From my experience, San Antonio is not a great city to be in if you enjoy sharing the road with good drivers. Between the problems of our roads being completely devoid of any logical grid system and drivers that have a taco in one hand and a Big Red in the other, we are mostly a disaster. The one thing that a driver can at least do is to to alleviate the road troubles is to follow the same rules as everyone else, therefore at least making it just a tad easier for the rest of us.
1. Don’t cut in line. You are RUINING the flow of traffic when you decide that your trip is far more important than everyone else’s. A friend admittedly and proudly does this to save herself time when she’s in a hurry. But as somebody asked her once “do you cut in line at Subway because you’re more hungry than everyone else?” No. So why does everyone think that the merge lane is an opportunity to jump ahead of everyone doing what they’re supposed to? Not cool, guys.
2. If you’re going the speed limit on the highway, you should definitely not hang out in the left lane because everyone else will probably be going faster than you are. “7 miles over the speed limit” is the new speed limit. Move it to the right, folks, unless there are no other cars in sight. At all.
3. Stop riding your brakes. While having your foot on that pedal may be a safety blanket for you, it is annoying to everyone behind you that can’t tell if you’re actually planning on stopping. Same goes for pumping either of your pedals while driving. Plus, from what I understand, it’s bad for your car… but if we’re being honest here, I don’t really give a shit about your car if you’re holding me up.
4. Be considerate of the other people that share the road with you. Whether or not you think that the guy who’s urgently trying to get past you has a super important task to attend to, if you can move over, you should let him by. That way, you can avoid being the target of road rage, or alternately avoid the humongous guilt you’ll feel when he’s finally able to pass you and you see his very pregnant and in labor passenger flicking you off as they fly by on the way to the hospital. It could happen.
5. Be aware of your surroundings. If everyone on the road is going faster than you, you should probably be going faster. If there is a huge line of people behind you and nobody in front of you, then you are definitely the one causing a jam-up behind you. Look out your windows every once in a while and pay attention to what’s going on outside of your car.
6. There is no need to “swing out” when you’re making a right turn unless you have a huge wheel base… and it is very likely that you don’t. I go BANANAS when I see an Accord swing out 10 feet to the left to turn into a driveway on the right. Are you kidding me? Have these people ever driven an actual car before, or are they just used to 18-wheelers? It is absolutely not necessary, you guys.
In that same vein, I become extremely agitated when cars come to a near-stop before taking a right turn onto a perpendicular street. The only way I can calm myself is to envision full glasses of water set on their floorboards that will tip over if they take that turn going any faster than no miles per hour. Sometimes it works.
7. YIELD. Do you know what “to yield” means? It is not a stop sign and is not just another version of a stop sign. What it actually means in driving is “don’t be a dick.” If somebody is getting ready to merge into your stretch of road and you have a yield sign, it means that you should tap your brakes to slow down just a smidge if you’re going to get to the merge point at the same time so that he can go first. It does NOT mean to stop where you are until he and the 4 cars within the mile behind him can go past. It just means that if the yield sign is on your side, YOU are the one who needs to just cool it for a sec. At the same time, if you’re being yielded TO, it does not mean that everyone is going to put their cars in park and get out of the way so you can get to where you’re going easier. It just means that you win that particular merge-battle.
8. Make your decisions and stick with them. When you decide to change lanes, JUST DO IT. Don’t take your time and float gently across the lanes over 15 seconds, because somebody is definitely waiting for you to move your slow ass out of their way. If you’re planning on running a yellow light and you’re in traffic, you’re NOT ALLOWED to change your mind at the last minute unless you’re ok being rear ended.
Those are most of the things that I yell about during my 26 mile commute each morning and afternoon. Does anyone else have any good ones?