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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How to Be Awesome at Driving--Speeds

I hate driving.  I really do.

There are a lot of reasons why I hate driving, but just leave it at that.  I hate it.  Especially highway driving.  It's scary and dangerous.  I don't drive if I can at all help it, i.e., if someone else is there to drive instead.  For the last seven years, I've been really lucky, because I lived within walking distance of my school, so even when I drove, it was like, two blocks.  And I was really close to just about everything else that I needed to get to.

But now......

We moved far, far away, and it takes me at least 30 minutes to get anywhere, and 45 minute to get to school, where I volunteer and tutor.  And it's pretty much all highway, so I just have to get used to it.  Not gonna complain.  Just something new to get used to.


Driving more has made me realize that really, there's only one reason I hate driving.  I mean, the scenery is nice, listening to the radio is fun, going places at 70 mph is awesome, but the one thing that is completely horrible about driving is the other people who are also driving!!

People are complete jerks when they are driving.  Seriously, driving and the Internet have a lot in common.  There is a sense of anonymity that leads people to do things that they would not do if they were face to face with someone.

So I have compiled a handy list of ways that you can be awesome at driving, and I expect that after everyone reads this, we won't have these problems anymore and driving will be way more fun.

1)  Be a Human Being.  Drive a Normal Speed.

I am more and more convinced that everyone on the roads either goes perpetually 15 miles under the speed limit or 15 miles over it.  Both are equally annoying.

I am not a speed demon, but I usually go a couple of miles over the speed limit just to keep people from being angry at me.  And yet, without fail, someone will get behind me and pull two micro-inches from my bumper to let me know in no uncertain terms that I am the slowest person who has ever driven a vehicle, and that they will mow my #$@ down in two seconds if I don't speed up or get off the road.

That's how I interpret tailgaters.

First of all, this is dangerous.  What if a squirrel ran across the road?  You would hit me, because if I reduce my speed by even half a mile per hour, you will careen into my car like a fat kid at the dessert buffet.  Second, I'm not getting a speeding ticket for you, Mr. I've Got This Really Important Thing I Have to Do.  You may be willing to go 60 in a 20, but it would be my car they pulled over, for sure.  And third, it's just so freakin' rude.  Imagine if you were at the grocery store, and some old lady were walking slowly through the aisles.  Yes, it's kind of annoying, but would you push your cart right up against her back and follow her relentlessly until she moved aside?  Please, I hope not.  You would wait patiently, 'cause you're a normal human being.  Cars do not change this.  Be a human being.

This problem is made worse when someone is in front of me, preventing me from going faster.  What would you like me to do, SUV Mom in a Huge Hurry?  Fly over the car?  Get my extendable tires and drive right over it?  Geez.  The other thing that makes it worse is when we're not on a small road, but a major highway.  If there is a perfectly good left lane over there for you to pass me on, and you STILL tailgate me, you are a jerk, and if I had rocket launchers on my car, you would be the next Rocketman.

But like I said, driving too slowly is just as annoying.   I'm not talking about someone driving the speed limit, 'cause that's just fine.  But someone driving way under it does get on my nerves.  Please note, though, no matter how slowly someone is driving, you still don't have permission to tailgate them.  Just, no.

Here's the thing.  I feel like, from my experience, people go the speed they want anyway, especially on the highway, so what's the point of trying to make a rule of it?  Yes, every now and then someone gets a ticket, but really, compared to the number of people I've seen pulled over, the number of people going 90 mph is way higher.

So we do away with speed limits and instead, have speed lanes.  Right lane is for 70 mph and under. Middle lane is for 71-79 mph.  Right lane is for 80+.  No one can tailgate or they get a ticket, and if they're not doing the right speed for their lane, they get a ticket, so the cops still make money.

But I also like the cars on rails from Minority Report.  That was cool, and seems easier.  Let's do that.

And yeah, I know I sound like an old woman, whining about how everyone drives like crazy people, but if they would STOP DRIVING LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE, I would stop whining.  More driving tips coming later.

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