Holiday Driving — Memorial Day weekend is upon us and felt that I needed to get something off my chest. Maybe I am writing this because I am truly concerned for all the people who are going to pack up their cars and head out on the road to visit friends and family for the weekend despite the rising gas prices—or was it the idiot driver who cut me off this morning and then proceeded to run his mouth and give me the finger? Either way, here you go.
It’s Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start of the summer driving season. With gas prices trending upwards of $3 a gallon tensions will be high. The annual road-trip vacation in the Family Truckster could be a little annoying this year. So I have come up with a few things to make the roads a tad better this holiday weekend, and maybe some of the habits will stick around the rest of the year.
- First and foremost, be courteous and let other drivers in; don’t be the a-hole that guns it to move up when I try and enter a lane—only to stare straight ahead like you didn’t see me. By the way, if I let you in, how about a wave, a nod, or some kind of recognition for the momentous humanitarian act that I just performed—is that too much to ask?
- Honor the left lane; if there is a ½ mile of cars backed up behind you and you’re in the left lane, move over to the right! The left lane is not for people like you to set your cruise control at 60 mph and hold on to the left lane for dear life—which if you keep driving like that will not be long. If you are smart enough to figure this out on your own and you have moved off into the right lanes, step on it!—if traffic is going 60 mph, why aren’t you keeping up with the guy in front of you, why do you feel you must do 56 mph? I know that you want to feel like you are an individual but when you are on the roads, you are part of a collective out here. Join in, please.
- Use on-ramps correctly: accelerate! Mustang owners, show them how it’s done. Get up to speed that matches the traffic, then merge seamlessly. If you feel you need be an individual and merge at whatever speed suits you, there will be lots of people behind you spewing abusive words at your expense while Holiday Driving.
- Stop lights: Pay attention, stop fixing your hair, fiddling with the radio, sexting, or whatever else distracts you. The traffic lights are already too short and there will be way too many drivers on the road this weekend, so when the light changes be ready. Every minute spent needlessly sitting at a light by your stupidity is directly proportional to the amount of beatings that are wished upon you.
- Tailgating: No not the social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle—often involving the consumption of beverages and grilling food. I am talking about when you are so close to the car in front of you that every speed change triggers the endless tapping of brakes. You tap yours for a second, the guy behind taps his for 2 seconds and so on. Somewhere a couple miles behind you is a guy at a complete stop, all because of you.
- The obligatory don’t drink and drive: You have seen the PSAs, you know it’s wrong, so don’t do it. If you feel compelled to drink, do like I do. Stop at your local pub and get yourself a Growler of “Ol Red” to go. Now you can take it home and enjoy the ½ gallon of 10% ABV beer and wander off into your Malt-induced euphoria…safely.
- Devote yourself to the task: this is touched on in the points above, but I feel it bears repeating. Driving is not something you do to pass the time while listening to the radio. Driving is an all-consuming task.
These are just a few things that I feel can help improve your road trip this weekend and quite possibly keep you from being chased down and bludgeoned like a baby seal.
Don’t Be Stupid—Happy Motoring!