The Real Hazard


Dear Brown Nissan Sentra Sharing Adelphi Road With Me on Saturday Afternoon:

When you are operating your vehicle with your hazards flashing, what does this mean?

You are driving down the street like a regular part of traffic (albeit much slower), with your hazards a-flashing.  You stop at the red lights; you merge where necessary; you proceed through intersections–all with no indication of when (or if) you will be pulling over to change your baby’s dirty diaper, or your flat tire, or your shoes.

I don’t know how to proceed with this.

When I took driver’s ed, I was taught that hazards were for emergency situations.  It turns out AAA agrees with me, and in the state of Maryland, the law states that “hazard light use is not permitted except in emergency situations.”  Okay.  So where was your emergency situation?  As I indicated previously, perhaps the rest of us couldn’t see your emergency situation?  You were planning to turn right at some point?  You were awaiting a sneeze?  They were playing Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” on the radio?  Yet you continued to proceed as if you were out for a Sunday drive (except it was Saturday which means Weekend Traffic of Doom), indicating nothing hazardous.  Except you.

Your Nissan Sentra is not an 18-wheeler climbing a mountain.  There was no fog on the afternoon we were driving together.  Adelphi Road is not the New York Thruway (thank goodness) where signs tell drivers going slower than 45MPH to use their hazards to alert their fellow commuters.  And I needed to get my mom to the airport.

So perhaps you might trade in that dreamy vehicle for a Jazzy scooter, which seems to be just about right for you and your needs.  George Kastanza proved they are certainly good in an urban sidewalk setting like Adelphi Road.  Seems like a win win.

Many thanks,

A. Olson