Monday, January 18, 2016

Rules of the Road

A while back I was thumbing through websites while on terminal hold on a technical support site and came across this site. 

(Might as well get my digression out of the way early, Juvat’s second law of computing,  "the better the tech support, the worse the software".  Ahhh! Feel better already) 

Channeling my inner Rhode Islander, anyhoo...

Couldn’t disagree with him on any of his posts, but I’ve got a few of my own rules, that were I ever elected Emperor of the world, would be implemented immediately.

So without further ado, let me introduce Juvat’s Rules of the Road.  (Metropolitan areas may be exempted from some of these rules especially during peak traffic.  Where I live and where 3 cars at a traffic light constitutes a traffic jam, they are not.)

1. No cruising in the left lane.  The left lane is for passing or making a left turn only.  The only exception to this is at night when having an additional 15’ that the deer has to cross in order to hit your front bumper can mean all the difference in the world.  Other than that, if you’re not within 100’ of passing someone or within a minute or so of making a left turn, the right lane is the place for you.

2. If for some reason, you are in the left lane, look in the rear view mirror.  If there are cars there in close proximity to your bumper, you’re not going the speed of traffic.  Move over and let them pass.  Unless you are in Law Enforcement, it is not your job, right or responsibility to enforce the speed limit.

3. If you are making a right turn, make it into the right lane.  Turning right into the left lane does not allow oncoming traffic an out if you misjudge their rate of closure.  If they swerve left, that’s where you’re going to be.  If they stay in the right lane and you change your mind and stop, they hit you anyway.  Personal experience on this one.  Lady runs a stop sign onto a major highway making a right turn, I change into the left lane, but she continues to go into that lane.  I slam on the brakes and try steering to the right lane (I’m doing about 65). About this time she sees me, slams on her brakes, (she’s not going very fast) and then attempts to back up.  Bang!  Happened right in front of a USAA body shop.  Get the police thing over, the truck is towed to the body shop, I call my wife to come pick me up.  Meanwhile the owner of the shop, who had seen the accident, calls me over and points to a car in the garage of the shop.  I say, “Yeah?”  He says "that’s the Lady’s car.  She did the same thing last week."
  
4. During Daylight on dry roads with good visibility.  The speed on your speedometer and the speed on the sign should be basically the same.  If they are not, and you look behind you and there are multiple cars, you are at fault.  Which brings us to….

5. The Texas Thing.  Most two lane roads in Texas have a wide shoulder provided by the taxpayers in the state to allow motorists to do the “Texas Thing”.  When encountering the situation in #4, when you can see a reasonable distance, pull over on the shoulder and let the people behind you pass.  They should either wave or flash their blinkers a couple of times to say thanks.  You’re happy that you get to continue at your speed.  (Do you say “Wheeeeee” at the exhilaration of that speed?) They’re happy because they get to continue on their way without further impedance.
This is actually a divided 4 lane Highway, US82  near Lubbock, A comparable two lane would have a similar shoulder on both sides. Source Wikipedia



6. The Texas Thing part 2.  You’ve come up on someone who is driving the speed limit on a two lane road.  You’re driving expeditiously because you are in dire need of a half-caf, double expresso mocha latte with extra room for fermented yak butter, and the nearest barrista is 10 minutes away.  As you approach the car in front, you see him move over onto the shoulder.  You pass him.  Stick your hand up and give him a wave of thanks or reach down and click the flasher button for a couple of blinks.  He didn't have to let you pass, he chose to.  This is Texas!  We’re Friendly!

7. Speaking of arrogant Austinites, I think there’s a special level of Hell for people that drive slower than the speed limit on two lane roads with passing zones few and far between who then upon reaching a passing zone accelerate up to the speed limit and higher.  Is your life that impotent that you have to get your jollies that way?

8. Another version of arrogant Austinites either drives slow on the two lane road and accelerates to above the speed limit when it changes to 4 lanes or accelerates on the 4 lane to get in front of a line of traffic then decelerates to below the speed limit in the 2 lane section.  There is no indulgence that allows you to speed.  Driving 55 in a 70 does not allow you to drive 70 in a 55, nor can driving 70 in a 55 be atoned for by driving 55 in a 70.

