Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Driving lesson of the day: merging*

When merging, one should remember the following simple rule:
The car in front, stays in front.
This means that if you and I are in a two lane on-ramp merging to one lane on the freeway, and the front of your car is ahead of mine, you win. I don't care what lane you're in. On the other hand, I'm in front of you? I win. If you speed up to pass me, and then you're suddenly thrust into the existing traffic on the freeway, and then have to slow down, and now I have to brake because you have a need to BEAT ME, that's suddenly a dangerous situation for everybody. Quit it. There are spaces for your car if you are courteous, watch the flow of traffic, and use your head.

Other important things to remember:
  1. Match your speed to the cars already on the freeway. They're the real winners; you're just some loser joining the party after the fact.
  2. Speeding up to pass me makes you an asshole. "Ooh, now you're in front, asshole," will be the thought in my mind. That extra 10 feet wasn't yours to begin with, but now that you're there, Ima let you keep it, since it clearly means more to you than me.
  3. You being an asshole doesn't change the way I drive. Knock yourself out.
  4. If you're already on the freeway (congratulations! you're a winner!), stay out of the far right lane unless you're getting off or otherwise have a real need to be there. You make merging that much harder for the losers trying to get on the road, and you're just in the way. Get over. Pay attention.
Last but not least:

Use your turn signal for every lane change and every time you turn. If you're pointing your car at me, I need to know about it. And then, just like you turn off the light when you leave the room (should turning on or off a light in a room ever be a matter of life or death), turn it off when you're done.

Drive safe!

*I possess no qualifications for writing this piece except that I love to drive, and I do it a lot. I've never been in a major accident. I put over 18,000 miles a year on my car, and I do it all armed only with an 80 GB iPod Classic (black). Also, my brother-in-law works for Cal-Trans (<-- not a qualification, but I just thought I'd throw that in).

P.S. Today's post was inspired by Cheap Trick's album "Dream Police," which I started listening to last night on my way to my breastfeeding class, but finished this morning on the drive in to work. "I Know What I Want" is pure, no. 1 driving music perfection. Try it.

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