Wednesday, September 7, 2011

CAUTION: I'm Going To Start Driving Like You Do

Like most people, I eagerly got my driver's license when I was 16.
I learned to drive and honed my driving skills on major roadways such as the Garden State Parkway, NJ Turnpike, and NY Thruway to name a few.  I remember having to study the rules of the road for the written driver's test.  I also remember a rigorous hands-on driving test which included the basics.  The basics being simple left/right turns, merging into traffic, 3-point (or K) turn, and parallel parking.

Yet every day when I drive to work I feel like I either have the worst case of road rage on the plant or that I am surrounded by the absolute worst drivers on the planet.  I am happy when I leave the house in the morning.  I sing along with the radio and enjoy my coffee on the way to work.  So, I'm pretty sure it isn't road rage.  I am left to wonder, did these people even take a driver's test?  If they did, how in the world did they pass it?!?

I could probably write for days about other people's driving habits that annoy me to no end, but I'll keep it to the big ones...

Blinkers: They are there for my safety and yours.  If you use them (gasp) and alert me prior to slamming on your breaks and making a turn that you almost missed, I might not nearly rear-end your car.  Which quite frankly, I'm sure would ruin everyone's day.

Turn Lanes: This might sound like a wacky idea, but they were actually created so that you didn't have to come to a complete stop in the major lanes of traffic.  So, use the blinker, get in the turn lane, and then slow down.  All those turn lanes are going to start feeling neglected.

Driving While On Your Cell Phone: Hands-free device or not, talking on the phone while you drive isn't for everyone.  If you can't walk and chew gum at the same time, it's not for you.  You do still need to pay attention to the road (stop signs, red lights, and the other cars).

The "Fast" Lane:  The fast lane as it has been nicknamed is actually the passing lane.  And why would someone need to pass, because they are going faster.  The fast lane is not for you if you are going slower than the speed limit, going 2 mph over the speed limit, or are consistently getting passed on the right by all of the cars coming up behind you.

Pulling Out From A Side Road: Around here a lot of the main roads are 55mph and there is a good chance that I am going at least the speed limit.  Unless you drive a sweet little sports car that goes from 0-60mph in about 10 seconds, I highly recommend against pulling your car into my lane of traffic.  The average weight of a car these days is about 4,000 pounds.  Do you know how long it takes to slow that down?  Along with this goes the concept of honking at me to get me to pull out in front of traffic.  If you really need to get home 30 seconds sooner, I will graciously get 'T-boned' by oncoming traffic to help you out.

So, for my ride to work tomorrow, I'm thinking about trying something new.  Instead of letting all of you that have no concept how to actually drive a car stress me out, I'm going to drive like you do...like I am the only car on the road with zero consideration for any of my fellow drivers.  For my initiation into the world of bad drivers, should I start by no longer using my blinkers or doing 50mph in the fast lane????  I'm thinking I might try both...at the same time!

After all, if you can't beat them...join them.


Contributed By: J.L.Quick of The Military Is My Husband's Mistress