The first thing my father taught me when I began to drive was this (warning: strong language here but I want to quote my father exactly): “Act like each and every one of these sons of bitches is going to do something stupid that can get you killed and react accordingly.”
So for the year that my dad rode with me teaching me how to drive, he would constantly say things like ‘what if this idiot over here swerves over towards us, what are you going to do’. Yes, I will freely admit it was annoying but it was very good teaching as all that repetition turned thought into pure instinct. And those instincts are still intact to this day and much-needed as much I’m on the road.
Because on an average day, I probably see at least three near-miss collisions in front of me and sometimes I come close to being in one of them. And yes, I use lots of bad language (in my head if I have people with me in the car, and out loud if I don’t) whenever I see bad driving.
There’s a commercial on the radio here for a big personal-injury lawyer and it says the top causes of accidents continue to be speeding, drunk driving, and tired or distracted driving. But I want to go a little further than the obvious here with my driving tips that I would like to see so I don’t have to use bad language every day on the road:
Speeding: Speed limits are not set arbitrarily. They’re the top safe speed on that stretch of road on dry pavement so if the roads are wet SLOW THE HELL DOWN!!! Why idiots want to hydroplane in the rain is beyond me but these idiots sometimes get other people hurt or killed. Also, slow down whenever you’re coming to an intersection, a lane you’ll have to merge over from, or a freeway interchange you’ll have to slow down to go into the curve with.
Tail-gating: This will have me cursing the driver doing this to me straight to Hell and back. It’s wrong on every level and there is no justification for it. And if you rear-end someone because of tail-gating you will be found at fault for doing it. If you’re running late, that’s no one’s fault but your own so grow the hell up and leave with enough time to get where you need to go.
Distracted driving: I believe people who are caught texting while driving or doing anything that takes their hands off the wheel completely should be arrested, or at least fined heavily and the ticket be a major moving violation. I see this all the freaking time despite the laws against it and there is no justification for doing this.
Drunk driving: I honestly shouldn’t have to say this at all but this is a big reason why I don’t like to drive after midnight or one a.m. now. I read about too many drunk driving crashes and I honestly don’t want to be a statistic. Not only do Uber and Lyft help people get around, they save lives. So don’t be a stupid-ass drunken cheapskate and drive drunk.
Now driving and navigating is not easy and I was recently asked how I do it. I replied that it’s taken a lot of practice to get to where I can drive and navigate as well as I do. If you don’t do this on a daily basis I suggest you study the route you’re going to take and try to learn how to read a map. And I hate to say this, most people don’t know how to give directions. I don’t mind landmarks being used but sometimes people honestly don’t know their right from their left. Also, people are not as specific as they should be so if someone gets turned around because of your crappy directions, don’t blame them.
Finally, watch out for the idiots on the roads because there is no cure for stupidity. My father always said driving was a serious business and he was right. So please, for the love of humanity, take your driving seriously and don’t drive badly, or like a dumb-ass entitled jerk who thinks he’s in a ‘Fast and Furious’ movie.