Common Sense Driving 101
I recently saw a viral video of "a hillbilly getting a dose of karma" as his truck crashed shortly after he flips the bird to the woman he passes. She is also the person recording the video while driving. But aside from the obvious concept that she shouldn't be recording while driving, did anyone catch her initial error? I did. From the moment the footage began, I could tell you she was in the wrong. She is clearly driving in what most people would consider the passing lane. We also know that she was driving on a highway. Maybe you sympathize with her because you've been the person who has been tailgated by someone before which can be equally annoying, but as I watched this clip I sympathized with him. There have been numerous occasions where I have been stuck behind the "too cautious" driver who refuses to move into the slow lane. So I want to use this time to go over a few points of road etiquette that I assumed were either taught or just common sense in general, but seem to be amiss in the driving world.
Let's begin with the purpose of the left lane since we've already touched on that topic. The left lane is for passing. I repeat, the left lane is for passing. This holds true on every highway with more than one lane. In many states, this is actually a law. In every state, it is a common courtesy.
Do not ride next to semi-trucks, especially when you see a disabled vehicle up ahead or traffic merging onto the roadway. Semis have a hard time seeing and their breaking distance is a lot greater. They are required to move over for disabled vehicles and they are trying to keep other drivers safe by moving over for merging traffic. Help them out by slowing down and letting them move over.
That brings me to another big driving pet peeve: people who don't know how to merge. People who don't merge properly cause accidents and create traffic jams. The merge ratio is 1 to 1 meaning one car from the left lane and then one car from the right lane. Rinse and repeat. Stop trying to squeeze in behind the car in front of you. Don't be THAT guy. Every time you ram your car (out of turn) into the merging traffic you are slowing the flow of traffic and causing more time to elapse. On the other side of the fence, let cars in. Don't be the butthead who rides the bumper of the car in front of him so that others can't get in. UNLESS, the merging car was a line cutting douche. Then it is your obligation to not let him in.
If you can see the headlights and/or taillights of another vehicle it is unsafe to use your high beams.Here you are all giddy because you can see a few extra feet more than you could with your regular lights. Meanwhile, cars are crossing lines and crashing all around you. Way to go! You are essentially blinding the driver of the other vehicle.
On the other hand, we have those drivers who refuse to use their headlights at all. Just because you can see us (because we have our lights on) doesn't mean we can see you. The roadways being lit does not make the use of headlights null and void.
At a stoplight in the left turn lane, you are allowed to pull forward into the intersection unless otherwise noted. In doing so, this allows you to complete your turn when the light turns red. This is especially important in high traffic areas with short left turn light as it allows more cars to get through the light. In turn, this will help ease congestion caused by the traffic in the left turn lane that might be obstructing the straight lanes.
I could go on, but then this could quite possibly turn into "the blog that doesn't end". *sung to the tune of "This Is The Song That Doesn't End" from Lamb Chops Play Along* And now my age is starting to show. So if you have more driving tips to add, post them in the comments.
If there is a topic you would like me to cover, shoot me an email: Tippy1515ave.com or on Twitter: @idkyourbfftiff. :)