Now that the election is over, it’s time to move on to another subject that I could talk about for days – driving. I don’t know if it’s because I learned to drive in a small town, and now I live in a major metropolitan area, but driving has changed a lot over the years. I first learned to drive in 1992 in a small town in New York. Twenty years later, I live outside Washington DC, and drive into the city for work every day. On a daily basis, I see things that are not just stupid, but absolutely idiotic.
I’m not a certified driving instructor, and I won’t claim to be perfect, but I believe that there has been a steep decline in the quality of driving over the years. I think that too many people drive like they are the only ones on the road, and unless you are from Lost Springs, Wyoming, with one resident, that’s rarely the case. It amazes me that, as drivers become more aggressive and selfish on the road, traffic fatalities have overall declined over the last 20-30 years. The question is, can that be attributed to more skilled drivers or safer cars? Here are a few of the many stupid things that I see people do.
1. Driving slow in the left lane. Technically, the right lane is for cruising, and the other lanes are for passing. If people are passing you on the right, you should probably move over. If you are holding up cars behind you, get out of the way. If you are a slow driver planning to make a left turn, you don’t need to be in the left lane several miles before your turn.
2. Turning into traffic. When I learned to drive, I was taught that if you can’t pull out and get up to speed without making someone slow down, don’t pull out. Now it seems as though people think that if the car coming can slow down before hitting you, it’s ok to pull out. Sometimes I feel like there is a sign in front of my car that says “Please cut me off.”
3. Changing lanes. Turning on your blinker does not entitle you to whatever space you want. You are still required to wait for whoever is in the lane to give you the space to move into. Plan ahead and have a little patience.
4. Blocking intersections. It’s illegal and just makes traffic worse. Again, you are not the only person on the road, as evidenced by the fact that you are stuck blocking the intersection. Everyone else has somewhere that they need to be, just like you. Do everyone a favor and wait until you can get through the intersection.
That’s enough for now. I’m sure this topic will come up again. Every day I see people do stupid things with their cars that I wouldn’t do with my beat up Hyundai, let alone a Mercedes or BMW.
It all seems like common sense to me.