Monday, October 27, 2008

More Road Hazards

I wonder how many people with a driver's license never really learned how to drive. I took a driver's education course in high school, and then took lessons from a driving school to help me get my license. I took another course to avoid a fine, and years later another for the insurance discount. That's not to say I'm the world's greatest driver, but I do know the rules of the road and how to drive defensively.

That's a lot more than I can say for many of the drivers here in Athens. So today I want to hit some of the basics for those of you that have not had the benefit of all my education.

Turn signals. There is a device on the steering column (usually). When you push it down or up, it turns on flashing lights on the outside of your car that let others know where in the hell you're going. It's wise to turn the signal on far enough from the turn to be meaningful, but not so far that folks think you just left it on the last time you turned. Newsflash: You're also supposed to use a turn signal when you change lanes.

Headlights. When it's raining, you're required by Georgia Law to drive with your headlights on. This is not so much so that you can see better. The purpose is so that I can see you better. On a cloudy day with fog and rain, it's hard for some of us to see past the hood ornament on our car. Having your head lights on makes you much more visible and that prevents me from running head on into you.

Weaving. Driving on four-lane highways is not like a driving game on Playstation or X-Box or Wii. The fact that you pass everyone and bounce back and forth from one lane to the other (aka weaving) does not mean you are an excellent driver. Contrary to what you may think, the rest of us are not honking at you to express admiration of your driving skill. It's not a race, and being out front does not make you the winner. In most cases, you're not going to get wherever you're going any faster than the rest of us.

Tail-gating. I'm not talking about the big party before a football game. I'm talking about following someone so closely that I can't see your grill (and I ain't talking teeth) in my rear-view mirror. When you pull up on my bumper like that, I automatically slow down to just below the speed limit, just to piss you off. Go ahead and hit me. I've got good insurance.

Speed Limits. The rectangular white signs on the side of the road with a two-digit number on them indicate the MAXIMUM speed allowed on that particular road. Maximum Speed, for the language impaired, means the fastest you can go. Those of you from Oglethorpe County need to know that doesn't mean go as fast as you can go. It means go as fast as you can go but no faster than the number posted--such as 45. Those of you from Oconee County should know that going a lot slower than the speed limit is also a problem.

Hope this little lesson has been helpful. Sharing the roads with people that lack this knowledge is one of the things that makes me....

The Crotchety Old Man

1 comment:

athensguy said...

Sounds like it's about time for someone to get a driver because he's forgotten how to drive!

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