Two of the most-used clichés in the world of libertarianism are a sarcastic “But who will build the roads?!” and “Come on guys, spontaneous order!”
Well, I commute 120 miles a day, five days a week, for work. It’s approximately 50 miles Interstate and 10 miles city driving. Through the last four months of this arrangement I’ve observed many different styles of driving and noticed the strengths and weaknesses of drivers in my area. I suspect, however, that some of these problems are more widespread than the southeast.
Below are my set of rules and suggestions I think every driver should follow. I don’t care if you call me a central planner, this is important enough for intervention.
So, come on, spontaneous people, here are your orders!
Rules for the Interstate:
- If my tax dollars are going to teach public school students “Driver’s Ed.” 90% of the time devoted to this class should be used to teach the proper method of merging. In my experience, merging delays are 75% of what give me road rage.
- If you are in the left, or passing, lane and you are not actively passing the person to your right, I will assume you are, at the very least, an annoying person. If you are doing this, and driving under the speed limit I assume you and I are mortal enemies
- 18-wheelers who try to pass other vehicles when going up a hill are the worst. End of story. If you happen to drive an 18-wheeler, just don’t do that. Ever.
- Have your lights on. Always. Just make it a habit to flip your switch, turn your knob, or push your button as soon as you crank your engine.
- Use your blinker.
Rules for city driving:
- If you don’t immediately go when the light turns green, I will give you a three second grace period before I give you a polite beep of the horn to steal your attention away from your phone and to the task at hand. Every one gets distracted during a long red light; I don’t think you’re a bad person for that, BUT if you flip me off, slam on your brakes in the middle of the intersection, or otherwise not appreciate my polite reminder I WILL THINK YOU ARE A JERK AND I WILL NEVER BE YOUR FRIEND. Your loss, really.
- The most important factor in city driving is moving forward. Just go.
- Just because there are signs, lights, and the occasional traffic cop, it doesn’t mean that you need to stop paying attention to your surroundings. In fact, when the stoplights in this German town were taken away, there were fewer wrecks and traffic issues than before.
- We need to come up with a signal for when you are going to make a U-turn, rather than just a left-hand turn. I vote the Miami University U.
- For the love of all that is holy, Use Your Blinker
One thing that applies to drivers on all roads is their propensity to slam on the brakes as soon as a cop car is in sight. Now I (knock on wood) have a perfect driving record, but I’ve never gotten closer to a disastrous crash than when the people in front of me freak out over some blue lights and stomp the brakes to the floor, rubber-neck, and end up going 10 miles below the speed limit.
I can practically hear the copper chortling in his car. It infuriates me.
Like I said, these are just my observations, but I think if everyone followed them, it would make this commuter’s two hours on the road every day much more merry and bright.