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January 28th, 2006

Traffic Terms

I’ve realized that while in traffic and driving my car – two events that usually coincide – I’ve come up with a few terms I use when talking about what’s happening in said traffic. I invite you to share yours as I share mine.

Dibs – This one, I didn’t come up with. But it’s used a couple of ways around Chicago. In the winter, one can call dibs on a parking spot in front of one’s house by putting a chair (or other piece of furniture, really) in the spot. And all year long, one can call dibs on a parking spot – usually in a parking lot – by being the first one to signal for it.

Honkable – Describes an incident in which one’s horn could have been used. Since the horn is used so sparingly, honkables are a joy. A pleasure.

Leapfrogging – Someone goes around you, naturally in a mean manner. For instance, if you’re one of three cars merging onto a highway at the same time and the third car goes around you and the other car – perhaps by driving like a jerk – that person is leapfrogging you.

Feel free to use these. Collect ’em all!

Posted in Cars

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday January 31, 2006 -- 1:42:58 pm
rubbernecking: This what those idiots do who slow way down just to gape at an accident scene, or worse, any old traffic stop. The name comes from the rapid turning of the head toward the road and the distraction. They tie up traffic for no reason and in some cases, are so distracted that they cause accidents themselves, which just leads to more rubbernecking by others. One who rubbernecks is a rubbernecker.

FROM: mel
DATE: Tuesday January 31, 2006 -- 1:58:28 pm
Then there's the "gaper's delay" you'll hear throughout a traffic report involving said rubberneckers.

FROM: Fred Farkle
DATE: Tuesday April 4, 2006 -- 8:30:03 pm
"Linejumping" a lane of cars is proceding at a moderate rate when a car whose driver needs to get somewhere fast although they are setting up to get there a lot later tries to get in the very front of the line. The line of cars then slows down to a stop. The line the agressive driver is in stops. Accidents happen at the back of the line. Imagine getting rammed at 60 mph. Soon the whole Interstate stops and it takes 15 minutes to an hour to move a mile.

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