I have always been a cautious driver, always. Before I got my driver’s license I enrolled in a lengthy defensive driving class and was an apt pupil soaking in all of the lessons as if my life depended on it. Oh wait…

To say I was nervous about being a new driver would be an understatement. I was terrified and I waited a full year beyond the legal age allotted to take my test to get my license. My fear was easily traced back to the death of my older Uncle by a drunk driver and the near death of my Grandmother by a disastrous collision with a semi. Those two events happened within six weeks of each other.

So when it was time for me to get behind the wheel I wanted to make sure I knew all of the rules and I wanted to make sure that I did all that I could do be safe. This means that I soaked up all of the things to do to try to keep an accident at bay- keeping a car length between myself and the car ahead of me, slowing down at a yellow light, etc.

I’m starting to think I might be the only person that doesn’t tailgate. And I know that I am the only one that has a car with working turn signals. But I can’t be the only one that is missing etiquette on the road. Which is why I have come up with:

My Rules of the Road:

1) Just because you believe it is clear and safe for me to make a turn does not make it so. Honking is not a way to vote.

2) At night bright lights can be sensitive to people’s eyes. If you see my car coming towards you dim your brights.

3) If you want me to go faster I am sorry to tell you that there is no physical way that your car can make this happen – please do not drive closer to me in the hopes that it will propel me forward.

4) My air conditioner is broken, which is all me, but it would be swell if you could refrain from exhaling your cigar/ cigarette smoke in the direction of my open window if we are waiting at a red light next to each other.

5) Sometimes my kid falls asleep in the car and it would be awesome if your top twenty countdown wasn’t so loud that it woke him up.

6) Would it be so hard to yield every once in a while? Can’t you see me? I’ve got my blinker on!

7) The reason I am not an inch apart from the car ahead of me is so that I will be safe if that car stops short- that inch is not your invitation to merge in front of me.

How about you? Do you have your own rules of the road?

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