Learn. To. DRIVE!

Soooooo…..I’m going to hop on my metaphoric soapbox and do some preaching.

Maybe I’m too sensitive to this because I drive so much for my job but can somebody please tell me when the general populace just started sucking at driving?!  It has reached a level of stupidity/ignorance/dickheadedness that I’m going to develop severe road rage!  Here are just a few examples that I encounter all the time when I’m out traveling at home and across the country:

  1.  Turn signals – first, they are to be used.  Second, they are to be used PRIOR to braking to make a turn.  The whole point is to turn the turn signal on before you brake so any drivers behind you know that you are going to turn and can prepare to brake accordingly, thereby AVOIDING AN ACCIDENT!
  2. Phones – Stop…really, just stop.  If you are going to talk on the phone have blue tooth hook up in your car or have a hands free headset.  It’s THE LAW!  Again, the whole point of paying attention to the road and the other drivers while you drive is to AVOID ACCIDENTS!  In March, State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer reported a $7 BILLION loss last year largely related to distracted drivers.  This is only going to translate to higher premiums so pay attention!
  3. 4-way Stops – these are not that hard to navigate.  You get to go in the order that you pulled up to the stop signs.  So if the driver to left of you arrived at the 4-way stop before you did, they get to go first.  If you arrived before they did, you get to go first.  SO GO!  If you both just happen to cosmically arrive at the exact same moment, then the driver to the right gets to go first.  Make a decision and stick with it.  Just don’t sit there looking at each other.  GO!
  4. Punk Ass Kids – dear hardcore teenager who just got their license.  Do not stare at me like a hard ass.  I am a large, grown man who would love nothing more than to wring your neck for trying to pose as some sort of tough guy.  That car does not protect you from consequences like some magic fairy bubble.  One of these days you are going to glare at the wrong guy and get your ass kicked.  Be polite, drive smart, and just get where you’re going.  Easy Peasy!
  5. Etiquette –
    1. if you make a mistake while driving and get honked at because of your stupidity, you do not have the right to raise your hand and extend your middle finger to that person.  Be a better driver and you will not get honked at.  Own your mistakes and be an adult and do better.
    2. Wave to say “Thank you”.  If I am nice enough to slow my car down so you can get in line for an exit or merge or whatever, you need to acknowledge my kindness and wave.  Or I will run you off the road for being as ass hat.
    3. If lanes are being reduced, do not be the douchebag who drives as far forward as possible in the lane that’s ending and expect people to just let you in.  You will be blocked and forced to wait.  You should have taken an opening further back and felt fortunate.  Tough shit.
  6. Drunk driving – this is not funny.  I can’t joke about this one or make sarcastic comments.  Be smart.  Give your keys to someone else.  Call an Uber.  Call a friend.  Call your mom for all I care.  Call someone, ANYONE, who is sober and can get you home.  Nothing is worth the risk of drinking and driving and the threat it poses to not only your life but other people on the road.
  7. Car maintenance – this technically doesn’t fall under driving but so what.  Take care of your car!  If you just do the general preventative maintenance like get your oil changed, make sure your tires are properly inflated, etc… your car will last a long time.  And, this goes back to the money post about keeping up with the Joneses, you won’t have to buy a new car and can thereby save that money and invest it and gain a lot more in the long run.

Look there are just a ridiculous amount of other “stupid driving” stories that could be translated into lessons but the long and short of it is to be a respectful driver.  Respect the laws, respect other motor vehicles, respect common sense and we will all be much better off and much safer on the road.

I’m going to hop off my soap box now

But feel free to comment and let me know what I might have forgotten in the way of lessons to be learned.

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