Solving the great automotive mysteries of life: The "Mystery Stick"- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    RIS
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    Solving the great automotive mysteries of life: The "Mystery Stick"

    It appears that a significant portion of the population is not comfortable and/or qualified to use the "Mystery Stick" that protrudes from the left side of the steering column.

    I'll try to help.

    The "Mystery Stick" is also known as the turn signal stalk. It is attached to the turn signal switch, and amazing as it may seem, they are used to control a marvelous new invention called "turn signals".

    Turn signals are used by competent drivers to INDICATE THEIR INTENTIONS.

    They are not intended to indicate what you did 10 miles ago.

    More importantly, they are not intended to indicate what you ARE doing. We can see what you ARE doing. Your turn signals are to give others a warning BEFORE you do it. A few seconds will suffice.

    And most importantly, they are not intended to be used only in cases where you can see other traffic. Again, they are for the benefit of OTHERS. There is no need to attempt to "conserve electricity" by choosing to not use them just because you can't see anyone else. If there IS someone there, and you didn't see them, you might kill them because you were too selfish to at least have given them a warning. If you had used your signals, it would have warned others, and they would have at least had a chance to take evasive action. Everybody makes mistakes. Your mistakes shouldn't make widows of the wives of cyclists and motorcyclists, nor should your mistakes make orphans of their children. Be an adult, and exercise a little self-discipline.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Turn signals are used by competent drivers to INDICATE THEIR INTENTIONS.
    You should know better by now. 90% or better of the drivers on the road today are neither competent or driving with any form of a purpose. For them to have a given intention in their day would be setting your expectations a bit to high.

    What I want to know if why do they brake for a green light?

  3. #3
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    My number ONE pet peeve with other drivers is this. Most don't use it or don't know how to use it. You don't use it in the middle of your turn. You don't use it when you are half way done with your merge. You use it to tell other of what you are planning to do.
    When I see that people don't use it, I take it as an insult to everyone else indicating that they are better that others and does not have to let others know of their intentions. DOUCHES!

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    Preach on, brother. A good friend from Fayetteville, NC used to joke it was against the law to use blinkers because he never saw them.
    Seeking a 90's or 00s 80mm 26" suspension fork.

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    They should teach new drivers that the car will not mechanically turn unless the blinker is set to the direction of the intended turn.

  6. #6
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    At first, I thought you were talking about the shift knob on a manual transmission


    Unfortunately, I have seen people change lanes far too many times with absolutely NO signal whatsoever.

    I always use my turn signals when changing lanes. ALWAYS.
    Oh, and I hate it when people leave their turn signals on when they're on the right lane of a left-turn zone. I can't tell if they're going to stay or switch lanes out of nowhere.

  7. #7
    RIS
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    It is true, pretty much 99% of cage operators are in over their heads just backing out of their driveways.

  8. #8
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    If you are so inattentive that you don't notice a vehicle changing lanes behind you, then why would a small blinking light help? You can see the light but not the car?

    By all means, use your turn signal if you intend to decelerate before you turn. Preferably before you hit your brakes.

    Use them when you are preparing to pass someone who also may want over.

    Be sure to use them at intersections and particularly four-way stops.

    Always use them on multilane roads.

    But on a four lane interstate... why?

  9. #9
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    I just cut them off (and I do use my signal). If they had used their signal, then I would have known what they were doing. It's fun to watch people get all pissy cause their driving sucks.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  10. #10
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    B-b-b-but...But...I'd have to put down my iPhone and stop texting to use the mystery stick! I can't do that! I just can't! Shelly must absolutely know (right this very minute!) who Andy is shackin' up with this weekend! It cannot wait! IT CAN'T!!!
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

  11. #11
    RIS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Idea
    But on a four lane interstate... why?
    Because there might be a motorcycle that you didn't see, and it might be nice to give him a few seconds warning that you're about to change lanes into him.

    What do you have to gain from not using them? Do you think that you're conserving electricity?
    Last edited by RIS; 03-28-2010 at 10:35 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bucksaw87
    B-b-b-but...But...I'd have to put down my iPhone and stop texting to use the mystery stick! I can't do that! I just can't! Shelly must absolutely know (right this very minute!) who Andy is shackin' up with this weekend! It cannot wait! IT CAN'T!!!
    LOL! that comment made my morning

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    I just cut them off (and I do use my signal). If they had used their signal, then I would have known what they were doing. It's fun to watch people get all pissy cause their driving sucks.
    If someone is turning in front of me without a signal, I usually just blast the horn until they complete their turn. It happens way too much around here. The car in front of you will just get on the brakes and start slowing down, then turn somewhere. It's like "oh, cool. you're turning. way to let others know".

