Driver's Ed for Dummies
The proper distance for beginning to slow down before making a turn in heavy traffic is something less than a mile and a half. In fact, it's less than a BLOCK and a half. Please. Planning ahead is great for estate lawyers but there can be too much of it in driving.
To correctly operate a motor vehicle, it is best to pay attention to the motor vehicle and all of the things outside of it which would not benefit from being smacked by it. For instance, your nails, your paperback, your radio, your bowl of cereal, and your make-up are all slightly lower down on the list of importance then the cars in around you and the old lady in the crosswalk.
It's really easy to remember: G for green, G for go. Memorize it, people.
Signalling for turns should happen slightly more often than "when you feel like it". Surprises are fun on your birthday; less so in heavy traffic in the rain when you need a braking distance of more than 2 feet.
The police officer on the side of the road waiting to give you remedial driving lessons actually doesn't mind if you go the speed limit. And it's not like going below the speed limit now will somehow get banked with him and applied to the overage the next time he sees you speeding. Quit staring at the cop and drive the damned speed limit.
Remember how in grade school if you take "cuts" in line someone was quite likely to punch you in the head? I can't do that now because the police frown on it and because I can't punch you and drive at the same time...but if you know that the right lane is ending and you speed up and go all the way to the end of it so you can slip in ahead of all the people who waited patiently? Well, you suck. And it's all right with me if you sit there for two hours while no one lets you in because you took cuts.
The far left lane is for cars that are going fairly quickly. The other lanes are for the slower cars. Maybe put a post-it on your dashboard to help you remember this. Trust me when I say that no one stuck behind you going 3 miles below the speed limit in the fast lane is impressed with your virtuousness.
It is really not essential that you slow down in order to look at the accident in the oncoming lane, thus slowing down THIS lane which wasn't actually blocked until you came along. I promise--the accident site does not contain a supermodel in a bikini/winning lottery numbers/secret to calorie-free chocolate (believe me--I'd slow down for that one) or a hunky, naked firefigher just waiting to make eye contact with you.
When right-of-way is in doubt, it is a kindness to gesture to the other person that they may go first. It is likewise a kindness for them to offer that gesture to you. But please--for the love of every wool bearing mammal: if they gesture to you to go, GO. The 5 minutes you two spend in your little "no, you go" lovefest are 5 minutes of lifetime I won't get back. JUST. GO.
Tailgating me does not make me drive faster. Particularly on a curvy road with a drop off and very low guardrails. In fact, it tends to make me drive more slowly in shocking disregard for your frustration. What can I say--I'm like that. Either ask me out or back off.
The color yellow, when used on a traffic light, is to tell you to slow down and stop because the light will be turning red. Many people believe a yellow light to mean "go like hell before it turns red." These people are incorrect and it seriously burns my toast when half my green is wasted waiting for you to run your red.
It is not okay to pull into oncoming traffic and then slow down to a crawl. If you do it, please be prepared to interpret a colorful assortment of hand gestures, many of which will describe anatomical impossibilities.
The lines marking off parking spaces are not suggestions. Before you leave your vehicle, consider whether I will be able to get into mine without the aid of a can opener. If I cannot (and be advised here that I am fully 5'8" tall and not built like Kate Moss in her Calvin Klein days), consider moving your vehicle a few inches to the left. Consider it really hard.
Singing along with the radio is good. A little driver's seat boogie is also good. A base system that pumps out rap music so loud that the the local seismic center employees are running around frantically and blaming the utterly innocent local volcanoes--less good. If you want to blow out your eardrums, please be considerate and do it at home.
It's called rain. We see it a lot here. It is not shards of glass/sprinklings of nails/frogs/fish/crude oil/naked men. It is nothing that requires you to slow down to 20 miles an hour and drive with white knuckles for the rest of your journey.
Diving in front of me because you're tired of waiting for an opening in traffic and you figure I'll stop is making a rather risky assumption about the condition of both my brakes and the road. We won't even talk about the assumption you're making about my patience, other than to say it's probably misguided.
If you suddenly see your freeway exit on the far right from where you're driving on the far left and you would have to cross 4 lanes of traffic in about 10 feet, you've missed your exit.
Why, yes. I DID go out driving this morning. How did you know? I had to drive to a doctor's appointment because it's been a full year since a slender and beautiful woman of about 12 in a white coat looked me over and started 70% of her sentences with the phrase "you're getting to the age where..." and so my self-esteem was in danger of picking up. Thankfully, I got that taken care of.
Is it remotely possible that my judgement of other drivers was adversely affected by the cruel reminders of my aging body?
Nah. We're just the only ones who know how to drive.