In another life, I must have been a traffic cop.
I can think of no other explanation for why drivers violating the rules of the road irritates me so much. I have a rule-following personality and why not? They were made for a reason. Sometimes, that reason is because people are stupid when they get behind the wheel of a car.
Let's review a few of my favorite, seemingly lesser-known traffic laws:
1. Turning into the far lane is illegal.
Dear drivers, you do not own the entire road. One lane is all you get. Turning into the far lane is not only dangerous for you, it's dangerous for the other driver trying to turn into that lane — legally — from the opposite direction. If your tank can't navigate that tight of a turn, it's time to downsize.
2. The left lane is for passing.
Aren't four-lane highways great? Sure they are — until somebody decides to camp in the left lane. Don't give me the "it gives me more time to react in case a deer jumps out in front of my car" argument. Deer are sneaky.
3. Use your turn signal.
Don't be a "blinking" idiot. Let the drivers behind you know why you are suddenly slowing down, or when you're about to merge into another lane.
4. Don't tailgate.
Nothing gets my heart pounding like looking into my rearview mirror and seeing nothing but grill. It makes me feel like if I have to tap my brakes, you'll end up sitting on top of me. Neither of us want that to happen.
5. Stop for a school bus.
This one is so obvious, I wince to write it. You cannot pass a stopped school bus — from either direction — unless it's on the opposite side of a divided highway.
6. Wear your seatbelt.
This one is for you and your passengers, whether they have two legs or four. Your pup may love riding on your lap as you drive, but it is not safe for them or you in the event of a crash. Let them be a fur missile at the dog park, not in the car.
7. Slow down and move over for emergency vehicles.
That's the law, but you should really move over for any vehicle on the side of the road. I speak from experience here — it's nerve-wracking to try and change a tire when the tires of cars, truck and semis going upwards of 75 mph are passing mere feet from where you stand.
8. Stop behind the crosswalk.
Those white lines on the road running perpendicular to your car are there for a reason. Pedestrians. That's the reason.
9. Use your headlights.
When you turn on your headlights, you can see all sorts of things better —sunsets, deer, cyclists, trees, bends in the road. You get bonus points for knowing the difference between running lights and headlights and figuring out how and when to use each.
10. Follow the speed limit.
And for all of you who think it is hilarious to go five miles under the speed limit until I go to pass you and then rev up to going five miles over the speed limit, well, there is a special place for you. I hear it is the leading example in global warming.
There are plenty of other examples, but that's enough for now. I just want to leave you with one final thought — if you're having frequent "close calls," it may be time to either visit the eye doctor, book yourself into driving school or give up the keys altogether. Don't let your driving privileges become a hazard to the health of others on the road.