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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Neutral Bomb: Driving Etiquette 101

Rant time! Ok, so we've all dealt with one, if not several of these issues, so it's about time we get them off our chests.

We at FPH pride ourselves in being better than average drivers. We can rev match shifts without thinking, dodge random items scattered along the highway, read the roads and respond accordingly.....and in the case of our own Danny Chin, let the elderly drivers know exactly how he feels!

During this rant, we are going to offer simple solutions to these problems in an effort to make driving less stressful for you, me and everyone on the road.

Issue #1: Not using your turn signal

Have you ever been behind someone, when all of a sudden they slam on the brakes and turn right/left, and how many times have you had to panic brake because you've had no idea just what they were doing?

The hardest thing to stomach about this one for me is that the turn signal is so easy to use! Up or down, right or left! Hell, when you turn, it'll even turn itself off for you! Oh and BTW, signaling AFTER you've already hit the brakes and are more than halfway into the turn does not make up for it.

Step 1: Signal
Step 2: Brake and turn
Get that? Ok, moving on

Issue #2: Get out of the left lane!

This is a pretty simple one that gets ignored more often than not. The highways are setup so you keep right, pass left. Let me repeat that once more, keep right, pass left. The concept itself is very simple, yet somehow, not one day goes by on my commute to work where I don't get stuck behind some idiot who decides to take a leisure drive in the left lane.

You are an accident waiting to happen! You are bunching up drivers behind you for no reason! What's even more dangerous is when drivers shoot off to the right lanes to go around you and come back into the left lane. Just make it easier on all of us and move over.

Over at Left Lane Drivers of America, they offer a pretty neat solution. Put one of these on your windshield and maybe those crawling along in the left lane will take a hint!

Issue #3: Learn to park!

You know how many good spots are unusable because some @ss-hat can't park within the lines? Just because you pulled in doesn't mean you're in the spot. Ohhhhhh nooooooo! Does that mean you have to back up and try again!? Tragic really.....
How bout we try this one: If you can't park it, don't drive it. We're not asking for you to be perfectly centered within the lines, just use some judgement when you pull in. If you wind up like the picture above, do us all a favor and try again. The only thing parking like that results in is door dings.

Issue #4: Distracted driving

(Sorry for the crappy quality video, it's all I could find)
I'll be the first to admit that I am guilty of texting while driving, I'm pretty sure we all have done it at one point or another. Ultimately though, what text can be so important that you need to take your eyes off the road to respond to? It's too risky (just look at all the issues we have on this page!).

All of us at FPH want our readers and fellow drivers to be safe, to promote safe driving practices. So please, when your on the highway or whatnot, just ask yourself if it's really worth it.

Issue #5: Blaming technology for your incompetence

Blind spot detectors, reverse cameras, GPS devices, lane departure warning systems, all of these systems are to be used as a supplement to your driving abilities. How many times have you seen tractor trailers stuck under bridges because "the GPS didn't tell me the height requirement", or, my personal favorite "I turned off the road and down the hill because the GPS told me to".

This one is also a simple fix: take some personal responsibility for yourself and the fact that you are piloting a 2 ton piece of equipment. You still need to check your blind spots before changing lanes, you still need to have some idea of where you are going or at least give yourself a little extra time if you're going somewhere new. Doesn't look like you should turn off the road and into that ditch, even though the GPS says you should? In the book of us here at FPH, that's probably a good idea.

Got another issue you want to vent about? Sound off in the comments!

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