Every year, I embark on a cross-country journey of 1,207 miles by car. I drive from Grand Forks, North Dakota to North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania at least once a year. While on these trips, there are just certain things that really bother me. Some more than others, but nonetheless, I learn new driving trends each time I take the trip.
People tend to forget the rules of the road and do as they please once you get to open highway, even while still in the city. Laws or common courtesies are seemingly thrown out the window and the road becomes a free for all.
These are just a few of the things that apparently no longer matter since the last time I drove a car (which was yesterday, soooo).
What on Earth is more important at this exact moment than your life? Is anything worth looking at your phone while going 75 down the interstate? I don't think so. Pull over if you need to respond to someone or feel the need to send a Snapchat. I don't understand how you think taking a selfie takes precedence over the safety of your own self and literally every other person in a vehicle on the road with you.
Driving distracted is never okay, not even to answer a text from your mom. Wait until the next time you pull off the road to take a break to stretch your legs or get to your destination before answering. Be responsible and stay focused!!!
2. Using the left lane as your travel lane
Okay, last time I checked, the left lane was called the passing lane... yes? no? When did it become okay to just stay in the left lane permanently when there is no one to pass? Apparently, though, some people missed the day that memo was sent out.
I encounter so many people who love to just cruise in the left lane. Even if they have passed the cars in the right lane or the travel lane, they decide to just never get back over. Even if another car, or myself, comes up behind them going slightly faster, they still don't move over. I then have to pass in the right lane, which was meant for traveling.
So do the right thing and stay in the right lane when there's no one around to pass. Don't make people pass you on the right side. It's just common courtesy.
Let me tell you, nothing makes me happier than when someone is riding my ass while driving. I get especially happy when someone tailgates me even though I'm already going 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. This is just not nice — don't do it. If something bad happens out of the blue, like a deer jumps onto the road or someone swerves into me, you're going to rear-end me. You don't need that stress; I don't need that stress.
Leave some space between you and the car in front of you. Be patient while the car in front of you is passing someone else, especially if they're already speeding, and as soon as they *hopefully* get back into travel lane. If worse has come to worse and they do not get back over, just do the annoying pass in the right lane. If you're already in the travel lane, just pass the other person instead of tailgating.
It's not that complicated.
4. Not using turn signalsGiphy
Did you know cars are being made without turn signals now? I had no idea, but that has to be the only reason the person who just turned without warning did what they did, right? WRONG! Use your signals. Let people know what you plan on doing with enough time to react instead of making them get whiplash from slamming on the breaks. It's just polite.
You'd be irritated if you had to stop without warning — we don't like it either. And believe it or not, you can actually get a ticket for failure to signal... not that I know that personally or anything (lol). These tickets can run upwards to $85 in some states, so save yourself and everyone else the hassle of dealing with that.
5. Leaving high beams onGiphy
It's bad enough having to drive in the dark as is, in my opinion. You feel like you start to get tunnel vision and any light you stumble upon can feel blinding. So of course, it's great when people pass you with their high beams on or maybe someone is coming up behind you with them on, whatever the case... it's not actually great. It's easy to flick the handle and get back to regular headlights. Flip them back on as soon as you're by the oncoming car or passed the car ahead of you. This is just a courtesy. Sure, there's no law making you do this, but it's okay to be a good person every once in a while.
6. Not maintaining speed
Right along with turn signals, cars are apparently no longer being equipped with cruise control as well. Okay, to be fair, not ALL cars come with this option, however, the majority do. It's a simple concept: you pick a speed and set it to cruise along at that speed without having to use the gas pedal. This is especially useful when traveling on interstates where the traffic isn't stop and go.
If you're someone who isn't comfortable with using this wonderful feature, at least be nice enough to keep your car moving at the same speed. It's not that hard to maintain your speed, just courtesies the speed gauge on the same number, and you're good to go.
People who are constantly speeding up and slowing down make it difficult for those people who are actually using cruise control or maintaining speed. By not doing so, you make it difficult to pass with ease and can really piss some people off.
7. Weaving in and out of trafficGiphy
These people crack me up. If you're stuck in high traffic areas, the lanes are *probably* moving at about the same pace. It is unnecessary to move back and forth between lanes, trying to shoot the gaps to get ahead. If you've ever witnessed someone doing this, you've also probably realized they don't courtesies get ahead of you. You'll catch up to these people at red lights or when traffic finally starts to thin out and speed up again.
This is super dangerous to do and for what purpose? It's no one else's problem if you are impatient or in a hurry. It's not our fault you left too late to get to your big business meeting. Pick a lane and try to stay in it. Slow and steady sometimes can win the "race."
8. Not doing the speed limitGiphy
I can understand doing a couple miles an hour under the speed limit, whatever, you do you. But once you get to 5 miles an hour, I'm going to be mildly irritated. When you hit 10 or more miles an hour under the speed limit, I'm now concerned. If you're going that much under, are you okay? Are you having a heart attack? Should you be retested to have a license? Are you elderly? Are you a student driver? Why are you going so slow?
Now I'm not saying everyone should speed, I'm simply saying, at least go the speed limit, please? Have some respect and at least do this in the travel lane or not at all if you can avoid it! You become a hazard at a certain point, especially if you're on the interstate or a road with a higher speed limit. Some roads will even post a minimum speed, and it's there for a reason — listen to it!!!
(You're a double whammy if you're going this slow and also traveling in the passing lane.)
9. Passing copsGiphy
I hate to break it to you, but by the time you finally see the cop car, they already know how fast you were going. And if they don't, slamming on your brakes isn't going to help. That causes problems for the people following you. It also draws more attention to you. This isn't a safe thing to do, so don't. Instead, maybe try going the speed limit or just a couple miles over. You *probs* (don't quote me) won't be pulled over for like three miles per hour over the limit.
Stop doing this and own up to your driving.
Hopefully, we can relate on some of the things on this list. Everyone is guilty of doing these things sometimes, whether we realize we're doing it or not. Try to be a respectable human being and follow the common courtesies of the road. Stay off your phone, use your blinkers, and go the speed limit. It's not that hard people.