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On the Lighter Side

Mixed signals
For most truckers, four-wheelers who don’t use turn signals rank somewhere between high fuel prices and bug remains on the windshield when it comes to their list of annoyances. But have you ever wondered what could possess a normally sane person to change lanes without bothering to let anyone know?

Response Insurance, a Connecticut-based auto insurance company, decided to find out. In March, the firm released results from a study that surveyed about 1,000 adult drivers, to find out what types of people didn’t use their blinkers, and why.

Statistically, men and younger drivers – defined as between 18 and 24 – are less likely to signal than women and older adults aged 55 to 64. But it’s the reasons the participants gave that are pretty funny, and also pretty frightening.

According to the study, 42 percent of drivers said they didn’t have time to use their turn signals, while 23 percent said they were just plain “lazy.” Another 17 percent said they don’t signal because when they do use their blinkers, they forget to turn them back off.

Twelve percent admitted to changing lanes too frequently to bother, and 8 percent said they choose not to use turn signals because none of the other drivers on the road are doing it.

While all of those reasons are silly and perhaps a little disturbing, there’s one more reason that’s absolutely terrifying. Seven percent of the drivers surveyed said they don’t signal because it “adds excitement to driving.”

The living (brain) dead
Everyone says they would rather drop dead than pay another traffic ticket. But a woman in Des Moines, IA, took that cliché a bit too literally.

According to KCCI-TV, when Des Moines resident Kimberly Du was faced with the choice of paying her tickets or faking her own death, she chose the latter.

With the help of a letter Du said was written and signed by her mother – a claim the mother disputes – and a fake obituary made to look like a page from the Des Moines Register, Du was able to convince authorities that she had died in a car accident.

And she might’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for her notoriously bad driving. About a month after she had supposedly died, Du was pulled over again. Needless to say, the police caught on pretty quickly.

Du’s case is still pending, but if convicted, she could be spending up to five years in prison on felony forgery charges. Had she just paid her tickets, her total out-of-pocket expense would’ve been about $500.

“On The Lighter Side” was written by Aaron Ladage, staff writer. He may be reached at