It's over at Erosophia. Go check it out!
Friday, January 27, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
I doubt I will be posting these driving tips daily, but I just started yesterday and I have a few stored up due to recent encounters with bad drivers. When I say bad drivers, I'd like to be clear about what that means. It doesn't mean a bad person is driving the car, it means they are a bad driver.
People are bad drivers for a variety of reasons. They're either not paying attention to what they're doing (distracted drivers yelling at kids, about to fall asleep, applying make up, reading (!), talking on the phone, texting, etc.), or they're scared (the elderly, those who are inexperienced or who literally don't know how to drive, or those who are easily intimidated), or perhaps they're drunk or physically impaired in some other way. The specific reason for bad driving really doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you've got to survive maneuvering about them.
Today I'd like to discuss maintaining proper speed in normal driving conditions. (Please note I said NORMAL driving conditions. Obviously, it's difficult to maintain speed on the highway during rush hour when cars are jammed on the freeway, bumper to bumper.)
You are not the only one on the road. That sounds easy enough, but evidently, many people have forgotten that. In order for other drivers to lead, follow or get out of your way, they need to have some clue as to what it is you're doing. For example, if you're in the passing lane (you know, that far left lane of the freeway that is FOR PASSING ONLY, NOT DRIVING SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE CAR NEXT TO YOU), other drivers expect you to pass the other cars so they can then have their turn to pass.
If you want to drive slower than the rest of traffic, that is fine, but you are supposed to keep to the far right lanes of the road. This lets other drivers know they need to pass you on the left to get where they need to go.
When you pull out of a driveway or side street into traffic, you should pull out and GO! Press your gas pedal and bring yourself up to the speed of the traffic you are pulling into, otherwise, wait a few more seconds and pull out when you feel comfortable.
You should also be aware of speed limits and try to drive around those speeds when the roads are dry and conditions are NORMAL. I'm always baffled by drivers who do 35mph in a 55mph zone, then turn onto a 35mph street and proceed to take off, obviously going more than 35mph. It's so frustrating that when it was safe to speed up, they hold me and everyone else back, but now that we're on a residential street, for example, it's Indy 500 time!
Under normal driving conditions, maintaining a proper speed not only helps traffic flow, but helps other drivers know how to behave around you. So do us a favor and help us, help you!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
We all complain about other drivers, some of us more than others. It doesn't look like they're going away anytime soon, so I thought about starting a blog where I rant about bad drivers and provide driving tips. (Because you know, I'm NEVER one of those bad drivers!)
Then I got to thinking, well, I already have a neglected blog devoted to ranting, so why not use it? So when drivers annoy me, I'm going to rant about it here and feature a driving tip to help the poor sap. We'll call this feature, Driving Tip #1 and so on.
I should probably start off by asking the question, why be a courteous driver? I honestly don't think many people have pondered this question or they'd be better drivers. We seem to have these blinders on when we get in our vehicles and instead of seeing other drivers as other people, we see them as obstacles that are frustratingly in our way. There are living creatures in those other cars and they'd appreciate it if you'd lead, follow or get out of the way! They'd also appreciate surviving their encounter with you. If we follow proper driving etiquette, traffic will flow better and we can all get where we need to go in one piece. You can also avoid making all other drivers hate you.
Today I will start with a post I made to Facebook a week or so ago. I was annoyed because I had to sit at a light three times (despite being only the second car in line) during a snowy morning commute because the woman in front of me did not know how to establish herself in an unprotected left turn lane. Traffic was stacking up behind us and she was literally creating a traffic jam on our side of the intersection as the left turn lane backed up into the other lanes. She was making a snowy, dangerous situation much more worse and frustrating.
Driving Tip #1: "When the light turns green, not the green arrow, but just plain old green, you pull your jalopy OUT INTO THE INTERSECTION. You don't go to the center of the intersection, that would cause trouble for a left turner on the other side, but you get your ass out there! MOVE IT!"
Once you've established yourself in the left turn lane, you may proceed with your turn when the oncoming traffic breaks enough for you to make it through the intersection. If oncoming traffic does not cease until their light turns yellow or red, because you've established yourself in the unprotected left turn lane, you are allowed to complete your turn on a yellow or red light. BY LAW, all the other traffic in the intersection must yield to you at that point, so for the sanity of those waiting patiently behind you, complete your left turn!
It's over at Try Reason! Go check it out!