Driving Etiquette (Part I) – Freeway

24 02 2009

If you know me you know that I don’t get angry easily.  And when I get frustrated or irritated I can usually keep it from surfacing for the sake of keeping the peace.  But there a couple of rare situations that have the power to get me a little worked up, one of which is driving in traffic.  I typically love driving and I consider myself a pretty highwaygood driver.  Cross country trips are sort of relaxing for me.  But the thing with driving is that you usually have to share the road with a lot of other people, many of whom don’t necessarily share my attitude about driving.  This is definitely true in Southern California.  I’m not claiming that drivers here are worse than anywhere else, only that there are many, many of them.

So in this series of posts I will dispense some advice on sharing the road with others that I feel would make everyone’s daily drive a little more bearable.  If not, it will at least make my drive a little more bearable. :)

ON THE FREEWAY

1. Accelerate appropriately on on-ramps.  The purpose of the on-ramp to the freeway is to allow you to reach freeway speed by the time you merge onto the freeway.  Please take this into account and accelerate accordingly.

2. If you are not traveling fast enough to pass the cars in the lane to your right, you should be in the lane to your right.  On any multi-lane freeway each lane has its purpose.  The far right lane is for entering and exiting the freeway and for slower traffic.  The far left lane is for faster traffic and passing.  Any lanes in between are for the traffic in between the fastest and the slowest.

3. USE YOUR SIGNAL. You would be surprised how much easier it is to get around the road if people know where you intend to go.  Not to mention it is much, much safer.

4. RESPECT THE SIGNAL.  Getting where you want to go on the road is hard enough without people ignoring you when you signal your intentions.  And if you’re not paying attention to others you have no right to get upset when someone ignores you. So when you see someone who is traveling a reasonable speed signal that they wish to enter your lane, let them in or get out of their way.

5. No sight-seeing.  That includes pretty scenery, collision scenes, police cars and other emergency vehicles, hot chicks, hot cars, hot chicks in hot cars, and so on.  When one car slows down to see why the cop car’s lights are on it causes the cars behind it to slow down.  Those slower-moving cars then decide to move to the faster moving lanes to their side which in turn causes those lanes to slow down and so on, slowing down the entire freeway.  In heavy traffic this becomes a nightmare.  Just keep moving, okay.

6. No tail-gating.  If you find yourself tail-gating the car in front of you, you need to pass it or slow down and make some space until it is safe to pass.

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4 responses

24 02 2009
Aunt Lisa

Amen!!!

24 02 2009
kira

Ditto!

24 02 2009
flora

so true about using the on ramp to get up to free way speed!!!! The people here drive me crazy they all try to merge going like 45 instead of 60 it drives me crazy. I am like you in that I am generally a very calm person and don’t show my anger very much and i do enjoy driving until I get behind people who don’t know how to drive and than it totally pisses me off! Love ya bro!!

25 02 2009
Dad

Peter, imagine adding senility and cataracts to the mix, and you can imagine what it is like here in South Florida for the 4 months the snowbirds are here! Mickey and I went out for a Sunday Brunch in Lake Worth and no fewer than 4 couples went out with the old man hobbling along (barely moving) with a walker or a cane, and each time they were the one who got behind the wheel of these massive land-yachts. One old lady was so weak she had the younger 85 year-old hold the door open for her, and the ancient lady got behind the wheel. None of them had enough felxibility in their necks to do a shoulder check, so they all just put the car in reverse and backed slowly out of their parking stall, trusting that everybody else was watching out for them. We were at the window all this time, and very glad that they at least got it into reverse instead of drive, and hit the brake and the gas at the proper times to keep from coming through the front of the building. That accident happens at least once a week in South Florida during “season”. Now, imagine THESE people trying to get “up to speed” to merge into traffic on the freeway! We have seen these old people come to a DEAD STOP in the middle of a 6-lane feeder road, hesitate long enough to read a sign, and jump three lanes of traffic to make a left turn.

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