After my marathon commute today to work because of the snow, I thought what better way to celebrate two hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic than a rant about bad drivers. Now I would not say that I am an expert on driving skills, but my 30-minute daily commute gives me a great opportunity to witness a plethora of people that do not deserve to be on the road. So I have three simple rules I wish the public, and most importantly the thousands of people I commute with everyday, would follow for the sake of all of us.
#1 You are not ____ AND driving.
Too many people nowadays put something else before driving. Whether it be eating a meal, reading a book, making a phone call, or anything… people try to do too much while operating a motor vehicle. There have been countless times I am going down the freeway, watching a car jog back and forth across the lane. Only to pull along side them to see them attempting to clean their shirt that they dropped ketchup on from the fries they are eating, which are strewn across the passenger seat, while typing away on their cell phone. Most people are scared of others carrying knifes or guns, but apparently erratically controlling 3,000lbs of steel at 65mph while yelling at your mother-in-law on the phone is acceptable.
#2 There are driving laws AND there is driving etiquette
Unfortunately my drive to work includes a very popular route for tourists to the Denver area throughout the year. This route is also the main and only thoroughfare for thousands of us trying to get to work and school every morning and evening. We all want to get to/from home quickly and easily, and if you plan on touring around between the hours of 7-9am and 4-6pm, you should drive accordingly. Yes this means if the rest of traffic is going 80mph, you should do the same or get off the road. Yes this means you should not clog up traffic to traverse all 6 lanes because “something is cool over there”, we are most likely going to cut you off and honk because you are holding up traffic. And specifically for my drive, no slowing to 20mph in the middle of the freeway as the road crests at the overlook for the mountains to look (or take photos) of them, do not even try it.
#3 Size does NOT matter
Living out west, there is always a strange assortment of cars on the road during all seasons. You have everything from the souped-up sports cars to clunky minivans to the 8-wheel lifted monstrosities. And much to my scorn, all of the above are driven here all four seasons, rain or shine. However too few people know that just because you car is of a certain type, does not mean it drives that much different than the others. Changing lanes every 2.3 seconds in your matte black rice rocket does not make you faster, it makes you stupid and dangerous. Your pickup truck cannot be used as a monster truck to simply “move” the car in front of you any faster. And your all-wheel drive car will slide just as fast into the wall in front of you on ice as a front-wheel drive car behind you.
There are many more rules I can think of that would probably get me home faster and with a lot less rage. Nonetheless, I believe if even 15% more people could do any of the above, maybe our roads might just become a little less dangerous. As a matter of fact, I am huge fan of public transportation, just let me sit back and read my book or sleep. Sadly, that is not an option for me right now. So next time you see me on the road, follow the above, or just the hell out of my way!