Driving Advice

I’m one of the considerably-more-than-half of drivers who think they’re above average drivers, so I’d like to present some tips to fellow drivers:

  • The left-hand lane is for going fast. If there is a line of cars behind you, please get over a lane to the right. If people are passing you on the right, get over a lane or three and do penance when you arrive at your destination. This has got to be my biggest pet peeve. People just sit in the right-hand lane and drive slow.
  • When two lanes are merging, it’s a “zipper merge.” Let one car go, and then pull in. Ninety-nine percent of people seem to do this without thought, and it works great. One percent try to cut and they cause absolute mayhem.
  • If you happen to be in a minor fender-bender, you’re supposed to pull off the highway. There happen to be lanes on both sides of the highway for your safety and convenience. Otherwise you (a) stand in the high-speed lane exchanging paperwork, which is practically putting a “Please run me over” sign on, and (b) back up traffic for miles. (This obviously does not apply for serious accidents, though you’re still probably safest if you can pull over.)
  • When entering a highway, you should be traveling at the same speed as those on the highway. You should not (a) be going 60mph when the highway is stopped, or (b) yield at the end of the onramp.
  • If you wish to change lanes, please move your finger an inch to turn the blinker on. It’s actually quite helpful when other people know your intentions.
  • If you’re trying to pull in front of me, the above advice applies double. If you start to drift into my lane, I’m going to assume you’re asleep at the wheel and lean in on my horn to alert you. If you put your blinker on, I’m going to back off on the gas just a tad to give you room. So will 99% of drivers.
  • After you have changed lanes, please turn your blinker off. (How do people not notice this?) You have no idea how confusing it is to be behind someone who has their blinker on. Are they really, really timid but trying to change lanes? Are they oblivious? Or will they change lanes as soon as you decide that their blinker is just stuck on and crash into you?
  • You can’t send text messages and drive. You think you can, but you can’t. I observe this fact daily. Please don’t try.
  • If traffic is bumper-to-bumper, please don’t leave fifty car lengths in front of you. True, we won’t really get to our destination any faster, but it drives people insane when you do that. Why do you do that, anyway?
  • If you come around the corner and it’s sunny, slamming on your brakes is about the worst possible thing you could do. I have an always-dirty, scratched-up windshield and I can see okay with the sun shining right on my windshield. Who are the people who are completely blinded and instinctively slam on their brakes? And do they realize that the people behind them are probably similarly blinded, and thus almost guaranteed to plow into them?

These really aren’t that many rules, and they’re self-evident to 99% of drivers. But there’s that 1% that clearly slept through driver’s ed.

One thought on “Driving Advice

  1. Clearly someone else can drive, but I have two points to content with. The first point is that the far left lane is for passing. No one should be “riding” in that lane. In theory everyone should be either in the middle (traveling) or far right (getting on/off). There is no “Fast lane” people! (Although, I agree that if you are in the far left you should be moving fairly fast though.

    Also, in the second point is that you are actually supposed to merge late. That’s how those zipper merges are supposed to happen. You merge at the latest point possible, with the you go, I go system.

    Matt, I highly recommend you read the book Traffic. It’s really a good read, and is all about driving. 🙂

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