Pet Peeves and Unwritten Rules of the Road Part 2

These are the last few days of Lane Courtesy Month sponsored by the National Motorists Association. My only shout out is practice what you preach—drive right and pass left. If you need more reasons why this is important, check out our 2016 Infograph HERE!

In last Tuesday’s blog, I asked if anyone had any pet peeves or unwritten rules of the road and I received a few from our readers on social media.

–From Facebook,

Dave K agreed with me that left lane hogs cause tailgaiting.

Kraig M also stated that aggressive testosterone soaked brains that tailgate everyone they are behind no matter what also causes tailgaiting.

Jim B guaranteed that if someone tailgates you, there is a 90-95% chance you are going too slow for the road conditions.

Oh, but Jim you have not seen the two lane highway I have to travel on my daily commute. This road is rather bumpy and feels as rough as a cheese grater sometimes. Also there are so many dump trucks or tractors hauling even bigger dump trucks or bulldozers, a girl’s gotta be careful because she doesn’t want to get smashed like a bug. (Disclaimer—I drive a 2009 VW beetle).

–On Twitter, I echo Brett M’s pet peeve.

I do not like to see others driving and texting and if they have a coffee or makeup in the other hand, I get a little tiny bit of rage.

Road rage, a wee bit or a full blown rant is real. I have been in the car with road rage ranters but have never experienced some of the road violence recently seen where motorists run over other people or step out of their cars with immediate fisticuffs for each other. Whenever I have a wee bit of rage such as Brett, I find myself getting angry or perhaps just nervous.

This morning for example on my morning commute, I had a guy tailgating me while talking on his phone with a kid in the backseat. I was driving just over the posted speed limit which I think is what is best on this particular stretch of the road. I did my backward wave to the guy but to no effect. My backward wave usually works and the tailgater usually backs off because they are actually paying attention. The guy this morning was obviously not paying attention. Oh, well. Maybe my commute home tonight will be tailgate and other-driver-distracted-driving-free.

In another distracted driving article this week, a new study has come out saying the phone is not the worse distraction—talking with a passenger is and I would have to agree. I am always distracted by passengers. I decided recently that if a passenger is making me feel distracted, I tell them. They usually stop talking or whatever they were doing unless of course it’s my own child. I think driving with children can be very tough on parents and the rules for children have to absolutely be clear when riding as passengers in a car.

Another unwritten rule of the road I learned while living in Germany is the zipper merge. Using a zipper merge allows drivers into your lane more easily at a lane closure. I don’t think most Americans really understood how to do a zipper merge but it is really quite simple. If you are in the lane that will soon close, you drive up to the point of the closure and then the traffic which should be driving slower will allow you to zip in and drive in their lane. It works like a zipper. One car in, then you go, next car in and then the next car goes.

I think Americans don’t like to go all the way to the end of the lane closure for two reasons. They don’t want other drivers to think they are rude for passing them and going all the way to the end and/or they don’t think another driver will let them in at the beginning of the lane closure. They will be stuck trying to merge. All I know is that zipper merging works great and is the best way to keep traffic flowing which is what we all want in the first place.

I still think the best unwritten rule of the road though is the one rule I use every day—do unto others as you would have them do onto you! The Golden Rule works for driving and everything else besides!

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Have fun and be safe driving!

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