Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rules of the Road

I have lived in several different states.  I have driven in several different cities each with their own particular brand of commuter hell.  I have driven under different and often severe conditions -- heavy, heavy traffic, construction, extreme weather (rain, sleet, snow, freezing rain, limited visibility, etc.).

My current situation has me on the road anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour each way to the office.  So, on a bad day, I've been in my car 2+ hours.  I think I'm a pretty damn good driver.  I'm considerate of my fellow Road Warriors.  I follow the minimum speed limit, I only use the left lane for passing and I follow the rules of merging.  And I don't use my phone while driving (which is Primary Offense in the state of Maryland:

During my daily drive I see all sorts of crazy, crazy stuff.  I see vehicles in the left lane doing anywhere from 10 to 15 mph UNDER the posted speed limit.  I see people texting.  I see people blatantly talking on their cell phones.  I see horribly aggressive drivers.  I see people who haven't secured the crap in the back of their pick-up trucks and now that stuff is flying all over the highway.

My daily commute has me merging onto several different major highways, minor highways and secondary roads.  Merging is probably one of the most common causes of driving accidents and I've seen the stupidity first hand.  People, let's follow a couple of basic rules and we can all merge together into one big, happy road trippin' family:

  • don't merge too early (you know who you are -- you're the driver who thinks he's cool and guns it and jerks the wheel to the left to get in the lane before everyone else.  Don't merge on the single white line; you should never cross a solid white line -- Driver 101).  
  • don't merge too late (you know who you are -- you're the driver who guns it and tries to get ahead of your fellow mergers; almost as if to say "haha!  look at all you suckers who did the right thing and merged properly!  I'm too cool for that!  I don't have to wait to merge!  I drive a big ass Suburban and can make my own rules!).  
  • if you have the opportunity to move over a lane and allow merging cars easier entry to the highway, please be a pal!  
  • remember the Zipper rule when in a merging situation -- it's every other car.  
  • don't be an ass.  If someone doesn't follow the Zipper rule, say a little prayer for them.  They are stupid and don't know any better.  Don't ride their ass the rest of your commute, don't honk at them, don't give them the finger.  
While we're at it, let's just remember a couple of safe driving tips that will help you get to your destination in one piece:  

  • No cell phones!
  • Use your blinkers / directionals, whatever you want to call it.  Just use it for God's sake.  Most of us are not mind readers.
  • Stay the hell out of the left lane if you are incapable of driving the Minimum speed.  This particularly applies to drivers who:
    • are over the age of 70
    • can't see over the steering wheel
    • are driving a Smart Car or any one of those other Clown Cars
    • are hauling shit -- a camper, a boat, a horse trailer, landscaping equipment, etc.  
  • who are intimidated by the 18-wheeler in the right lane next to them and are afraid to pass
Thank you and have a nice day!  Happy Driving!!!

1 comment:

Meghan said...

Yes to all of these!

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