Anthony Curran's Driving Tips For The Accelerationally Challenged
Get it in gear, Moron.A common misconception pervades the minds of many drivers on our highways. This idea is the fallacy that driving slower than the traffic around you makes you less likely to be involved in an accident. Accidents on the highways are caused by speed differentials. I like to borrow an axiom from fighter jocks. Speed is life. Speed is also control. If you drive the same speed as those around you, or slightly faster, you have control over your opportunities to change lanes. If you drive slower than traffic, and you need to change lanes, you invariably end up missing the window. This means you will, more often than not, have to slow way down to wait for an opening. You are setting yourself up for a fender bender or a rear-ending.
Pull it up, Doofus. This rule applies primarily to stop-and-go traffic. Another common misconception foisted on the public by driving instructors is the idea that you should maintain a certain distance (one car length for every 10 miles per hour, or a two second distance) between you and the car in front of you. This is a crock. First, it gets you focused solely on the car directly in front of you. You need to pay attention to all the cars around you; ahead, to the side, and behind. This gives you adequate warning to stop because you can see what traffic is doing and anticipate the appropriate actions. Second, if you leave too much space, you invite people to change lanes in front of you. I see this all the time. Traffic starts moving, and Car A stays still in order to develop his "space cushion". Meanwhile, Car B decides to pull into this space cushion. At the same time, Car A has begun accelerating. Screeech.
Let him over, Creep. If someone signals to change lanes, let him over. This is a matter of simple self preservation. Someone who takes the trouble to signal a lane change (especially in Texas) really wants over. They probably have an exit coming up, and they waited too long. You might say, "Let him suffer," but this is a mistake. People who think they are going to miss their exit get desperate, and desperate people do stupid things. You may be forcing them to do something stupid to you.
Get out of my blind spot, Idiot. Situational awareness is extremely important to good driving, but it is not always something you can asume everyone else has. Watch where you are in relation to the other cars. If you are sitting in someone else's blind spot, you are courting disaster. I love driving along, thinking I have space all around me, getting ready to change lanes, checking my blind spot, and finding some idiot cheerfully sitting there for no reason. Speed up, slow down, just don't sit there.
What are you doing in the left lane, Doinkus. The left lane is for passing, not cruising. In Texas, however, everyone cruises in the left lane. I can deal with this, as long as they are prepared to drive fast. I hate coming up behind someone in the left lane driving fifty-five, oblivious to the line piling up behind him.
What are you doing on the Tollway, Jerk. I love the Dallas Tollway. I have a Tolltag and everything. Not only is the Tollway a great capitalist statement in our increasingly socialistic society, it is a haven for real drivers. People on the Tollway have paid to be there. They take driving seriously, and they are prepared to drive fast. At the same time, the accident rate on the Tollway is lower than on any other Dallas highway (compare that to the HOV lanes on 30, the liberal antithesis to the Tollway). If you don't think you're ready for the Tollway, stay off.
Pay attention, Stupid. The most important driving tip I can think of is to pay attention. Keep your head up, keep your eyes moving, and watch the other drivers. The more you pay attention, the more you will be able to anticipate and avoid trouble. Driving is a not just a way to get from point A to point B. It is an exercise in control. If you think of it as just a mode of transportation, you turn it into daily drudgery. It quickly becomes boring, which causes you to lose concentration and get into an accident. Pay attention, drive like you enjoy it, and live.
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