This summer, I had to bike to work pretty much every day. My Mazda’s frame was completely rusted through, got a flat tire, and then just decided that it had had enough,. My mechanic said he shouldn’t even let me drive it off the lot!
Biking really wasn’t the end of the world at all, especially since it only rained one, maybe two days out of every day I worked. It was wonderful to get fresh air and a great way to get pumped up for a 10 hour shift. After a long day of waitressing however, it was hard to get excited about having to peddle myself home. A few weeks ago, I got a new car! It’s a Nissan Sentra, beige/silver, and I just love it.
However, after a few months of biking myself to-and-from everywhere I needed to be, I forgot about how horrible people are at driving. I think you all know exactly what I mean. Cars swerving, vans cutting people off, sports cars driving recklessly…we’ve seen it all. It seems the simple Rules of the Road just do not apply to most drivers any more! When did it get so bad?
Just to let you all know, I am currently living in Québec, Canada. Now, are Québecers really known for their terrible driving abilities? I’ve known a few people from Ontario who seem to agree that the drivers in Québec are mindbogglingly bad. Yes, the SAAQ (la Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec) did have to shut down 6 driving schools in Québec after a reporter “posing as a young driver was able to buy a certificate within minutes at six different schools”, but it can’t be that every single bad driver out there on the roads got their permit after visiting one of those schools.
The truth is, I believe, that people have been driving for so long that they’ve gotten too comfortable and forget that they’re not the only ones trying to get to where they need to go. If everyone was given a multiple choice quiz on basic driving knowledge, I wonder how many would pass. Would everyone know how to read signs or remember the correct lanes to turn into?
For those of you out there who need a little reminder about driving, here are some key points to keep in mind.
A Reminder To Drivers:
- Talking on cell phones while driving in Canada is illegal
- A green light means go. Do not approach a green light, stop at the green light as if it is a stop sign and then go. The vehicles behind you will not anticipate a “stop” when the light clearly says go and there is no reason to stop.
- Do not make a U-Turn when there is a “No u-turn” sign. Other drivers may have a turning light, causing them to turn into you as you do this illegal turn.
- SIGNAL YOUR INTENTIONS! If you are changing lanes or turning, make sure you signal.
- Drive slowly in parking lots. There are people and cars everywhere.
- Park in between the lines in a parking lot, not on them.
- Acknowledge when you have made a mistake. Don’t act as if your mistake didn’t almost cause an accident (whether big or small). Mouth that you’re sorry or make an apologetic face.
- If you are driving in the left lane, at least go the speed limit. Driving way under the limit makes you an obstacle on the road, forcing people to pass you unsafely on the right.
- If you did not realize you are in a turning lane and actually wanted to keep going straight: TURN. It is extremely dangerous to continue going straight when everyone at the intersection expects you to turn. Follow the direction that you MUST travel in.
- A straight green arrow means you can not turn (a lot of times used when there is a timer for pedestrians to cross). Do not honk your horn at the car in front of you that is following the rules of the road. Instead, wait patiently for the straight green arrow to turn into a green circle.
- Stop tailgating. Just….stop it. It doesn’t make the situation any better in any way.
- While on the inside lane of a two-lane left turn, stick to your lane. Veering off to the right will cause an accident. Here is the correct way to turn:
There are so many other annoying, bad habits that people have while driving and way to many to name. Those were a few reminders that I felt were necessary to bring up because they have to do with the bad habits I witness the most.
Remember everyone, drive safely, follow the rules of the road, and if you’re interested…take an online quiz to see how well you’d do. Everyone needs a reminder sometimes!
Feel strongly about certain bad driving habits?
Let us know! Leave a private comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can add it to my list of reminders.