The Unwritten Rules of Traffic

When you are in driver’s ed., there are a lot of rules to go over. In addition to learning how to operate a 3500-pound machine that makes thousands of small explosions per minute, converted into propulsion in a manner that more accurately fit an 1800 tractor, you must also take into account traffic laws. Every state and even local municipality has its own specific laws. What you are never taught, are the unwritten, unspoken rules of the open road, and though some of them are illegal, we still practice them, for the benefit of mankind.

1.) Be a Flasher:

We’ll get the potentially illegal one out of the way first. According to many states, flashing your high beams at oncoming traffic to warn of a speed trap is against the law, but why? Isn’t the whole point of the cop hiding out to get speeders to slow down? And doesn’t warning by the oncoming drivers slow other vehicles down? So, by the transitive property of…whatever…we are helping making the roads safer? The fact that this practice is illegal underscores the notion that speed traps are more about revenue collection than public safety.

2.) Embrace The “Zipper Merge”:

This is far more prevalent in Europe, where everyone else seems to be more cordial, but the idea about merging is that you are supposed to take turns, otherwise, one side builds up a nasty backup. In America, the inverse of this occurs, where it is almost in our blood to try and get out ahead of the person merging. Why can’t we all just get along.

3.) Under the Speed Limit and Oblivious to All:

You know what’s an easy way to avoid having to deal with the whole merging issue? Stay the hell out of the slow lane when there is an upcoming onramp. You are not helping anyone by staying in the slow lane at all times. If a merger is coming up, make the transition into the middle lane on your own terms, as you will have to abruptly make that maneuver if the new car coming onto the highway does not relinquish. NOTE: IF only a two-lane highway, disregard. Figure that shit out for yourself, and stay out of my fast lane.

4.) Stay Out of My Fast Lane:

Going the same speed as everyone else? Then you should not be in the left lane. Pretty simple concept, but still manage to mess this one up. Do yourself a favor and check the rear view every once in a while, someone may be riding your ass. Oh, and if someone IS riding your ass, speeding up is not the solution. You missed your chance to play with the big boys champ. Get the hell out of the way.

5.) Everybody Gets One:

If I have the common decency to slow down to let you pull out in front of me, you better have the common decency to be paying attention. I’ll be courteous, but I will not tolerate my gift horse being looked in the mouth. Unlike the overly generous poster of the video above, you have exactly 2.25 seconds to respond to my gesture, otherwise, I’m speeding back up and blasting right by you. Everyone else at the intersection that was paying attention can tell just what went down…and you look like a chump.

6.) Don’t Be a Parking Dick:


Once someone has thrown the blinker on for a spot (provided they are not a quarter mile away) it is his or hers. Don’t be that person that tries to snake in, and if someone is backing into a parallel spot, then you have to assume they have been waiting longer and made the effort to do it right. Once again, the mantra, and perhaps the lesson through all of these is…don’t be a dick.

Image credit: cdn.benzinga.com

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