To the Maniac Drivers of the World

I get it. You’re in a hurry. Believe me–I understand. But just like I wrote up a post yesterday dedicated to slow drivers, I’ve got a few things to say to you maniacs out there, too.

Stop it.

Seriously. Stop driving like an idiot. You’re freaking the rest of us out, and you’re making the roads that much more dangerous. Want to be a better driver? Try following some of the following pieces of advice:

  1. Learn to adjust your driving to the posted speed limit. What I mean here is that if you’re speeding 10 over in a 65 zone, that’s one thing. 10 over in a 15mph school zone? No. Don’t endanger my kid, curse you. My personal rule of thumb for going over the speed limit is as follows. 15mph school zone–never. 25mph-55mph–I’ll go up to 5mph over. Usually around 4 or so. 65mph–I’ll stretch this up to 9 or so over. This is assuming it’s good road conditions, no congestion, daytime driving. Which leads me to my next point:
  2. Learn to adjust your driving to the current weather. Is it snowing? Icy? Raining? SLOW DOWN! Brakes don’t work as well in these conditions, which means that if you’re going to swerve all over creation, you’re significantly increasing the odds that I’m going to get in an accident. Stop it.
  3. You know those things called “turn signals”? Maybe you don’t. They’re those flashing yellow lights you see some people use when they’re turning or changing lanes. I don’t have time to go into details about them, but you really ought to check them out. Find out where they are in your car, and use them.
  4. If I’m already going 5mph over the speed limit, and you’re tailing me so closely I can smell your aftershave or perfume, back off. Don’t flash your brights at me. Wait for a passing zone, and drive by me, by all means. (If I’m going 5mph below the speed limit, you have my permission to get irate. Unless it’s snowy or icy, in which case–simmer down.)
  5. Cars are for driving. Not texting. Not watching stuff on your iPad. Not putting on make up. How about we all stay focused on the task at hand, okay?
  6. Yes, I get that cars give you a degree of anonymity. You’re faceless. You don’t know who you’re cutting off, and they don’t know who you are (usually). But just like with the internet, some anonymity can bring out the worst in people. (I’m guilty of this too–I’ll admit it.) So try not to be a jerk when you’re driving, okay? Let other cars merge into your lane. No need to use certain fingers or choice words. No need to scowl. If it’s not something you’d do when you’re not in your car, why are you doing it when you are? (Can you imagine if pedestrians treated each other the same way drivers do? You’re walking down the street and a guy’s walking one step behind you, shouting at you and flipping you off when you don’t get out of his way fast enough? Just a tad ridiculous, don’t you think?)

My biggest piece of advice? If you’re so late that you have to go 25mph over the limit and be a jerk, maybe what you’ve got is a time management issue. Try leaving your house earlier. #kthxbai

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