Wednesday, March 27, 2013

10 things every driver should know

cross-posted from Jalopnik as a follow up to "Traffic laws the NEED to change"

Yes, I'm often bitter about driving mostly due to the fact that the vast majority of people feel that its both a right and something easy to do well. I'm here to relay the message of this post that simply isn't the case. I could go on and on about how one should actually learn to drive in different conditions, how to react in a slide, how traffic should (AND IS DESIGNED TO) flow but I'll let the pasted post below do that for me.

Really we should be trying for a system of Fahrvergn├╝gen as opposed to driving simply being something one has to do to get to work...

Happy Motoring!

Photo Credit: Sparktography


10.) The Left Lane Isn't For You

It's for passing, not for cruising at or juuuust above the speed limit.
Suggested By: RXEightPhoto Credit: Jason Torchinsky/Jalopnik

9.) Merging Is All About Flow

Merging is difficult for most people, apparently. Remember that you're part of a whole traffic flow, not just a single car against many others. Reader Grrrowler has a few simple rules for merging.
1. It's impossible to merge when going significantly faster or significantly slower than the traffic you're merging with. Slowing down to 20 when traffic is doing 65 does make the merge safer. In fact, it has quite the opposite effect.
2. Two vehicles cannot occupy the same space on the road at the same time. If there's a car next to you, you can't merge there. You need to slow down or speed up. It's not incumbent on the traffic in the travel lanes to make room for you (although it can be the polite thing to do).
3. A turn signal is an indicator of your wish to move to another lane, a request if you will. It is not a divine right to simply move into the next lane regardless of how it will affect other drivers. If you're not sure what turn signals are or how to use them, then we have a whole other problem.
4. Once you're on the freeway, speed the hell up to move with existing traffic! Just because you were doing 45 on the entrance ramp doesn't mean you should do 45 on the freeway. If you want to travel at surface street speeds, then stay on the surface streets.
Suggested By: Thunder and Brian, The Life ofPhoto Credit: Cliffski


8.) Four Wheel Drive Won't Save You

Just because your 4wd SUV/Audi/Subaru accelerates really well in the snow, doesn't mean it can slow down any faster than anyone else. If you drive like a jackass in the winter, your four wheel drive won't save you.
Suggested By: McMikePhoto Credit: Getty Images


7.) In Freezing Conditions, You Have The Least Traction Where You Need It Most

Reader Joe_Limon excellently explains that the places where people regularly accelerate or brake get worn down and extra slick in icy conditions. This means that when you approach an intersection, it will be extra slippery. When you approach a blind spot on the highway, it will be extra slippery. When you're driving on a gravel road, it will be extra slippery before and after intersections or turns. Read the whole thing here.
Suggested By: Joe_LimonPhoto Credit: AFCkeeper95


6.) Just Because You Signal, Doesn't Mean There's A Space

You're signalling. Great. That's a big step up from not signalling at all before you turn. Now you just have to remember to CHECK YOUR GODDAMN BLIND SPOTS before you cut into the next lane.
Suggested By: MenebrioPhoto Credit: Chris1051


5.) You Turn Into The Skid

That language is always a little unclear, so we'll just say that if you're in an emergency situation in a basic front-drive whatevercar, you want to point the wheel in the direction you want to go. It's that simple. How do you point the way you want to go? You look in the direction that you want to go instead of looking at what you want to avoid. Look to your way out, not the car/bus/tree/wall you're trying to avoid.
Suggested By: owen-magnetic and macshomePhoto Credit: Kouks


4.) You Need To Leave Space Between Cars

This one is simple: tailgating is dangerous. If a car ahead of you has to slow down, you can't magically slow right down with them. You need a few car lengths to make up for your inevitable reaction time.
Suggested By: Brian, The Life ofPhoto Credit: Trey Ratcliff


3.) Looking Ahead Makes You Safer

Reader Patrick Frawley explains this one best.
Keep looking ahead as far as possible. Pay attention to what's really coming up instead of what's just in front of you. If you can react earlier, it's better both for you and everyone behind you.
Suggested By: Patrick FrawleyPhoto Credit: Samira


2.) You Shouldn't Do Other Things While Driving

Texting, drinking, reading, eating, or screwing: don't do them behind the wheel. They all involve taking your eyes and your attention away from what's in front of you. Like the crash you're about to have.
Suggested By: $kaycogPhoto Credit: ssmmaa66/YouTube


1.) Everyone Else Is Out To Get You

Want to drive safe? Just remember that everyone else on the roads is incompetent, distracted, and they might as well be out to smash your car into a wall. It's up to you to stay out of an accident.
Suggested By: Guy MeuricePhoto Credit: Ian T Edwards

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