9. If you make a right turn onto a highway, and the car you turned in front of has to do anything more than ease off the gas, you didn’t have enough room to pull onto the highway using the acceleration pattern you had planned.  The right hand pedal when pushed further, can help with that acceleration.  The dinosaur has been dead for millions of years, he won’t mind!

10. Fog Lights…are for fog.  If it’s foggy, turn them on. If not, don’t. Capiche?

11. Brights, especially the new lights on late model cars, if you can see an oncoming cars headlights, turn your brights off.  The primary purpose of headlights is not to see, but to be seen.  If you think that’s not so, why do the driverless cars have them?

12. Finally, the proper sequence for turning a car.  Somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds prior to turning, turn on your turn signal. (BMW owners, that is that lever on the left side of the steering column you always wondered what it did, but were afraid to try.)
Source: Youtube

 Let it blink a time or two and then apply the brakes.  That gives the poor schmuck behind you a chance to look and see if he should change lanes, ease off the gas or just assess the situation.  Stepping on the brakes first, causes a “WTF” reaction behind you which because of reaction time, means the guy 6 cars back has to lock down his brakes to avoid a collision. 

Oh and one other.  If you have moved to Texas from another state (Active Duty Military is excluded here), change your tags to Texas.  I’ve seen multiple vehicles from other states with expired tags dropping their kids off at sports activities and schools.  That’s not right, and you know it.
She's been here long enough to have a kid  here in T-ball and to have been a regular at a restaurant that's gone out of business, but not long enough to have Texas Plates to replace her Tennessee Plates that expired in 14.
Well, got that off my chest, and it was the result of the drive in to Church this morning, then a drive to Lowes this afternoon.  Just another eventful day in flyover country!

Cheers, Ya'all.

26 comments:

  1. If you're passing a rancher in a ground blizzard, spin out and jart into 8 feet of snow in the ditch, don't do it again. Next time the rancher might just let you freeze to death.

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    1. Purifying the gene pool is a valid reason.

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  2. All that stuff happens here in Virginia too---mostly by "Come Heres".

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    1. Yeah, I know. I've lived in a lot of places, it just rose to fever level around here yesterday it seems.

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  3. Yeah, you'd last about 20 seconds in SoCal with those speed limit sensibilities.

    To wit, " "During Daylight on dry roads with good visibility. The speed on your speedometer and the speed on the sign should be basically the same...."

    Make that +10 in the slow lane and you'll not find yourself in a situation where other drivers choose to discharge their 45's your direction in a 22 zone.

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    1. Well, I did caveat myself for large metropolitan areas, which I'm pretty sure defines Southern California.

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  4. What about the one where:
    If you are making a right turn and are able to make eye contact with an approaching driver, don't start the turn until he has passed.

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    1. Yep, a more succinct version of #9. Well done!

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  5. I have a feeling this is more for your venting as the appropriate Offending Texas drivers who should read this won't care.

    I was telling someone the other day about our CA Highway 1 - one of the most beautiful drives in the country - especially from Carmel (South of Monterey) to San Simeon (where the Hearst Castle is).

    While this is one of the most scenic drives it can be your own purgatory when you come up behind some tourist (usually in eihrer a giant SUV, a Prius or some econobox obviously a rental) going 30-35 and obvious to 20 cars behind them.

    There is an occasional turnout but do they consider that it might be for them?

    Of course not.

    Other than that turnout you have a rock wall on 1 side and a drop to the sea of 100s of feet on the other.

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    1. I suppose a quick hip check off the cliff (to cleanse the gene pool, of course) is not acceptable?

      I'd guess not, but much like the $2 investment on Powerball last week, there's a lot of mental pleasure involved in dreaming.

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  6. Oh, as along as we are having fun here when I have driven in Dallas all of the above goes out the window.

    That LBJ freeway is nuts.

    And how about the maroon who is patiently waiting to enter your road - heavy traffic - you stop - wave him in expecting a nice wave in return, and he then blocks your own lane trying to get into a lane more to the left and his liking?

    Makes you warm inside trying to help a fellow driver ;-)

    All of this falls under what a Marine LT told me 45 years ago was the 10% rule.

    Never hear of the 10% rule?

    In any human endeavor in any location, 10% of the population managed to eff it up for the other 90%.

    It seems to hold true.

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    1. I have a requirement (self imposed) to drive in San Antonio or Austin once every 6 weeks to remind me why I don't live in a City. That having been said, I'm going to rely on my metropolitan caveat for self protection.

