Bad drivers are all around us. It would seem that vehicular prescience continues to elude the public at large, despite being one of the most viewed posts on my blog (which isn’t saying much). Once again, it is up to me to advance the clarion call for more proficient, competent, and alert drivers. I only hope it reaches farther than the news feeds of my Facebook friends.
Okay, so I wasn’t entirely forthright. Insofar that this is an arbitrary list of suggestions to create better drivers for the benefit of society, it is more a list of things that piss me off and I just wish to make other drivers aware.
I’ll begin with my outline:
- The Shoulder Is Not A Lane
- Proper Lane Etiquette
- Get The Fuck Off The Phone
So, let’s begin.
The shoulder is not a lane is ostensibly the most innocuous of the transgressions. Perhaps the reader has broken the first rule on a fair number of occasions. How could one not? It’s another lane. And, like a bituminous siren, it beckons drivers to steer towards its curvaceous asphalt. Alluring as the temptation maybe be, remember, dear reader: the cake was a lie. And so too is the asphalt. Firstly, emergency vehicles often utilize the shoulder to bypass traffic. Please allow emergency personnel to do their job unhindered by one’s jalopy. Secondly, if one’s jalopy has not been maintained (like those which I drive), the shoulder is an excellent place to pull over to perform quick repairs or call for help; this should not be news to the reader. Lastly, we all scorn the mortal who would attempt to bypass motorists stuck in gridlock. I beseech the reader not to be that guy.
I am continually astonished by the number of motorists who are unable to abide by proper lane etiquette. As far as I’m concerned, there are only two categories of lanes. Fast lanes and everything else. It should be no surprise to the reader that the left-most lane is the fast lane (sometimes referred to as the ‘passing’ lane). If one insists on driving below the speed limit (more on velocity momentarily) please utilize the other lanes. In other words, get out of the way! I drive with purpose—in most circumstances—and few things get my blood boiling faster than a motorist crawling along in the fast lane. Be alert and permit faster motorists to pass you.
Homo sapiens has evolved the capacity for depth perception, which permits us to interact effectively with our environment. In spite of this wonderful capacity gifted us by evolution, some Homo sapiens cannot stay in a single lane. We have all seen the irritating vehicular crocheting as one searches for the perfect opportunity to pass the half-wit. I thought it a relatively simple task: behold the lines on the ground and keep one’s vehicle within their boundaries. Too difficult, perhaps, for ordinary Homo sapiens.
Velocity, I hypothesize, is inversely proportional to the Kelley Blue Book value of the vehicle. With that said, my car isn’t worth much money. Therefore, one can expect that I am a speed demon. I’m not reckless. I slow down for pedestrians, avoid cyclists, and avoid exceeding the speed limit down side streets. Those exceptions notwithstanding, I tear ass! However, once I find a comfortable velocity I remain there, especially on the highway. I am under the impression that some humans take great pleasure driving slowly, especially knowing they thwart haste (I suspect devout members of the Automotive Harassment Squad). Otherwise, why would they do it? As I stated in the previous rule, I have places to be and things to do. I’m certain the reader does, too. So, get out of the way!
Turn off the brights! Unless one is in a densely-wooded area, there is no need for it. Do not be this asshole.
Get the fuck off the phone. Seriously. As trite as this rule is, it must be repeated ad infinitum until it becomes second nature. Do not text. Do not browse social media. Keep thy phone away from thy face at all times. May swift diarrhea befall all who brazenly disregard this rule.
Fear not, dear reader, for I propose a solution (aside from having read this post). The following may come off as an unpopular idea… but I don’t care.
I think a driving proficiency exam should be administered once every three-to-five years for all licensed drivers. No exceptions. If you have a license, you need to get tested. Think of it as an STD test; it’s simultaneously dreaded yet necessary. Any driver who completes this ought to carry a certificate of some sort—by law, alongside their insurance information and registration—as proof that the driver has passed the examination.
And those are the rules. It’s not perfect nor complete, but it should serve as a valuable guide to the reader. Thus, I hope the reader is now aware of some problems motorist face out on the road. If the reader can derive anything from my plea, it would be to avoid being ‘that guy’ and to get out of the way, lest one’s bowels roil.