Road Wisdom, part 2

Stupid Driving Pet Peeves

Here’s where I vent my frustration from all the stupidity and lack of consideration I observe while driving. I should write a book. Or maybe teach a course. I’ll call it Drivers Re-Education.

There are two types of speeders in this world – those who are either impaired or are otherwise not paying full attention, and those who are intentionally speeding. If you are the former, God help us all. The latter always have a plan, which usually involves carefully maneuvering through traffic. If you see me roaring toward you in your rear-view mirror, you’re not doing me any favors by changing lanes.

Your 75-hp Daewoo is just as capable of driving the speed limit as my V-6.

Reducing speed does not help you cross the bridge any faster, nor does it decrease your likelihood of falling off the bridge if you aren’t traveling the correct trajectory.


Your vehicle has brakes, and so do others’. People instinctively know how to operate their brakes better than they know any other feature of their vehicle, and they will use the brakes as required to avoid an accident. It’s okay to pull out into traffic – nobody wants to run into you.

If you really wanna confuse traffic, use your brakes on the freeway. Nevermind that your vehicle naturally slows down if you release the accelerator or downshift.

Intersections are the most dangerous road features. It is to your advantage to proceed through them as quickly as possible. I will be exceedingly annoyed if I get stuck at the next light because you held up the line.

If you are at the front of the line, it is your duty to reach the speed limit as quickly as is reasonable, since nobody behind you can until you do. Which begs the question…why would 7 cars line up in the right lane with a completely empty lane next to them? Whatever…I’ll take it.

Lane-change indicators (a.k.a. turn signals) are equally as important to operating a motor vehicle as are the accelerator/brake pedal/steering wheel/etc. If I’m changing lanes, you get exactly three flashes of my lane change indicator:
1. I intend to move into your lane in front of you.
2. I am moving into your lane.
3. I forgot to turn my lane change indicator off. (I’m quoting a friend, but I absolutely agree with him.)

There are only three (3) acceptable reasons for parking your car on the shoulder:
1. At the direction of a police officer
2. Collision causing injury or vehicle inoperability
3. Flat tire or blowout
The following typical excuses are not acceptable reasons for pulling over on the side of the road:
1. Empty gas tank: How many gas stations did you pass AFTER noticing you were low on fuel?
2. Engine trouble: The chances of a properly-maintained vehicle dying while in operation are remote.
3. Fender-bender: Your car still drives – roll that bitch into a parking lot and sort out your issues there.
4. Cluelessness: You should have known where you were going before you decided to operate a vehicle.
5. Disciplining the children: You can do this at a 7-Eleven. Better yet – install a DVD player. Still better – raise your damn kids not to be so damn rotten.

It is much easier for pedestrians to yield to cars than it is for cars to yield to pedestrians. Unless directed by a human being or traffic signal, pedestrians never have the right-of-way. Feel free to waste your own time letting grandma cross if you’re the only car in sight, but don’t waste everyone else’s time.

Guess what, joggers? You don’t own the crosswalks!  Especially not the one I have to drive over as I’m turning off a major road. You’re only protected if the intersecting traffic has a stop light, stop sign, yield sign, or other sign indicating pedestrian right-of-way. Even an 8-year-old knows to wait for cars to go by before crossing, so don’t cuss at me as I turn in front of you as you run into the middle of the street. Squirrels get killed in such ways.

Cyclists – If you want equal road rights, you’d better follow equal road rules! This ain’t the Tour de France – you have to stop at intersections just like the non-human-powered vehicles. If you won’t respect the traffic laws, get up on that sidewalk.

The time you just spent searching for that perfect parking space was longer than it would’ve taken you to walk your fat ass from the back row!

If you’re parked on the line, I don’t have any problem parking inches from you. I can climb out my sunroof.

You may be handicapped, but your car isn’t. Being a gimp is not a license to drive poorly.

The following cosmetic features scream “Profile me and pull me over, I’m a minority”:
1. After-market “porthole” engine vents
2. Spinners
3. Black-out window tinting
4. Gothic lettering
5. B-column chrome plating
6. Promotional stickers for Hispanic radio stations

No rational police officer enjoys stepping out into traffic just to write a ticket – it’s dangerous. Let’s do him a favor and keep him safe by flashing your headlamps to indicate his presence for the opposite direction of traffic.

Don’t get mad at me for honking at you. I did it for a good reason – either you’re extremely hot, or you deserve to know that you violated one of the above common sense driving laws. If I am laying on my horn, it means you present a danger to everyone else on the road because you have violated at least one of the above traffic conventions and courtesies and are failing to take corrective action. I’m just making the world a better place by educating you and telling everyone else to steer clear.

80 mph down a residential road through the neighborhood golf course is not sustainable. Don’t ask me how I know.


Road Wisdom, part 2

Road Wisdom

Drivers Re-Education

Here’s where I vent my frustration from all the stupidity and lack of consideration I observe while driving. I should write a book. Or maybe teach a course. I’ll call it Drivers Re-Education.

Right-of-way is an obligation, not an option. Right-of-way is the pressure that compels orderly traffic. Failing to respect the right-of-way results in disorder.

It is legal to enter the intersection while waiting to turn left at an unprotected green light as long as you YIELD the right-of-way to oncoming traffic as directed by the sign mounted on the traffic light. You have not violated any laws if you have already been waiting in the intersection when the light turns red.

image[h/t DFW Scanner]

At a four-way stop sign, right-of-way is generally to be yielded to vehicles traveling straight. Don’t confuse this issue when arriving at an intersection simultaneously with another vehicle. If I’m adjacent to or across from you and signaling with my left-turn indicator, I will yield, assuming your intent to proceed straight unless otherwise indicated. Take your right-of-way and proceed before I’m forced to awkwardly steer around your dumb ass.

Every right-turn lane is a right-turn only lane. Everyone waiting behind that car stuck at the front of the line thinks that driver is a selfish uncourteous bastard. Except me. I go around that guy on his left side.

You are not required to stop or even yield if you have a protected green right-turn arrow.

Please do not pull past the white line when stopping at an intersection or traffic light if you are in a left lane or middle lane, especially if your vehicle is a large truck or SUV. Doing so blocks the view of anyone in the right lane driving a smaller vehicle, preventing them from making a legal unprotected right turn.

Not that anybody seems to care, but all freeway lanes are the same speed limit. However, each lane does serve a different purpose:
1. Far-right lane: a.k.a the “slow lane”, this lane is actually reserved for vehicles entering and exiting the freeway. No exceptions.
2. Middle lanes: These lanes are reserved for vehicles planning to exit the freeway within this city or within the next few exits.
3. Far-left lane: a.k.a the “fast lane”, this lane is actually reserved for vehicles not intending to exit the freeway anytime soon.

Freeway traffic generally has more freedom than does the onramp traffic, which doesn’t have a choice but to merge with the freeway traffic. If you are cruising in the “slow lane” near an onramp, you are in the onramp traffic’s way. You deserve whatever road rage you receive. If you are in a dedicated onramp/offramp lane, the dotted white lines on your left indicate that you should make an immediate decision to get on or get off, rather than wait until a quarter-mile later to switch lanes at the last possible moment.

Onramps are an extension of the freeway, not the access road. Deciding at the end of the onramp to accelerate to the freeway speed is too late. There’s typically no speed limit posted on the onramp, so get up to the freeway speed before we both get run over!!!

Road Wisdom