Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Utilize Ton Blinker, Estie

(this applies to Ottawa drivers mostly, but also to every other region in the world where the assholes from the next region over drive like idiots)

Pop quiz, hotshot: You're driving down the Queensway and some jackass merges in front of you with nary a flick of the turn signal. What province is their license plate from?

You and I both know that the answer is Québec. We feel comfortable saying that without coming off like racist homophobic misogynists because we all know it to be true: Québec drivers (or more specifically for us, Gatineau drivers) almost never use their turns signals.

Digression: I've been observing the phenomenon for years and I've come to an interesting but bewildering conclusion: they only seem to regularly use a turn signal when making an actual 90 degree turn on to another road. The lack of signal seems to only apply when merging on multi-lane roads.

Original point: Québec drivers are notorious for not using a turn signal - we all know it to be true, but in this day and age of people screaming "cultural appropriation" at the merest hint of a feather in a hat, we have to be able to back up our outrageous claims or face the wrath of the fInternet Army Of Righteousness and Tolerance (FART).

I took it upon myself to endanger the lives of those around me by keeping a highly scientifically accurate tally of infractions that I observed while driving on the Queensway over a period of about a month. I kept track of every no-signal lane change I saw, categorizing them by province.

Figure 1: raw data representing number of drivers from Ontario (left) and Québec (right) observed changing lanes without proper use of a turn signal. Data was collected with a Sharpie-brand metallic marker. Vehicle: 1998 Saturn SL1, named Judy Jetson

These results show a roughly equal number of infractions by drivers from either province

Seems fishy, and goes completely against everything we know to be true, right? That because the raw data doesn't take into account the proportion of Québec drivers to Ontario drivers on Ontario streets and highways. Once we factor in those numbers... hoo boy.

I collected some data on one afternoon in four different locations in one part of the city. I chose an area that was a) relatively close to Québec and that I assumed would contain some Québec drivers running errands, and b) where I was at the moment I decided to count.

The average percentage of Québec drivers in Ontario during my sampling period was 6.1% with a standard deviation of 3.3%. Not the cleanest set of stats but I don't care very much.  Once you adjust the raw data to account for the fact that only 6% of drivers are from Québec, the results become a bit more... well, exactly what you'd expect:

It's funnier if you look at the data like this:

Just so this is isn't misinterpreted: for every Ontario driver that changes lanes without using a turn signal, there are approximately 13 Québec drivers who do the same. Conclusion: you were right all along, and they are the worst.

Oh and call Randy if your car dies and you want $100 for the scrap metal, he'll come tow it away in a jiffy. 613-262-9512

Note: I'm allowed to make fun of Québeckers because I'm half French. You, on the other hand, are allowed to make fun of Québeckers because you have some semblance of free speech.