There are worse offenses among drivers than being a Blinker Bozo. But that’s no consolation while you’re following one.
Blinker Bozo-ness, that is, driving with a turn signal in operation while showing no apparent intention to turn, manifests itself in several categories:
- The vehicle ahead of me in the passing lane on a freeway. If it’s the left-turn signal blinking indefinitely, I write off the driver as simply clueless and deserving of being passed on the right at the first opportunity. If it’s the right-turn signal, I have to summon my patience and wait for the driver to change lanes. More often than not they don’t.
- The vehicle ahead of me on a non-freeway highway or local street. If either the left- or right-turn indicator is going nonstop my patience is stretched even further. It’s the raising of false hope that the driver actually intends to turn soon that threatens to upset my car karma.
- The vehicle ahead of me in the lane(s) between the passing lane and slow lane on a freeway. Typically if I’m in one of those middle lanes I try to courteously hold back and give the driver a chance to slip in ahead of me, but if Bozo’s at the wheel it doesn’t happen. This is especially maddening when the other vehicle is a tractor-trailer.
- The vehicle ahead of me that makes a right exit off the freeway with its left turn signal blinking like a Bozo beacon. This tells me I’m not the only other driver to have faced this annoyance.
That said, I confess to succumbing to bouts of Bozo-ness myself.
This was brought into embarrassing focus the other day while at the controls of one of the hotter muscle cars offered recently to WardsAuto editors: a ’15 Chevy Camaro SS 1LE coupe. It’s one of those brutes to which lower-powered conveyances usually show the proper deference and move out of the passing lane (ideally using their turn signal, of course).
I was tooling along a Detroit freeway, feeling no particular need to flaunt the Camaro’s husky engine note generated by its 6.2L small-block, when I checked the digital speedometer. To my chagrin – no, horror – I saw my right-turn indicator blinking monotonously, as it had to have been for the minimum of three miles (5 km) since I could remember last making a right.
Flipping the stem downward in disgust and self-loathing, I wondered what the motorists around me might be thinking of a fully fledged Blinker Bozo disturbing the flow of traffic in a 426-hp Crystal Red Metallic sports car.
I could make the excuse that my view of the indicator lights on the dash was blocked by the steering wheel. But as my embarrassment receded it was replaced by resentment of General Motors for not equipping the Camaro with a simple feature found in my late, beloved ’94 Chevy Corsica: a damned chime that sounds after the turn signal has been in use for one minute!
Of the dozens of vehicles I’ve driven during my time at WardsAuto I can’t think of a single one with this elementary component.
Still chastened, I glanced at the Camaro’s head-up display and saw the usual digitized speedometer and tach readouts. And it came to me in the blink of a turn signal: Add left- and right-turn indicators to the HUD! A Blinker Bozo remedy no more intrusive than the Corsica’s pleasant but businesslike chime!
Auto-interiors folks, if a car or aftermarket product out there already has this feature, please leave a comment below. If not, then get to work and help us Blinker Bozos take a turn for the better.