I consider myself to be a cautiously aggressive driver.
Yes, I see the irony.
I’ve been known to be a wee bit determined behind the wheel, although I’d like to think I’m not a total idiot either, except the one time I got into a shouting match with another woman in downtown Cleveland, who just so happened to be four times my size. I didn’t back down either, even though the poor innocent Hubby was sitting defenseless in the passenger seat while she and I hurled insults, and other gestures of the solo finger variety, at one another through his window. He was the sweet filling between two overheated Oreo cookies. Needless to say, although I will anyway, that was not my smartest, nor my finest moment.
I still remember the days of my youth, when I first learned how to operate a motor vehicle. I have fond memories of me behind the wheel, a daredevil in disguise, and my father screaming, “The brake!! The brake!! The brake is your friend.” I also remember doing a lot of parking lot driving after that incident. In my defense, I hit nothing, and I’m sure this was the first sign of my, shall we say, ‘enthusiastic’ driving career; a promise of things to come.
Suffice to say, I’ve come a long way since then, although if you’ve been fortunate enough to be chauffeured in my car, you’ve probably heard me muttering something along the lines of, “and what does this guy think he’s doing?” “Really? You cut me off, only to slow down,” or simply “You’re breaking the rules” with a shake of my head and a grunt of frustration.
As a result of decades of random ramblings behind the wheel, the Hubby has requested I write a book entitled Meghan’s Rules of the Road, where I share my driving pearls of wisdom. I opted to pen a blog post instead. These are the unwritten rules, until now that is, and the common courtesies we should all be aware of when we take to the streets. Follow these and the world becomes a better place, or at least our roadways do.
MEGHAN’S TOP TEN RULES OF THE ROAD
1) Don’t get into a shouting match with someone four times your size. In fact, don’t get into a shouting match with anyone, well unless they’re smaller than you. It’s not worth your time or energy.
2) Turn signals are there for a reason. You should use them, if only to spare the rest of us from trying to read your mind. I would rather save my super powers for cooler shit than trying to decipher if you’re going to be making a left or right out of the parking lot. Also, don’t be pissed when I go around you because you haven’t given the proper indication.
3) Shaking your fist is an acceptable way to express your anger. So is giving someone, “The Look.” You know the look of which I speak.
4) Please drive the legal speed limit, although my preference would actually be five miles over. Driving 50 miles an hour in a 65 mile per hour zone is downright dangerous.
5) Let’s talk tailgating. It’s hazardous, although sometimes necessary and comes with a rule list all its own.
- Tailgating should be kept to a minimum.
- Acceptable tailgating is to come up close behind someone for the briefest of moments, just to say “Hi, I’m here. Please get over or speed up now. Thanks, I appreciate it.”
- It’s never okay to tailgate someone if they are not the source of the problem. In fact, if you do this to me, I will shake my fist and give you The Look.
- Now if you are behind the driver impeding the flow of traffic, you do have a moral obligation to gently prod them along.
6) Do not eat and drive. Do not text and drive. Do not drink alcoholic beverages and drive. Do not put on makeup or shave your face and drive. You think these things would be obvious, and yet I have to mention them.
7) Stop picking your nose. I can see you.
8) If you cut me off, you better accelerate.
9) This one is a biggie. The passing lane is to be used for…wait for it….PASSING; yes, an actual car, truck, another vehicle, or even a buggy. The point is, we pass in the passing lane. We don’t drive neck and neck with the guy on our right for four miles. Basically, shit or get off the pot.
10) Since we’re on the subject, if you happen be cruising along in the passing lane, belting out ♫ “Life is a Highway, I want to ride it all night long,”♫ (I get it, it’s a great driving song), and someone driving faster than you approaches, you have two options:
- Get over immediately, allowing them to pass, at which point you can head back into the ‘fast’ lane and resume passing at the speed to which you’re comfortable, or
- Accelerate. Yes, speed up, pass the cars you’d like to pass, and then get over.
Here’s the thing: The concept of a passing lane is to keep the flow of traffic moving, regardless of your own personal opinion on the correct speed. Once you accept other people have different ideas on the same subject, you no longer force everyone to conform to yours.
Tolerating other people’s beliefs, especially when they’re different from your own, will make the roads a better place. At which point, we can all belt out together: ♫ “Life is a Highway, I want to ride it all night long. If you’re going my way, I want to drive it all night long.”♫ See, now doesn’t that sound special?
Happy Thanksgiving. Drive safe out there.