An Interstate Tutorial
The girls and I take quite a few trips each year, traveling interstates and highways in order to explore new areas and bring back precious memories that we can talk about while we’re sitting in our rockers in later years. The one thing I have noticed in my travels–my biggest pet peeve, to be blunt–is that people simply do not know how to drive on the highways. There are rules that you need to adhere to on the interstates to make traveling safer and easier for all concerned. So, this post is a Public Service Announcement to those ignorant on the proper rules of the road. Please forward this link to any and all travelers so that I may keep my blood pressure in check. I greatly appreciate it.
First, when you see traffic entering the interstate from an on ramp and you are in the right hand lane, please be courteous and move your vehicle to the left lane. The idea for the on ramp is not merely as an entrance, but a way for those using it to pick up speed so as not to cause congestion and slow everything down. I don’t care that you were there first and feel you have the right away. People who think like this are the same people who refuse to scoot over on a sidewalk and would rather play chicken. They’re bullies without manners or conscience.
Be forewarned. If you see my vehicle trying to merge into traffic, I’m going to merge whether you’re there or not. You may honk all you want, but it would be safer for you if you scooted your stubborn ass over into the left lane. Now, if I see that you are unable to do so due to the heavy flow of traffic around you, I’ll be nice and wait. However, if you’re just being a jerk, I’m coming over. Someone needs to teach you some manners and I’m more than happy to be that person.
Next, please note that the lanes are not there merely for you to pick one at random and move forward. The left lane is for passing and the right lane is for slower traffic. If people are passing you on the right, then you are in the wrong lane. Move over and stop pissing people off. It doesn’t matter if you’re going the speed limit or even a little over the speed limit. If people are passing you, you need to be in the right lanes. Many of us treat those speed limits as mere suggestions. I mean, my speedometer goes up to 140, so 70 seems slow and a waste of dashboard space. It’s not your job to make us all law abiding citizens, so move over to the proper lane.
Furthermore, when you pass someone, please get back into the right hand lane. If there are three or more lanes, then please, by all means, drive in those to your heart’s content, but leave the left lane empty for passing. There are even signs posted that state Slower Traffic Keep Right. They don’t give suggested speeds for what slower means, so allow me to help you here. If people are passing you, you are the Slower Traffic. Again, move over.
Something else to remember is that flashing your bright lights as you barrel down on a car in front of you does not make traffic move faster. Actually, it slows it down because it pisses people off and we take our foot off the accelerator. If I could get out of your way, I would and your intimidating attempts at speeding things along is only going to gain you the opposite results.
Stop treating the highway as a contest. Show some manners. If someone needs in front of you, allow them to slip in. It’s not going to cost you anything or even really slow you down. However, if they’re trying to force their way in, hold your ground. Bullies need to be stood up to, even on the highway.
Furthermore, stop gawking at nothing. Or even gawking at something, like an accident. Glance at it as you pass by but do not slow down unless there is an officer there slowing you down. You’re part of the problem if you drop your speed to below forty to see a car going in the other direction sitting on the side of the road. Rubbernecking is annoying to all and those who do it should have their license suspended if not taken away completely. I’ve seen traffic moving at a snail pace for no reason at all except people were sightseeing the trees. Pull over and do that!
The basic rule of thumb for traveling on the highways is to be polite and courteous while paying attention to what is around you. Then we will all get to our destinations safely and in the proper amount of time. Impatience leads to road rage and that will lead to an accident and slow us all down. Then I’ll really be annoyed.
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