Continuaing my occaisional rants about driving standards in the United States, and the D.C. metro area in particular, here are another two small tips for drivers doing battle out there on the black top.
Keep Right, Look Left – Undertaking is illegal!
For the British audience, this will look odd, we “Keep left, look right” because we drive on the other side of the road. However, somebody forgot to tell a large percentage of drivers this side of the pond, and so every day I will be cruising along at the rate of traffic in the right lane drifting past slow moving cars, SUVs, and trucks in the left lane. Undertaking is illegal here, as in Britain. It just isn’t as strongly enforced, or taught, so people believe it is completely okay to amble along in the left (overtaking) lane ten miles an hour beneath the speed limit in their minivan/overladen truck/etc because they may want to turn left in fifteen miles time. Then when they discover it is a right exit they want, they slew across the traffic lanes regardless of speed or other traffic.
So next time you are driving, please try to stay in the rightmost lane that it is safe to do so. Then cars that wish to pass you can, on you left, as allowed by law. You’ll be amazed at how this will speed your commute, increase your gas milage, and reduce the chance of you being given the finger by someone who has been stuck trailing your tail for the last ten miles!
Mirrors, purpose and use of
There are these big shiney reflective surfaces on the sides on your minivan (see how it tends to be minivans and pickup trucks, SUVs come a close third). These mirrors are usually situated one to either side, and a third in the middle of the vehicle attached to the big glass screen in front of the steering wheel.
USE THESE MIRRORS TO OBSERVE THE SPACE INTO WHICH YOU ARE ABOUT TO MOVE because every day I either watch a near miss, or have to duck for cover myself from some huge lump of iron trying to roll me flatter than a pancake. I’m in a bright red car with a slightly louder than normal exhaust, I am not hard to miss! Unfortunately the last statement tends to get misunderstood and is taken as an excuse to try and hit me!!! Please look first, and try this handy tip (as taught frequently elsewhere):