The Unofficial Rules of The Road

Why is it that anyone who drives faster than you is a maniac and anyone slower than you is an idiot?
Today's post is inspired by a recent series of events in which I found myself frustrated at a slow driver while driving fast, and angry at a fast driver while driving slow, both just a few minutes a part and on the same road. It got me thinking that driving is all about perceptions. There are many rules of the roads set forth by common sense, common courtesy, the government, and the laws of physics. But most rules just place upper and lower bounds and leave the driver interpret them from situation to situation. It's this type of legal free judgement driving that causes accidents, traffic jams, and road rage. As one person sees it fit to drive a bit faster, another driver could legally decide to drive slower. Different drivers have different skills behind the wheel, different experiences, and different motives. It's this non conformity that leads to all the troubles on the road. Therefore, I feel it is my job to officially introduce a list of ABSOLUTE rules, not open to interpretation, just no nonsense grounded rules of the road. Some may be obvious, some may already exist in some form or another, but each and every one is often ignored and need to be drilled in to every drivers head. 
  1. Lane Discipline: NEVER overtake on the right. You may think it's safe but the maneuver can catch the driver ahead off guard as he was about to merge right to let you pass. Instead, flash your high beams once, and wait at a safe distance for the car ahead to merge right and let you pass. 
  2. Hostile Braking: Please do not step on the brakes to psyche out the car behind you. It happens all the time. One car is driving bumper to bumper in an attempt to get by or squeeze out the car ahead. The leading driver becomes agitated and decides to momentarily step on the brakes to scare the tailgater. It's not only seriously dangerous for everyone around you, it also shows you'd rather have the driver behind you crash and burn than allowing him the freedom to let him pass. 
  3. Unfamiliar Trundling: The unofficial rules of the road state that when driving in uncharted and unfamiliar territory, you have to pull over and let the drivers behind you pass. If you are holding up traffic because you're not sure what's around the next bend, it will please the drivers behind  you when you pull over and allow the more experienced, local, drivers to guide the way. 
  4. Cutting Corners: I cannot begin to explain how many times I have come eye to eye with a rice rocket racer who decided to cut a blind turn on the inside, only to merely miss tearing off my left rear view mirror. Seriously, you do not cut the inside of a blind turn. It's dangerous for yourself and its dangerous for other. Slow down, and take a half second more to take the turn.
There are however a number of controversial driving maneuvers and signals that I advocate. 
  • Flashing high beams to let someone know you want to pass them. As long as the high beams are flicked only once, and it's done when approaching at a safe distance, it's completely acceptable. Whether the driver ahead decides to let you pass is a different story, but at least you've made him aware of your motives instead of tailgating the bejesus out of him. 
  • Overtaking trucks on the right shoulder. If you can see the right shoulder is clear of any obstructions, cars, or debris, and you believe there is adequate room to squeeze by, I believe it is acceptable to overtake a truck on the hard shoulder on the right. However this dangerous maneuver should only be used when in a rush. 
  • Jumping the green light. Many drivers anticipate a green light by looking right and waiting for the perpendicular set of lights to turn red. Usually you get about 3 seconds of complete red all around before the other set of lights turns green. If the intersection is clear, and you've scanned for last second drivers, you're free to run the red! 
There you have it. Take it or leave it, those were Alexotic's unofficial absolute driving rules.