When did driving become such a Mad Max movie? I feel like the odds of airbag deployment rise with each venture out of the garage. Let’s face it, the traffic is horrible everywhere. I used to live in Los Angeles, which is gridlock city. Now everywhere looks like L.A.
This is an excerpt from a book I wrote when I lived in the City of Angels. Let’s review these Road Rules, shall we? Surely they won’t apply to anyone reading this, but feel free to print them out, and place them gently on the windshield of the asshole who cut you off at 60mph without so much as the courtesy of a one-blink turn signal. That is, after you’ve followed him into a well-lit parking lot and seen the asshat walk away. (For both open road and city driving)
- Please do not text and drive. Other people die when you’re stare at your phone rather than pilot your 2,000-pound weapon.
- Leave room to pass safely. Remember the old adage/rule/law about leaving enough room to pass so that the vehicle being passed didn’t have to slow down? Pretend that person you’re preparing to pass is an EX, as in ex-girlfriend, ex-husband etc. Think Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards kind of room. Then, put on your celebrity sunglasses and fly like the wind before cutting back over.
- Use a turn signal. They’re not just for dangling bottle openers anymore. They were actually installed to give the poor bastard behind some clue about what you’re up to.
- Just drive. This isn’t the time to: Clean out your nose, read the paper, have sex, watch TV or dial up everyone you know because you’re bored. Unless of course, the traffic is completely stopped, in that case, let your conscience be your guide.
- Keep food items simple. While it’s true that fast food joints come out with more cup holder chow all the time, there aren’t enough Shout Wipes in the world to handle that 70-mph, In-N-Out burger that imploded on your slacks making you look like a complete slob to everyone who sees you. Just nasty.
- Don’t tailgate. If the driver in front of you can’t see your lights in their rearview, you’re way too close, like depending on the speed, maybe up to six car lengths too close. There’s nothing to be gained from ‘drafting.’ If you’re so worried other cars will squeeze in you’re probably too high strung to be driving anyway.
- The ‘California or rolling stop,’ isn’t a real thing. Stop, means stop, just like no means no. Otherwise that big, red eight-sided sign would be called a Stoptional.
- Try and stay in between the white lines that designate a driving lane. Drifting in and out while texting, or sleeping forces other to pay more attention. Nobody wants to do that.
- Don’t throw trash out the window. The planet is in enough trouble without you adding to it.
- If you’re still smoking, here’s a consciousness check: just because your window is down and you dangle an arm out, your car still reeks and everyone knows you smoke whether they say so or not. Smoke if you choose to, but take responsibility for it by not throwing your butts out the window.
- Don’t make rude gestures. The other day, a granny gave me the bird because I didn’t burn rubber off the light change. If flipping people off has become that mainstream, I’m finished with it. We rebels need some new material. Next thing you know, yuppies will be covered in tattoos. Besides, the chance someone pulls a gun and blows your head off is 1 in 6.*
*Yes, this is a statistic of my own making based on my discovery that one in every six people I meet in any city is completely crazy.
These are just a few things to brush up on before heading out among the masses. Lastly, a thought to consider: Instead of just looking out for number one, if we could all look out for one other person, the chances are, we will all get home safely.
*Disclaimer: I used to drive a taxi, (job#18) so I know about this shit. I hope you can take my word for it.
I’d like to hear your road rules…Holler.