Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is it my turn yet?

I must say, with all the driving I've been doing lately, I can see the decay in our society (as far as common courtesy is concerned). I have to admit it saddens me to see that people are so concerned about themselves, they forget we're all on the road.

I'm not going to preach about driving at the speed limit, or crossing the double yellow into the carpool lane, but I simply want to talk about common courtesy while driving.
  • if the lane is closed (closing), please let one car in, and if you are the one who just noticed the lane was ending, be patient please. I don't think it's okay to go speeding ahead in the lane you know is going to end and cut in front of a mile of traffic. That, in my opinion, is rude.
  • Yield to the left (and right): it is law when you are in a round about or where there is any uncertain yielding situation that you must yield to the left.  When there is a four way stop and you don't know who got there first, look to your right, waive them on, and then you may go.
  • No hand gestures necessary: I have written about vulgarity before. Although I'm sure there are times where a "bad" word fits perfectly (or gesture for that matter) we should refrain. With the increasing incidences of road rage in our society, I should think people would be too afraid!
  • Tail gating: I've been known to not keep my "four car" distance on the freeway, but we should at least be able to count "one one thousand, two one thousand, three...between the time the back of the car in front of you passes a certain mark in the road and the time that the front of your car passes that same mark. If you can't see the person's back tires, you're way too close!
  • A quick thank you. I have darker tinting on my car and I often worry that the person who just let me into their lane, did not see me wave my "thank you". It's not hard, it doesn't take a lot of time, and it is considerate.
  • Last, but certainly not least. I saw someone texting with one hand and eating with the other. I wondered how precise her "knee" skills actually were. I had my youngest daughter in the car with me and I would like to think that many of the drivers on the road are concentrating on driving. Use a hands free set for your phone, pull over to do your make up, and if you must eat in the car (of course this happens), please be careful. There are thousands of deaths every year caused by distracted drivers...so 10 and 2 everybody.
I'll climb back off my soapbox now. I know we're all living in a fast paced world, but it only takes seconds, or minutes a day to remember our manners.


jewelstreet said...

Thank you for those roadside manners! Could you please come to our local tourist spot and please give a lecture to the hundreds of thousands of impolite drivers how to act?

sheri effres said...

When I was younger, early 20's, I used to be all "up in arms" about drivers who cut me off or proceeded first from a stop sign. Now I realize how unimportant it is and I let people in my lane always. I never rush because it's so not worth it...what's the benefit of arriving at your destination 10 seconds ahead of time? My daughter used to tell me how my ex would have "cursed that driver out" etc. I tell her that it's not worth the energy and emotional taxing it takes on one's body. Who cares if another driver gets in front of you? It doesn't make enough difference in my life to fight about it! Keep your blood pressure down and don't let ego get in the way!

Melodie said...

Thank you for this post! Too bad most of the offenders of these rules either won't read this or will just ignore it.
As for eating in the car: Back before I had kids, when I had a job instead, I only had a half-hour lunch period. If I needed to run errands and eat in my car while driving, I would go through a drive-thru that served corn dogs so that I could hold my food and keep my hands on the wheel at the same time. That's the only thing I can eat while driving.
My other advice on this subject is to drink with a straw so that you don't have to tilt your head back while drinking and obscure your view of the road.

Penelope said...

I will never forget an incident I had when I was in my late 20's. The traffic was backed up and a man was trying to pull out of a parking lot into my lane. I had enough room to back up just enough to let him in. Not expecting even a hand tip of a thank you, I just smiled at him and then he blew me a great big kiss. Funny after 26 years later, I will NEVER forget how they made me feel. Since then I have been known to blow a kiss or two my self, and have often wondered if it had the same long lasting impact that it had on me. What goes around comes around....just be patient; it may take a while.....but it's worth waiting for.

Angela said...

"Yield to the left: this is actually a law, but when there is a four way stop and you don't know who got there first, look to your left, waive them on, and then you may go."

This is incorrect; the person on the RIGHT has the right-of-way. Please recheck the law in your state; I have never seen it any other way.

Janine said...

Thank you Angela- I was actually unclear on what I meant. Yielding to the left is a law...but only when you have a yield, not a stop. when you have a stop, you are correct, it is a law in every state in fact that you are to yield to the right at a four way stop. I can see how my rules were confusing. Thanks again for bringing that to my attention.