mph and when I honked, he just accerated away. It's now one thing I keep aware off, driving with a hand to their ear, to know they're likely not thinking about driving.

And that leads to the rant of merging. He was changing lanes to the one I was already in, but my rant against mergers are with the folks at the last entrance to Highway 16 before the Narrows Bridge. Not only do they just drive like we, who are in the highway lane and have no place to go and have a mile of traffic behind us, have to give to them. As Steve Martin says, "Excuse me!" We have the right of way and you have to merge. We don't have to give a place for you, we can if it's convenient. You have the responsibility to find a place and not impede traffic, which means going with traffic when you merge not afterward.

What's with people being tourists on a busy commuter highway? How many people are behind you while you're doing 45 mph with a 60 mph speed limit? How often have you seen a quarter to half mile empty lane ahead of some yahoo driving 45 mph thinking it's their right to go slow? It's called impeding traffic and it's a traffic offense with a ticket if some police or highway patrol will ever think to remind them. But they don't and people have to scramble around them.

What's with left-lane drivers and lane changers? You know the ones who think they own the lane, until it's time to exit, and then they're suddenly quick lane changers or the ones who change lanes every instance of an open space. I've had to change speeds, usually slow up or brake, for someone who narrowly misses my van trying to squeeze into the space ahead of me. And worse is when the slow up to change lanes again to exit the highway. Geez, you knew where the exit is so why wait to the end and race across lanes?

What's my point beside ranting? Easy, if you're driving, pay attention and drive. You're not doing anything else while casually driving. Simply drive. If you have to do something else, try parking, it does wonders for your sanity and everyone else who doesn't have you as a risk on the highway.

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WSR V2.8, January 2013