Thursday, July 14, 2011

Did That Teacher Just Cut Me Off??

Reading this blog about driver etiquette caused me to consider "When is it okay to cut in?".

Of course, the knee-jerk reaction is "Never!". However, I find myself cutting in fairly frequently.

Here's my basic gripe: We would all get to where we're going safely and efficiently if everyone USED A LITTLE COMMON COURTESY and PAID ATTENTION while driving.

Sure there are signals and intersections and certain exits that are prone to back up because of the sheer volume of traffic. However, I believe that if everyone was paying just a little more attention to their driving, congestion would ease. My biggest concern with traffic back up on busy exits in particular is that  taking that last spot at the end of a line of cars hanging out in traffic could cause a major accident. I'd rather be considered rude by taking up some slack in an available lane than risk getting rear-ended by traffic moving at highway speeds. (FYI - I think Lexington, KY is the capital of backed up exits...thanks New Circle Road!)

I'm probably what most would consider an aggressive driver (goodness knows I've been flipped off and brake-checked by other drivers a few times). But do you know what my number one priority is on the road? Staying out of everyone else's way. That's it. I'm always on the lookout for ways I can ease the path of a fellow traveler. Generally that means staying out of the left lane unless passing, using my turn signals (religiously), going the speed limit (usually just a little over), and keeping an eye on my mirrors for faster traffic.

The most problematic situations I encounter are drivers who are:

  • Hanging out in the left lane
  • Driving well under the speed limit
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Unaware of cars in the vicinity
  • Talking on the cellphone while driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Not keeping a constant speed
  • Hanging out in other drivers' blind spots

Drivers who are guilty of any of the above will be passed, even if that means passing on the right. I don't want to be near anyone doing any of those things. 

So, watch out...if someone with an educator plate cuts you off, it could be me. But don't take it personally, I don't - I'm just happy to be on my way and out of yours.

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