If you spend enough time on the highways around Phoenix, you've undoubtedly noticed that it's hard to go for a drive without witnessing an act of sheer stupidity from another driver.
That said, we revisited the state's driver manual, and picked out 10 things everyone needs to relearn, now:
10.) Stop Texting
Pull off the road safely and stop if you are going to use a cell phone or send/receive a text message. Use of such devices while driving results in distracted driving behavior and is dangerous.
If you text and drive, do everyone a favor and just punch yourself in the throat.
9.) Stop Tailgating
When the vehicle ahead of you passes a certain point, such as a sign or over-pass, count "one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three, one-thousand-four." This takes about four seconds. If you pass the same point before you finish counting, you are following too closely. At faster speeds, the distance should be greater. At times you will need more than a 3-second cushion (e.g., poor road conditions). Give yourself 3 to 6 seconds for more cushion.
Nobody wants a colonoscopy while they're driving, so stop attempting to drive up people's rear ends.
8.) Don't Drive in Blind Spots
Avoid driving in someone else's blind spot. This can be just as dangerous as not checking your own. Speed up or drop back, but never stay for an extended time in a blind spot area. Make sure your vehicle can be seen by other drivers.
If people actually A.) looked into their mirrors, and B.) had the mirrors adjusted correctly, then this probably wouldn't be a huge problem, but that seems like an extremely rare combination these days. It's hard to go a day on a Phoenix freeway without seeing an oblivious person about to veer on over into another driver.
7.) Use a Turn Signal . . . Before You Turn
Signal at least 4 seconds before you turn so other drivers will have time to react.
Gee, when you think about it, turning on the turn signal just as you start turning the wheel -- after you've been braking for 400 feet -- kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?
6.) Don't Speed Up When Someone Passes You
Never speed up when another vehicle is passing you.
If you do this, please drive off a cliff so no one will ever try to pass you again. Equally annoying are people who speed up to pass, only to pull in front of you and drive slower than you.
5.) Learn What that Upside-Down Triangle Means
This shape requires that you yield the right-of-way to cross traffic or to merging traffic.
Note it doesn't say, "Come to a complete stop and take a brief nap while there's no cross-traffic," nor does it say "Just close your eyes and drive on in with complete disregard for the heavy traffic currently occupying the road you're about to turn onto."
4.) Figure Out Roundabouts
A roundabout is an intersection control device with traffic circulating around an island. Approaching vehicles must yield to the traffic in the circle. Always yield to pedestrians and bicyclists that are crossing the road. Always enter a roundabout to the right of the central island. Traffic in the roundabout always has the Right of way.
Roundabouts: The number-one cause of skid-marks in Phoenix drivers' shorts. They're rare, but everyone acts like there's a dragon in the road when they approach one. If there's no one immediately to your left in the roundabout, do not stop in front of the roundabout. Once you're in, do not stop in the roundabout. That's it.
3.) Do Not Get on the Highway Going 45 MPH
The key to entering a freeway is to accelerate on the entrance ramp lane to match the speed of freeway traffic in the right lane. Signal before you merge to indicate that you want to enter. Check the traffic around you and when clear merge carefully.
"Hm, everyone on the highway is going at least 65 mph, I should be good if I just cut them off while going 45 mph." -- Idiot
2.) Obey the Lines
Do not cross a solid line or through the Gore Area.
Kindergarten concept: Color inside the lines. If you're too dumb to obey the lines, sell your car, and take the bus to the nearest book store, where you can buy a stack of coloring books to practice with.
1.) Obey the Passing Lane
Explanations on pages 24, 28, 29, and 33. Here's the explanation from page 29:
Stay to the right and only use the left lane for passing. If you are traveling on a highway with three lanes, treat the far right lane as a slower-speed through lane and the far left lane as the passing lane.
Wow, there are four different places in the driver's manual where it's explained that the left-hand lane should only be used for passing, and not for just cruising down the highway and clogging it up for everyone else? It's almost like they're trying to say that you should
GET YOUR IGNORANT SELF OUT OF THE PASSING LANE.
Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
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