As someone who commutes roughly 50 miles to work each way, every day, I tend to see a lot of things on the road. A lot of bad things. Like, want to take your car and run into the back of someone because they are being THAT bad of a driver. Or an asshole in general. Or someone who doesn’t know what a turn signal is for. Or… okay I got a little ahead of myself.There are a few things that I would like to impart on all of you as either dos or don’ts when driving in traffic. Some of these are ACTUAL written laws/rules, but most of them are just common courtesy.
Don’t be THAT guy when a lane ends. Yes, you with the $70K Beemer. That means you, too. We all have a place to be, and just because your pilates instructor is yelling at you over your Bluetooth headset and your wife hates you, you don’t need to speed around everyone and expect to be let in. This slows us ALL down, and you look like a major douche. This also applies to merge situations – one car at a time. Let me repeat: ONE. CAR. AT. A. TIME. There’s a line of cars behind me too, and we will all get along better if you don’t try to cut in where you aren’t welcome.
Don’t speed around a line of traffic in the left lane who are all clearly lining up to pass a slow ass. This is really similar to the lane ending one, but you can see there are seven of us lined up (and in the middle of) passing that semi that is going exactly 2 mph slower than us. I get it, it’s annoying, but get in line and pass like the rest of us. If you speed around us on the right and try to cut in, I can’t guarantee I won’t ram the car in front of me to close the gap and not let you in.
Don’t be obsessed with your phone while driving. I get it, we are all (even you, goodie two-shoes) of checking our phone while driving. Yes, it is true that any form of distraction can take your eyes off the road, there are also levels of this. Picking up your phone to see who texted you, or even a one word response – not safe, but a whole lot better than harvesting your Farmville crops (is that still a thing?), browsing social media, writing blog posts, or Snapping someone your hairdo. This applies to more than just your phone – I was about hit this week when a lady passed me on the interstate smoking AND applying makeup AT THE SAME TIME.
Do use your cruise control on the interstate (when it’s safe to do so). When you drive rural interstate (anything with a 65-70mph + speed limit), you should be able to use cruise. There are few things more annoying than coming up on someone and passing them with your cruise on, then they pass you, then this repeats multiple times, and usually ends with you getting trapped behind a slow car while freakin’ dumbass is passing you at yet another speed. Note: if you can ACTUALLY hold a constant speed (and I’m not talking about a 10mph variance), then feel free to drive as you see fit.
Do use your turn signals. There are so many official studies on this, as well as my daily struggle – so many accidents can be prevented if people know what the hell you are doing next. It doesn’t cost extra to use them, it’s one of the simplest things in your car, and let’s be honest – the clicking noise is soothing.
Do get to your appropriate lane with time to spare. Just because you think you can speed around seven trucks, an Army convoy, and three school buses in the last mile stretch before your exit to save a minute, just stay/get to the appropriate lane. This will help you in some of the don’ts above.
There’s more that I could keep going on, but I’ll let you go here. Are there other topics that you would like to see a dos and don’ts on?
Next week: the dos and don’ts of simple grammar to make you not look like a bumbling idiot.