January 3, 2012
Some thoughts on driving in 2012
Turn signals are included in vehicles for a simple reason – Safety. Use them. If you are too lazy or are physically unable to move the little handle up or down on the steering column to let drivers around you know when you are planning to turn, you shouldn’t be on the road.
- Stop driving in the left lane of traffic, and without using your turn signal, abruptly cut across the right lane of traffic to make a right turn. People around you do not know what you are doing when you suddenly hit the brakes and come to a stop in the road. Use your turn signal before you hit your brakes to give those around you fair warning as to your intentions.
- Do not pull out in front of oncoming traffic.
- Do not drive as if you are on 270 when in fact you are driving through a parking lot or through downtown Frederick. Slow down. You are not that important and wherever you are going is not that important. Sorry to burst your bubble regarding your inflated degree of self-importance.
- Pedestrians in clearly marked walkways, have the right of way. Slow down and/or stop. The lines on the road are there as an idiots guide as to where to drive. Follow the lines on the road and stay within them and you will be fine.
- When you approach a stop sign or a stop light, the thick line on the road before the intersection is there to tell you where to stop. That line is easy to see and it is there for a reason. You are supposed to stop at that line so that pedestrians can walk safely across the street in front of you. That line also tells you where to stop so that vehicles that are turning onto the street have the proper amount of turning radius to navigate around the corner.
- Joggers: the road is for vehicles. If you choose to run in the road you are responsible for getting out of the way of traffic. The world does not revolve around you. You are not entitled to block and slow down traffic because you would rather run in the street instead of the sidewalk. Again, as already stated, earlier, you are not special.
- Bicyclists: If you want to be treated with respect by drivers in vehicles, you must also show respect. You must stop at stop signs, stop at stop lights and obey all other road rules as well. And please stop riding your bike against traffic while copping an attitude towards the oncoming traffic.
- Drivers, when you are about to enter traffic from a ramp, the stretch of road in front of you is called an acceleration lane. You are supposed to “accelerate” so that you more easily merge into the traffic at rate close to the posted speed. Do not come to a complete stop in the acceleration lane. And do not enter the traffic going 30 miles below the posted speed. That is stupid and dangerous. You will eventually cause an accident and kill people if you continue to do that.
- Drivers, when exiting the highway, the stretch of road before you actually take the exit ramp is called a deceleration lane. This lane allows you plenty of time to slow down to the appropriate speed before you enter the exit ramp. So, stop hitting your breaks and dropping your speed on the highway while the rest of the traffic around you is going at least 55 mph. If you continue to do so, you will cause accidents and kill people.
- When you are making a right turn, why do you feel it is necessary to swing your vehicle out into the left lane to make a wide turn as if you are behind the wheel of a big rig? You are not in a big rig. You are in a normal sized car or truck. Slow down so that you can make the turn without having to pull into the other lane of traffic.
All of the issues covered in this column, should have been addressed prior to people being issued a license to drive. Make a resolution in 2012 to follow the basic rules of the road and use common sense.
Remember that you – and wherever you are going – are not that important and the world does not revolve around you. Also make a resolution to slow down and stop being an idiot this year.