By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – When, exactly, did making a turn become mission impossible for the drivers around here?

I first started to notice it about a year ago, and it’s been getting worse.

I’m talking about drivers who come to a standstill as they contemplate an unimpeded right turn, gathering their thoughts and marshaling the superhuman energy needed to turn the wheel and give it gas at the same time, then inching forward as if there were a bowl of goldfish on the seat next to them.

This is not good old-fashioned caution; it’s a form of paralysis that seems to be taking over the driving population while they sleep at the wheel, a local version of the movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

Left turns? Forget it.

I wish I had a buck for every time I’ve sat through multiple light cycles as the clueless driver ahead of me waits for oncoming traffic to let him or her turn.

And I want to say, helpfully: You have a nose. Stick it out there while we’re all still young.

Why has turning become such a hassle for Boston drivers?

Could it be that our ability to think and react is drowing under the tsunami of distractions we ride with – smartphones, GPS, and whatever else people are doing instead of driving?

Is it a symptom of more generalized fear, of what might be around that corner, what terrifying thing – a road race, a stoplight, maybe even a speed bump?

Whatever’s causing it, it’s making traffic worse, at a time when you didn’t think it could get any worse.

You know that song: “To everything there is a season/Turn, turn, turn”?

Good advice.

Comments (4)
  1. My wife is a defensive driver. I tell her, and anyone that will listen, that I prefer aggressive drivers because you know they are going to act. They will go forward – swiftly. They will not hesitate or slowly roll into the way while whining, “I don’t know if I should go”. The aggressive driver is already home enjoying a coffee.

  2. Pat Gardner says:

    Sounds like the writer is that impatient driver who drives up behind you and rides your bumper to force a turn onto oncoming traffic.

  3. They are too busy looking at their cell phone

  4. Alan B Flood says:

    Well our political analyst expert, Boston sports team expert, weather prognosticator , small engine/snow thrower technician/expert is now the expert on driving habits. I know from defensive driving their is a time to be aggressive and a time to be hesitant. Perhaps some of the hesitant problem is due to the problems of other drivers who use less care and act like the roadways are their fast and furious playground. Maybe we should ask Hollywood to tighten up on the abusive driving shown in many of their action films – Yeah Jon you would love that – more government control of the populace.

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