So, recently I had a pretty hairy car accident. When it was happening I didn't think it was too serious, but in hindsight I was more than lucky to come through with only a few cuts and bruises.
Anyways, it got me to thinking how, once we've mastered the art, passed the test and burned the 'L' plates, we start to become a little complacent and take some of the small tasks of driving for granted. Like indicating for instance.
Pre-accident, people who didn't use indicators really ground my f@~#ng gears. Nowadays it grinds my gears and concerns me at the same time. Even the tiniest lapse in concentration can bring your arse over your tit in seconds, sometimes quite literally. This was the case with my accident. It had stopped raining, I took one hand off the wheel to turn off the wipers, a gust caught the car, wheels caught the verge, and the rest is a blur.
I'm not delusional; I know it's nigh on impossible to stay completely tuned in at all times, especially on long journeys. You're thinking what turn-off to take, what you've got to do once you reach your destination; you're singing along to that song or fantasising about some morning nooky. The fact is, concentration will lapse, however, if the gent in the Bimmer up ahead is kind enough to indicate before turning off we're more inclined to snap out of the lapse, switch on, and be prepared. It's simple, it's sensible, and to be honest, it's common bloody decency.
The one place where this plague of anti-indicating is particularly rampant is on roundabouts. Now for those who don't know, the purpose of a roundabout is to facilitate the continuous flow of traffic on busy junctions (as opposed to right-of-way junctions or traffic lights.) Now, I don't know about you, but I feel it's kind of counter-productive when the gobshites using the roundabout refuse to indicate, so you're left sitting there like a tool while you try to predict what goddamn way they're planning on going.
I used to think it was pure laziness, or yannow, 'shit-hot' not to indicate, but now I honest to Methuselah think it's simple ignorance. Some people genuinely don't know how to indicate on roundabouts.
Now it's not rocket science. Before I done my theory test I wasn't certain of the procedure, but then, I wasn't allowed on the bloody roads at the time, so the world was safe. If you've done all the prerequisite tests and have been let loose on the good auld blacktop then you should know. If you're still not certain, then in this technological age, there are no feckin' excuses.
I Googled that. It took me exactly 0.25 seconds. If you're unsure of the procedure and you can't do that, then there's no denying it - you're a lazy ass. Fact. Undisputed. Discussion over.
In a nutshell:
If you're taking the first turn, indicate as you approach the roundabout.
If you're going straight, indicate once you pass the first turn.
If you're taking any other exit, indicate to the opposite of the first turn, then change to indicate the direction you're going once you've passed the exit before yours.
Rocket science eh?
You might think I'm being a bit anal about this, after all, it is only a piddly blinking light on the side of a car, but having come through aforementioned accident relatively unscathed, I, and many others like me, take nothing for granted. And if my ordeal doesn't move you then just remember - cars go fast, concrete hurts, impact is jarring, glass slices through skin without you even knowing it at the time, and when you're in a metal, combustible cage, flipping over and over, you have absolutely no control over how things will pan out.
So, the moral of the story kiddies - use your (pardon my upcoming French) fucking indicators. And for the love of St. Michael on a pushbike, wear your seatbelt, mmm'kay?