A friend was visiting from out of town and was alarmed by local motorists, especially the ones driving newer cars. She has a theory: Car dealers are forgetting to hook up the blinkers when vehicles leave the lot. Could this be why drivers around here don’t use their turn signals? – Blinkey the Turner
Rest assured, improper use of the turn signal is operator error and not an oversight of car dealers.
“I’m not sure how to answer your question,” our friend and all-around good guy Jim Morehart of Morehart Murphy Regional Auto Center in Bodo Park said with a laugh.
“I can tell you without a doubt that turn signals come preinstalled as standard equipment with every vehicle,” he said. “I think people aren’t paying attention.”
A Durangoan in a new car has a multitude of distractions, not the least of which is other Durangoans.
That’s because more than a few of us drive beaters.
How does that old joke go? In Durango, the stuff on top of the car is worth more than the car. Something like that.
Anyway, a guy in a ’93 Ford Explorer has a different motoring attitude than, say, someone in a brand spanking new Subaru Forester.
If you purchased a new car, you probably also can afford luxuries such as a fancy smart phone, an iPod and breakfast-to-go from a gourmet coffee drive-through.
Thus, the new-car driver is likely to talk on the cell phone or check e-mail while dialing up some road tunes in between bites of a breakfast burrito and gulps of a Durango Joe’s mocha.
All this activity behind the wheel leaves little time for actual driving.
How are Durango drivers supposed to use turn signals when their hands are occupied with gadgets, food and beverages?
Thank goodness newer cars come with tilt steering. Otherwise, some people wouldn’t be able to steer with their knees, thus freeing their hands for more important tasks than gripping the wheel.
Could you please review the rules of the road concerning roundabouts. At the new roundabout by Chapman Hill on Florida Road, I was in the roundabout turning off at Riverview Drive. Some moron barreling down Florida almost T-boned me. He flipped me off, but I had the right of way. What can be done? Sign me – It’s Not That Tough
OK, while we’re complaining about driving, let’s go over the circular logic of all roundabouts.
A roundabout is designed to slow down traffic without annoying, expensive and inefficient traffic lights.
As you approach any roundabout, you must yield to any vehicle inside the circle. Traffic goes counterclockwise. Simple enough, eh?
Florida Road drivers are just going to have to make adjustments and pay attention.
Action Line knows that making adjustments and paying attention are a lot to ask a typical local motorist, but we can aspire to transportational greatness, especially on our spiffy new road.
And speaking of spiffy new roads, we also need to resist the urge to speed.
The newly opened section between Riverview and East Third Avenue is smooth and inviting – something that Florida Road has not been for a long time.
It’s tempting to use fifth gear on this new stretch of asphalt. Thus the need for roundabouts to slow folks down.
And remember, the new Florida Road is bordered by sidewalks and wide shoulders. Pedestrians, dog walkers, joggers, bike riders and moms with strollers will have a presence here.
But not Segways. Last week’s City Council vote pretty much took care of that.
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if your car’s entertainment system consists of an AM/FM radio and a cassette player that doesn’t work any more.