The vast majority of working (or even non-working) adults own a car and have to drive. We drive to work, to school, to the store, to the bank, to the mall, to children’s practices and events, to visit friends and family, to go on vacation.
I know MMM would like to punch us all in the face for that, but it is a fact of life. Most of us just cannot, or will not, function without a car.
So, since we will all spend approximately 9999999 hours sitting in traffic (not an actual statistic, I hope), we should all at least agree on some basic fundamental rules.
At least I assume everyone who is driving holds a valid license.
And to get that license, you had to complete Drivers Ed training.
Maybe that was 4 decades ago, but still. You learned the rules at some point.
But as we get out onto the road and actually drive, those rules tend to morph and change and fall by the wayside. We make up our own rules, and tend to ignore the less convenient ones.
We think whatever it is we need to do and wherever it is we are going is SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than that of the other 367254387 cars on the road around us.
So, let me remind you of the rules, and add a few of my own.
Cuss words changed to be more colorful and reader friendly.
- Learn how to forking zipper.
Say you are on a road, where two lanes merge into one. You are in the blue car, the green car is in front of you. You see the red car on the left, trying to merge.What do you do?a) Speed up and ride the green car so the red car can’t get in and you can get home 0.05 seconds faster
b) Not be a donkey and let the red car in
The ONLY acceptable answer is b. Do not be a donkey.Nothing makes my blood boil like some forking gremlin a-hole driving dangerously close to the car in front and studiously avoiding eye contact while you correctly have your turn signal blinking (see #3) and are trying to merge into a lane.
- The flip side of that is, do not just zip down the left lane and cut your turn in line because YOU want to get home 0.04 seconds faster.
Literally everyone in the right lane who zippered correctly now hates you and is hoping you die in a ditch. In case you didn’t know.
- Use your gremlin turn signals. Correctly.
There is not much in life that will rocket my blood pressure faster than someone who just assumes all the lanes are theirs to swerve through and cuts me off with nary a heads up or sorry I’m an idiot wave.
IF YOU ARE TURNING OR MERGING PUT YOUR BLINKER ON.
That is literally the purpose for which they exist.
AND THEN REMEMBER TO TURN THEM OFF.
Please don’t drive for 2 miles in the right lane with your left blinker on, causing nice people who want to let you in some serious confusion and slow downs. Or turn on your left blinker, but then turn right. Again, die in a ditch, please.
- Do. not. tailgate. period. I will mess with you.
People who ride my bumper when I am already doing 10-15 over the speed limit?
Bruh, I don’t care if your wife is about to give birth, if your house is on fire, or you just don’t want to miss the start of the game.
Imma slow down to exactly the speed of the car in the right lane, and ride it out until the next stop light. Then I’m gonna wait when it turns green, until just before it turns red, and zoom through to get you stuck there.
You flashing your lights, or honking at me, will just make me smile.
And no regrets. I hope you learn your lesson.
- Leave some space between you and the car in front of you.
Not exactly like #4 above, but to prevent yourself from having to tap the brakes every 3 seconds.
THIS is the cause of most traffic jams, according to physics & math.
If all cars left an appropriate amount of space (1 car length for every 10 mph you are going, remember?) we could avoid a lot of 8am and 5pm cussing.
- If you are on a bike, or walking, you have rights.
But YOU ARE NOT A CAR. No matter what NC says.
Don’t get me wrong. The onus for avoiding crashes rests securely on ALL parties shoulders.
Cars need to be aware at all times. NO texting. No games. Not even a phone call unless it’s with a hands-free device. And to respect pedestrians’ rights to cross at crosswalks, and cyclists’ right to be on the road too.
But pedestrians also need common sense of ‘look both ways’ before you cross, comply with traffic lights and crossing signals.
Bicyclists should follow all the same traffic laws as cars do, and not ride side-by-side in the middle of a road that has a speed limit of 45 and you’re going a maximum of 20 mph.
- There is a fine line between proper caution in weather and being a donkey.
Also, weather is not an excuse to drive like a donkey. Whether you’re a 70-year veteran of driving in Montana winters or a delicate snowflake raised on the Equator who doesn’t know what snow it, people freak the fork out when it precipitates. All the same road laws still apply. Still, and especially now, do not tailgate, change lanes without warning, speed (too much). Some people seem to take a deluge as an excuse to blow past the “slow” people at 30 over the speed limit, just because they have all wheel drive or something. But now, yes, some extra caution is advised. The more severe the weather, the more cautious you ought to be. Having hit mailboxes and guard rails during snow or rain, even though I was doing everything right, I can say that accidents do and will happen. You should try your best to mitigate those risks.
On the flip side, don’t be the shirt-head who is now cruising on the highway at 20mph with your flashers on. It is literally only sprinkling. And you’re dumb.
There you have it, seven simple rules to make everyone have a much more peaceful, harmonious drive. None of us want to be there, but we all have to be. So show a little compassion and understanding, and we will all get where we’re going.
What say you? Too harsh? Not strong enough words? Are there any rules you wish we could get rid of, or enforce?