      Gonna have to remember the 10% rule. Seems pretty valid.

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  7. Another Texas Thing I might remark upon was the friendly index finger (repeat - index finger) wave when two vehicles pass on two lane roads. Learned that while at 'Goodbuddy' AFB in San Angelo. The friendliest seemed to be those old Chevy and Ford pickups with the gun racks packing honest-to-goodness firearms, not fishing rods.

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    1. You won't see it on the LBJ freeway in Dallas, or on the Katy freeway in Houston, but in Texas' version of flyover country, it's a regular occurrence. My 14YO GMC pickup with 210K on the odometer employ it regularly.

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  8. You didn't mention motorcycles. US 50 in Colorado - summer. Buff and Biffy in their Billy Bad Ass gear along with ten of their friends strung out for a mile and doing ten under the speed limit.

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    1. AHHHH Yes! Wild Hogs! My rule is they have to be in packs of 4 or more and be pulling a train of cars behind them. When seen, I roll down the window of aforementioned pickup, force my face into a deep frown, and hold my hand out the window at a 45 degree angle all the while nodding my head as I go by. Ridicule, the most sincere form of mockery!

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  9. Like that! I like to use my windshield washers when I pass them.

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    1. I usually get a couple of confused looks from them. Drives the wife crazy also, so it's a two-fer!

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  10. Being a Texas girl, I understand the Texas Thang, and it is pronounced thang. Here in OK, they don't get it. In fact, they have a SSSD organization. That is Secret Society of Slow Drivers who seem to make it their purpose in life to drive just under the speed limit on two lanes where passing is near impossible.

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    1. Your pronunciation is correct.

      Lately "just under the speed limit" seems to be defined aa 15 to 30 under. A couple of weeks ago, the wife drove into town behind a safe driver driving at 40 in a 70. She was pulling a 25 car train. 10 minutes to 8 on a weekday. YGBSM! Suffice it to say, when the road opened up to 4 lanes, said driver was treated to several single finger displays. None of which, as RJ would say the "index" finger.

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  11. Juvat, if I may, I'd like to add a corollary to rule #1. Early AM, especially on holiday weekends, the left lane becomes the "Last Call" lane. Someone who has been "overserved" shall we say, leaves the bar at closing time. They really shouldn't be driving, but figure if they only drive home slowly enough, they can handle it. So they come to a freeway offramp and enter, going the wrong way. Immediately they move into what appears to them to be the far right, slow lane. They may or may not have turned their headlights on, because they really don't want to attract attention, now, do they?
    If you are traveling the speed limit in the left hand lane while Mister Happy Hour is coming the wrong way, in the dark, by the time you see the threat and recognize it for what it is, the odds of you being able to respond and avoid a head on, is next to nil. Avoid the Last Call lane at night. Especially on holidays. Learned that from a former highway patrolman.

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    1. Hadn't thought of that. That's a big consideration. Fortunately (?), the highways along here are mostly 4 lane with no median, so that threat might be reduced a bit. The deer are very prevalent here though. The last census before this hunting season kicked off had a quarter million in our county alone. Lived here 17 years now and have hit 10 deer, all at night or dawn/dusk. I'm not a hunter, but I encourage them to bag their limit.

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  12. I was riding down Hwy 1 in Northern CA and came upon a train of about 50 cars and pickups. Couldn't see what was slowing us all down to 35 in a 65 zone, so being on my HD, I started to pass one vehicle at a time. Finally got to the front and was along side a jacked up Chevy with a very irate driver. He yelled me as I went past "Lucky Bastich". Taking this as a hint, I passed the motor home and proceeded to stop in front of him. Sure enough the Chevy came around and cut between me and the as#@ole. 3 guys jump out of the Chevy and proceed to demolish the motor home. I left quickly.

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    1. Winter Texans and their motor homes also contribute to the problem. I mean, if you're driving that slow, what difference does it make to your arrival time, or ability to enjoy the scenery to pull off every time you see several behind you and let them pass? Seems like common sense and decency, but maybe I'm living in a fantasy world.

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  13. Yep, the 'old' Texas rules I grew up with still apply... And I'm getting to use them again! :-D

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    1. It was a nice feeling the first time I saw a truck pull over on to the shoulder. Welcome Home, I think he said. My wife asked what he was doing. Had to run through the rules with her.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)