Whoever you are, this column will most certainly not apply to you any more than it does to me. No, this is directed toward lousy or inattentive drivers of vehicles. See? That could never apply to us, could it?
It was a couple of summers ago when this topic initially moved to the top of my watch list, so my knee-jerk reaction was to grouse at our summer visitors. But, besides the fact that I love a few of those seasonal people personally and am grateful to all of them collectively, I had to admit that a lot of us Hill People are guilty of the same infractions; they’re just magnified when the roads are crowded.
There’s no cogent way to address this other than a plain old Do and Don’t list.
Don’t drive in the left (fast) lane just because you might have to make a left turn somewhere in the next 5 miles or if you’re trying to follow your GPS instructions and not having success. There are plenty of places to pull over and get your bearings, the roadway is not one of them. Or because you’re doing exactly the speed limit and saving the rest of us from ourselves; thanks, but I’ll take the hit for my own driving patterns, ok? If cars are passing on your right, you’re in the wrong lane.
Don’t be afraid of that median/merging/left-turn lane. It’s your friend and you don’t need to sneak up on it over the space of three blocks. The whole point of that thing is to facilitate traffic flow and you’re taking half of it and half of another lane for half a mile, while everyone waits for you to make a decision, is wholly backing up traffic.
Don’t forget the old “Right of Way” rule while everyone waits for two polite but aggravating drivers to decide who’s going to git’er done at an intersection.
Don’t get on the highway out of town and forget that the speed limit changes from 35 to 45 to 55 to 65m.p.h. You’re keeping it at 45 is not a good compromise. When cars are lined up forever waiting for some airhead to get the message, people pass when they shouldn’t and everyone is cranky and imperiled. Do your part, at least go the stupid speed limit.
Do use your head for something other than a hatrack when in parking lots. They’ve got to be at the top of the list of fender-bender venues. Make that phone call while you’re still parked instead of while you’re winding through the lot and digging for your sunglasses.
Do be cognizant of pedestrians and bicyclists; they’re everywhere! (and usually preoccupied with THEIR cellphones.)
Do use your turn signals. Yes, I know that Jim up there is likely to turn into the Post Office, but I don’t have a clue where you’re headed.
Let’s all try to drive as though we have legitimate driver’s licenses rather than the Cracker-Jack variety.