  14. #14
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    I just love when you are the first @ an intersection and you are waiting to the right of the stop line and you here a car pull up behind you.....no signal nothing......then the light turns green and they turn right....Dummys! If they had their signal on I'd let them go if there is no one coming and there is room.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1
    They should teach new drivers that the car will not mechanically turn unless the blinker is set to the direction of the intended turn.
    You must live somewhere flat, I once saw someone using their signal before each and every bend in a road once, I guess that was you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qatarbhoy
    I have to ask for them to do a "Number two" on my head

  16. #16
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    LOL I've just accepted that most drivers are retarded. Once you learn to not expect too much from the average idiot, then it pisses you off alot less throughout the day.
    haha.

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    In the world of offensive driving, signaling your intention to change directions or locations in your vehicle automatically forfeits your right of way; once people know what you're going to do, you've effectively become a predictable moving obstacle.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark
    LOL I've just accepted that most drivers are retarded. Once you learn to not expect too much from the average idiot, then it pisses you off alot less throughout the day.
    haha.
    This is not so much about whether or not you get pissed off. It's really more about the survival of cyclists and motorcyclists.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsweet
    In the world of offensive driving, signaling your intention to change directions or locations in your vehicle automatically forfeits your right of way; once people know what you're going to do, you've effectively become a predictable moving obstacle.
    I'm not really sure what you mean.

    Are you trying to say that using your turn signal causes other people to cut you off?

    If so, that's a lame excuse.

    It's still selfish for you to consider your ability to make lane changes of higher importance than the lives of cyclists and motorcyclists.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsweet
    In the world of offensive driving, signaling your intention to change directions or locations in your vehicle automatically forfeits your right of way; once people know what you're going to do, you've effectively become a predictable moving obstacle.
    I think it is physics. When you turn on your signal, the blinking light, at the rear corner of your car, creates an incredibly strong magnetic field which pulls the traffic forward into the, previously unoccupied, lane change spot.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    I think it is physics. When you turn on your signal, the blinking light, at the rear corner of your car, creates an incredibly strong magnetic field which pulls the traffic forward into the, previously unoccupied, lane change spot.
    No, that's poor parenting. Placing your desires above other people.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    I'm not really sure what you mean.

    Are you trying to say that using your turn signal causes other people to cut you off?

    If so, that's a lame excuse.

    It's still selfish for you to consider your ability to make lane changes of higher importance than the lives of cyclists and motorcyclists.
    Try driving in the greater Boston area, and you'll quickly find out what I mean. I'm not making excuses or even defending not using your turn signals, so consider my previous comments a "tongue-in-cheek" response of growing up and living around aggressive driving techniques. Nevertheless, what I said is true: around here (Boston), if you use your turn signal, you've forfeited right of way. You have effectively notified others around you of your intentions, and they are now free to treat you and your intended path of movement as an obstacle.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsweet
    Try driving in the greater Boston area, and you'll quickly find out what I mean. I'm not making excuses or even defending not using your turn signals, so consider my previous comments a "tongue-in-cheek" response of growing up and living around aggressive driving techniques. Nevertheless, what I said is true: around here (Boston), if you use your turn signal, you've forfeited right of way. You have effectively notified others around you of your intentions, and they are now free to treat you and your intended path of movement as an obstacle.
    You sir need to buy yourself a train horn. That is just horrible

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    It is true, pretty much 99% of cage operators are in over their heads just backing out of their driveways.
    Oh my god we agree on something...Am I dead?
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    3 Mantras that all US drivers should repeat to themselves:

    1.) Stay Right (real simple, right?)

    2.) When someone passes me; they are not attacking me or my ego, they are simply going faster.

    3.) Turn signal first [U]THEN[U] brake!

    The world would be a better place.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie_a4
    1.) Stay Right (real simple, right?)
    You're right. Camping in the left lane is a very real problem.

    2.) When someone passes me; they are not attacking me or my ego, they are simply going faster.
    Also true.

    3.) Turn signal first [U]THEN[U] brake!
    Right again.

    This one has a close parallel to an important principal that is taught in motorcycle road racing. As an instructor, I always want the student racers to signal their intention before they even roll out of the throttle. If they do it in the wrong order, the BEST possible outcome that we can hope for is that the offender gets packed and ends up farting fiberglass.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsweet
    Try driving in the greater Boston area, and you'll quickly find out what I mean. I'm not making excuses or even defending not using your turn signals, so consider my previous comments a "tongue-in-cheek" response of growing up and living around aggressive driving techniques. Nevertheless, what I said is true: around here (Boston), if you use your turn signal, you've forfeited right of way. You have effectively notified others around you of your intentions, and they are now free to treat you and your intended path of movement as an obstacle.
    Ah, got it.

