Friday, July 1, 2011

Some Random Thoughts on Driving Responsibly

My family and friends often seem to lack the appropriate level of respect for my keen sense of following driving rules and being an excellent driver. 

So, I wanted to insert a few traffic tips and reminders for all the readers (it's my blog) I was reminded of during my ride -- please share with your family and friends:

1. When you use your signal, it is an indication you will be changing lanes, not that you have already changed lanes. And when you turn, it doesn't count if you apply your signal after you've started the turn. 

2. If someone is driving in front of you, it is unlawful to follow closer than 2-3 seconds (also known as tail-gating).  It does not matter how slow the person is driving (I know, there is a minimum speed limit on the highway and it can be very frustrating when someone is going below the speed limit), you are still driving illegally and dangerously if you are following closer than 2-3 seconds.  If you run into the back of the person, it will be your fault and you will receive the ticket and pay all necessary restitution.  Minnesota even has a section of the highway where they continually remind you about this and put dots on the road so you can see how far you should be from the vehicle in front of you.  Plus, with road-rage being a problem, you never know what the person in front of you may do to you if she/he loses their cool.

3. Don't drive in the passing lane on the highway (also known as the left lane) unless you are passing someone.  If there is a car approaching behind you and you are in the left lane, move over to the right lane (also known as the driving lane) as soon as possible so the person may pass safely. 

4. If you are passing a vehicle on the highway, do not slow down when you pull beside the other vehicle.  I have seen the signs which say "Pass With Care" -- they do not mean you should look at the person when you are passing to convey you care about them.  The sign probably should instead have said "Pass With Caution".  If you can not maintain or accelerate so you quickly get around the vehicle, you should not have passed the vehicle in the first place.  All the cars behind you waiting for you to pass will agree.

5. When a pickup truck is pulling a large trailer behind it, it doesn't automatically convert the truck into a six-wheeled drive, all terrain, sports vehicle.  I saw too many of these contraptions hauling ass at ridiculous speeds through super-tight corners and weaving in and out of traffic.  More wheels does not make for better handling!

More to come...

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