Friday, January 6, 2012

Mandatory Driver Education

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As a friend drove me somewhere the other day, I noticed that she didn't know how to drive properly. This person used to be an accident investigator for the US Postal Service; she knew just about everything there was to know about trucks without having driven one, and yet, she was driving very discourteously around them as well as other cars. I was surprised to see her blocking up traffic, riding bumpers, riding catacorner to people in their blind spots at highway speeds (what I call "clipping"), and using an inconsistent speed which meant she got in everyone's way.

Of course, she's hardly the only offender. I constantly see people driving like they're idiots, getting in my way, and otherwise flirting with disaster. Thank God I'm a better driver than almost anyone! I have evaded being in several accidents in the past 20-some years since I've had a license, and so I thought I'd offer a few driving tips so you can learn them and then lord them over your buddies the way kids nag their parents to wear their seatbelts.

After I castigated her, I wrote these 8 Simple Rules for Driving on my Road:


Rule #1: If you want to drive faster than me, please do it BEFORE I pass you, not during and not after.

Rule #2: If you want to pass me, please continue to drive faster than me. I don't want you flying past me, then getting in front of me and slowing down, then speeding up again when I move over to pass you. Cruise control is your friend.

Rule #3: Never, ever sit next to another vehicle for longer than 5-10 seconds. If that means you have to speed up to pass them, do it! Sitting next to someone, especially a big truck, is inviting disaster and it's damned rude to do, nevermind that you're blocking traffic.

Rule #4: If you're not turning or changing lanes, turn your turn signal off. And if you are going to turn or change lanes in dense traffic, turn it on!

Rule #5: Turn your stupid radio down! No one wants to hear it. Especially at the gas station, where we're afraid the pounding is going to damage the underground gasoline tanks and set off an explosion.

Rule #6: When you're trying to get on the highway, you have my permission to use the entire length of the ramp and the acceleration lane to get up to speed and merge safely. It is no longer required that you either merge into the highway at 30 below the speed limit and then speed up, or come to a stop at the intersection and wait for three miles of clear before you merge. (Unless you live in Pennsylvania.)

Rule #7: When you're trying to get off the highway, it is not necessary to whiz past me and get off at the last possible second, nearly knocking me off the road just because you felt you had to get in front of me. Just slow down, wait that one extra second, and then get in the deceleration lane from behind me. There is no prize for getting to the road before I pass under the bridge.

Rule #8: Do NOT put on makeup while you are driving, ladies! Especially do not use that eyeliner pencil which WILL poke your eye out if you hit a crack in the road. When you're at a light, I'll tolerate it, as long as I'm not stuck behind you when the light turns green. (This means you, Jenny!)

That's it. Do those simple little things and you will cause and be in fewer accidents, and you will also save yourself and everyone around you a lot of unneeded stress and even a little cash on your gasoline bill.

What rules of the road would you like to see?

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