Friday, March 4, 2011

Rules of the Road

I think there are some people out there who just never learned the rules of the road. I have come up with some simple rules that should make everyone’s time on the road a little more enjoyable and a lot less frustrating. Please to read.

1) Sometimes, in the course of driving, you will have occasion to merge into oncoming traffic. Please make sure that you have ample room to complete this maneuver. Suddenly pulling out in front of someone going 55 mph or higher at a speed of 15 mph, is a recipe for an accident.  The corollary to this rule is, if you are given the opportunity to merge into oncoming traffic by a magnanimous fellow driver who has waved you on, don’t make them want to beat themselves unconscious on the steering wheel. Follow the rules of the road, among which is the speed limit!! Do not force someone who has allowed you entry into the flow of traffic to drive 25 mph under the speed limit. That is cruel.

2)  There are times when you are waiting to make a turn and someone let’s you go in front of them. Again, don’t make them wish they were in a Thai prison instead of driving behind you! Possibly the worst offense you can commit is to dilly dally around long enough that you barely make it through a yellow light and leave your good Samaritan at a red light while you finally get your act together and get moving. Some people get really angry when this happens. (like me)

3)  This one is really basic, we all learned about it in Driver’s Ed, had to demonstrate basic competency to pass the road test, but it seems so many have forgotten how to do this one simple thing…use your directional signal! Try to remember that the rest of us don’t have ESP (at least not the majority of us) and we don’t know that you’re planning to stop dead in the middle of a block to turn into a driveway or parking lot unless you signal. We don’t know you’re planning to change lanes and jump in front of us unless you signal. They have made a LOT of changes to automobiles since their inception, they have added power steering, they have taken out ashtrays and cigarette lighters, they have added entertainment systems and all kinds of accoutrements, but they leave the directional signal there.  There is a reason they have never phased them out, it’s because they are IMPORTANT!

4)  On the subject of directional signals, when you see a signal from another driver that they are moving over into your lane, this is not your cue to speed up to cut off their attempt to do so. That is rude. Don’t be rude. Nobody likes a rude person.

5)  Parking Lot Driving:  this could be an entirely different set of rules, but I will include it here. Rule #1 if driving in a parking lot: speed limit is 5 mph, maybe 10, no more than that. They call it a PARKING lot not a DRIVING lot for a reason. Rule #2: Be aware that people come and go from parking spaces. When someone is pulling out of a space, that is not your cue to speed up and try to get around them. This causes accidents. Don’t do it. Rule #3: In a crowded parking lot, when people are desperate for parking spaces, be considerate and don’t use your parking spot as a temporary office. Put your stuff in your car, move out and make your calls from home. We don’t have all day to wait for you to organize your purse, make some calls and then pull out! If you see people waiting for spaces be kind. Karma is real. Rule #4: In a parking lot, people who are walking have priority over people in vehicles. This rule is particularly true in inclement or very cold weather. Someone who is exposed to the elements should be allowed to cross in front of you in your warm, dry car and not stand there getting rained on or freezing just because you have 2,000 lbs of motor vehicle to muscle your way past them. It’s courtesy people. We need more of it.

6) In general, remember that a car is actually not much more than a deadly weapon with wheels. Use it wisely, safely and with good manners. A little bit of courtesy and common sense will give you a lot of mileage! (pun intended)

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