    Many states have "road rage" or "aggressive driving" laws on the books, although there are a lot of other applications of criminal law that would work to serve the same purposes.

    And although I could not recommend breaking the law, it occurs to me that the bail for a misdemeanor assault is usually not much, and the prosecutor's office may not even pursue the case, depending on the circumstances. You could even plea to something non-criminal if need be. Just don't do anything that would cause your actions to be a felony. Don't reach into the car to pull the driver out, don't use a weapon, don't break any of his bones (including his nose), and don't give him a concussion. Adding any of those four elements to an otherwise good-natured misdemeanor assault will elevate your actions to the felony level.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Because there might be a motorcycle that you didn't see, and it might be nice to give him a few seconds warning that you're about to change lanes into him.

    What do you have to gain from not using them? Do you think that you're conserving electricity?

    You do know that blinker fluid right now is about $52 per gallon right? That's why people don't use them, to save money.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by karpiel666
    You must live somewhere flat, I once saw someone using their signal before each and every bend in a road once, I guess that was you.

    I pull out of my driveway, go straight for about 11 miles then pull straight into my parking space at work. On a clear day, I can see my office chair from my front porch.

  30. #30
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    For a moment, I thought the mystery stick is the manual gear change lever on a car with a manual tranny, since most people don't know how to drive stick

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1
    I pull out of my driveway, go straight for about 11 miles then pull straight into my parking space at work. On a clear day, I can see my office chair from my front porch.
    What's your best time?
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

  32. #32
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    This just in:

    Throwing cigarette butts out the window is generally not a good idea. They wash down the gutters during rainstorms and collect in the waterways. I used to work for a city government for a town in the Bay Area with a large houseboat community, and lots of waterways and wetlands. I got to see first hand the massive islands of cigarette butts that gather in the wetlands in the Bay Area, interfering with plant and animal life. Ugly stuff.

    Please, if you are a lame ass enough to smoke, use the fricking ash tray. It's not that hard. Most cars come with them, and if they don't they are not that hard to buy and keep in your car. Just be sure to empty them once in a while into a proper trash can.

  33. #33
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    Along those same lines....

    Quote Originally Posted by jamie_a4
    1.) Stay Right (real simple, right?)

    2.) When someone passes me; they are not attacking me or my ego, they are simply going faster.

    3.) Turn signal first [U]THEN[U] brake!

    The world would be a better place.
    When getting on the freeway;

    1) first you accelerate

    2) signal when you are ready to make your move

    3) then you merge into traffic.

    ... and remember that my 14,000 pound F550 crane work truck takes closer to 220 feet to stop 60-0, not like the 108 feet of my Audi A4.... So please stop trying to dive in front of my truck at the very last possible second when lanes merge together. I mean, I figured the huge white truck with my lights on and the big 45 foot boom on the top would give away that I'm not a lightweight passenger car with killer brakes. How much time did you save... really?!?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bucksaw87
    B-b-b-but...But...I'd have to put down my iPhone and stop texting to use the mystery stick! I can't do that! I just can't! Shelly must absolutely know (right this very minute!) who Andy is shackin' up with this weekend! It cannot wait! IT CAN'T!!!
    Holy crap that is the funniest thing I have ever seen.


    As to the guy who said using your turn signal forfeits your right of way... SO TRUE. I live in Florida (temporarily). Everyone in Florida (except me) is an ass hole. No one in Florida (except me) knows how to drive. If you signal, their little primitive pea brain goes, "Why, God forbid he changes lanes to get in front of me. He might get to the light one car ahead of me or actually in time to get into the up and coming turn lane. I can not allow this to happen." Foot down on the skinny pedal.

    Seriously this happens with about 95% frequency. Another one.

    Signal to make a lane change to pass someone on the left. Their foot goes down on the accelerator.

    Florida is the only place I have noticed this phenomenon. Must be all the people from Boston down here. Driving and traffic is one of the two major reasons I am leaving Florida in 13 months. Traffic, and the stupid hot weather.

    Anyways, this behavior has resulted in my use of the turn signal for turns only. I check my blind spots so I won't hit a biker.

  35. #35
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    Here's a joke:

    When archeologists dig up [insert town here] in 10000 years, they will be able to find only one object, since it was never used and it is still in pristine condition: the turn signal.

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