Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rules of the Road

The apartment we are currently living in while our house is being built is approximately 30 minutes (give or take 5 minutes depending on traffic and school buses) away from M's school. This means that I spend at least 2 hours a day in the car. Most days I am in the car for at least 3 hours, as I have to run errands, take Val to class or doctor's appointments, in addition to driving to and from M's school. I have gone from filling up my gas tank every 10 days to every 5. My back has been aching more than usual as I am sitting behind the wheel much more than I used to. Needless to say, I am not happy about this situation, but I have to deal as our house (which will be a four minute drive to school) is taking a lot longer to be finished than we had hoped. Anyhoo...my point is that I am driving a lot. 

Lately I have been thinking about driving etiquette and actual rules of the road and have come to the conclusion that 99% of the people on the road need to go back and take their driving test again because they drive like A-Holes (caps intended). I decided I should take it upon myself to refresh you all with proper driving behavior (in my opinion, and in some cases, the state of Massachusetts opinion too). Here goes: 

1. The wave. The wave goes a long way in my book. It can stifle a potential hurricane of anger inside me. It is a show of thanks, of compassion and in some cases regret. The wave I am referring to is the wave that is exchanged between drivers. A simple raising of the hand. When should said wave be used? All the time. You can't wave enough when you are driving. Someone let's you out in front of them? Give them a wave. You cut someone off, and truly didn't mean it? Give them a wave. Hell, if you cut someone off and did mean it, but don't really want to get them riled up - give them a wave. If everyone would just wave to each other while driving, the world would be a happier place. I had someone turn in front of me that required me to pretty much slam on the breaks today - the anger started to bubble, but out the window came his hand and just a couple back and forths my anger subsided...it's cool, he didn't mean it (even if he did, I appreciate the wave buddy.)

2. The left lane. People let's finally get this straight. The left lane is for passing only. That is highway rules 101. You do not just choose a lane and drive whatever speed you want to in that lane. The left lane of the highway is for people driving faster than the people in the middle lane. The right lane is for the grannies with walkers, or those about to exit the highway. You get into the left lane only if you are driving faster than the people in the middle and right lanes. If someone comes up behind you in the left lane, and they are driving faster than you (which in most cases is me), you pull over into the middle lane and let that person pass you. You do not drive 60 MPH in the left lane and force people to pass you on the right. That is just madness.  

3. Emergency vehicles. How do people not know that when a police car, firetruck or ambulance is coming up behind you you pull the eff over? You do whatever you have to do to get out of the freaking way. If you are on a two lane road and you see one of these vehicles coming in the opposite direction you also pull over and stop. Get out of their way...now. Don't just sit there at the light twiddling your thumbs (I'm talking to you, cars on route 9 last week who just sat there while the ambulance was honking it's horns and flashing it's lights) - get out of the way. 

4. Use your turn signals. I heard a funny thing on The Tonight Show a few weeks ago. Jimmy Fallon had people tweet their favorite lines of advice they have received from their fathers and he shared his favorites on the show. One girl said "my dad told me never to use my turn signals as it was nobody's business where I was going." People that don't use turn signals drive me insane. Are you too lazy to move your finger? Do you think you own the road? Do you just like keeping people on their toes? Don't be an ass...use your signals. 

5. If there is no sign telling you "No Turn on Red" you can make a right on a red light. I promise this is ok. 

6. And the one that I deal with multiple times a day...If you are in dead stop traffic, and I am trying to make a left across the street on which you are "parked" temporarily, do not stop directly in front of my car so that I cannot make my left. I know you see me there. I know you are just being a total dick and making me suffer along with you by making me wait to make my left. You could have just not moved and let me in front of you to make my turn, but no, you purposefully moved up and blocked me. Oh look, that nice person behind you actually backed up so that I could get out in front of her. She gets a wave, you would get a finger you d-bag, but I have kids in the car, so you get a mental finger from me. 

So to sum it up, if you see black Highlander come up behind you while driving in the left lane, put on your turn signal, pull over to the middle lane and I will happily give you a wave.  


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