Thursday, October 6, 2011

Free Supplement to Drivers' Education!

I know it's been a while since I added a bit of snark to my blog.  I've mostly been bragging about all my projects, and don't get me wrong.  I do love to brag!  But I'm letting my readers down (all 5 of you) by not being all that snarky.

There is a fine line between being snarky and just complaining.  I thought that today would be a rant of complaining.  I sit in traffic for much too long at 9am every morning now for a month and I feel that I'm given ample reason to complain.  However, I will not complain.  I will reorganize my rant into a simple list of traffic reminders.

Some days I feel like I'm the only one who knows how to drive.  (And this coming from a total space cadet driver!)  I know there may be a couple more of you out there, but I share with you my vast store of wisdom today in

"Jill's Common Sense Supplement to Drivers' Ed."

1. When sitting at a red light waiting to turn left, one does not have the right-of-way.  And for goodness sake, one really should not give the finger to another driver when he or she nearly hits said driver while turning at the same time without yielding.  It's not her fault for having the right-of-way.

2. Try not to mistake the yield sign for a stop sign when on any on-ramp.

3. There is not a need to analyze why there is a stopped car on the shoulder of oncoming interstate traffic.  There is no need to slow to a crawl and gawk.  It's very unlikely that it's someone you know, so you don't have to figure out who was in the car.  If it's serious, it'll probably be on the six o'clock news.

4. When passing an electronic alert sign that reads something along the lines of "crash ahead on a road that you're not driving on," or "utility work 50 yards from the shoulder expected next week," one does not need to slow down in anticipation of such "delay."  Nor does one need to slow down to simply read the sign.

5. When entering an interstate, remember that there is a yield sign for those entering, not for those already on the interstate.  Nor is there a sign that says, "when entering from an on-ramp, cut someone off and then honk at them angrily when they don't (or cannot) yield to you."

6. When 3 lanes of traffic is cut down to 2, remember that the law does not say "merge one mile ahead of the lane closure" or "drive really slowly in the merging lane to play traffic cop."  There is no need to swerve in front of those passing you or even pretend to swerve to "scare" them into slowing down.  Sometimes I think playing traffic cop and driving slowly MUST be a written rule in Minnesota, since so many people do it.  Oh?  It's not?  Interesting.

7. When driving by or passing a police officer, there is no need to slow from 62 to 45mph even though the limit is 60mph.  Driving way below the limit does not give one better odds at not getting pulled over.

8. Slower traffic keep right.  Even if the driver in the left lane feels entitled to be there going whatever speed he pleases, the rule still exists.  And when said driver (who is clearly the product of our societal entitlement), is passed on the right, the problem is not solved by speeding up so he can't be passed.  Don't get mad that someone else is in a hurry.

9. If you absolutely have an uncontrollable compulsion to litter by tossing your cigarettes out of the window, please make sure you put them out first.  It makes the people driving behind you nervous to see the red sparks bounce their way under their cars.

10. Mind your own business.  We need not get involved in someone else's decision to be in a hurry or talk on the phone or get their kid a sippy cup.  If we are not in direct danger, it's not our problem when someone is safely weaving through traffic.

Bonus: A free bit of wisdom to pedestrians and bicyclists:  Bikes ride WITH traffic, pedestrians walk AGAINST traffic.  And please remember that cars are bigger than you and come to a stop much more slowly.

There you have it.  Jill's top ten road rules.  I'm not complaining, but I swear I could have shouted all these rules today on my way to drop my daughter off at school. 

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