November 10th, 2010
The Dos, Don’ts and Maybes of Houston Driving
You flip on your turn signal, accelerate, look over your shoulder then back… And BAM! You’re in an accident. Yep, some guy eight cars up decided that he was a little too timid to merge onto the freeway and thought stopping on the entrance ramp was a better idea.
Yes, that is what driving in Houston is like. Sure, people want you to believe that bad drivers are everywhere, but I tend to think that Houston is the center of the cone of driving ignorance. Why? I have no idea, but one theory is that a lot of drivers within the Beltway during rush hour are from the suburbs and have become so accustomed to driving on their nicely manicured streets that the sudden onslaught of high grass, potholes, and “Live Girls” signs play tricks with their minds and they end up forgetting which exit is theirs and other basic driving skills.
For everyone’s sake, I’ve compiled this little list of Do’s and Don’ts so that you can blend in with the rest of us crazy Houston drivers.
– Slow down while changing lanes. No one likes making sure the flow of traffic is normal so the more you tap your brakes while getting over, the better.
– Tailgate like there is no tomorrow. Everyone knows that those precious few inches between you and the person in front of you are irretrievable if lost, so make sure you can see the whites of the eyes of the driver in front of you.
– Make right turns from the middle lane. What a great way to get around those pesky drivers who are sitting in the right lane for a whole two minutes. Throw patience to the wind and whip around them like MacGyver.
– Slam on your brakes while entering the freeway. Who needs a front bumper? Certainly not me and apparently no one else behind me.
– Avoid using your turn signal except to let someone know that you want to cut them off. That’s right, there’s no need to use your turn signal, it’s for wusses. The only reason to use it is to let that guy one lane over know that he needs to slam on his brakes in 3…2…1…
– Wave when someone allows you to merge into their lane. Courteousness must be crushed.
– Allow for easy passage of emergency vehicles. Race that sucker to the scene of the accident/fire/donut shop.
– Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks. Ten bucks for the fat ones. One hundred for the lithe runner. One thousand if they’re pushing one of those obnoxious three-wheeled strollers.
– Change lanes when there’s a stalled vehicle on the shoulder. It’s their fault that 2 X 4 flew off the truck in front of them and blew out all four tires. Make sure they pay the price by having to replace the driver’s side door when you take it off the hinges as they try to get out and assess the damage.
– Slow down in school zones. No one likes kids anyway.
–Allow people to merge on to the freeway. It’s like a real life version of Gran Turismo. Speed up, slow down, do whatever you have to do to keep that dumb driver from getting on the same road as you. (How dare they!?)
– Think about knocking out your own tail lights. Nothing says class more than confusing the hell out of people behind you.
– Ignore those warnings about high water under overpasses. It’s just the man trying to keep you from making that u-turn.
– Consider not renewing your auto insurance. Lord knows I love getting into accidents with folks who aren’t covered.
Let’s get serious folks, a little common courtesy goes a long way in our fine city. I know we’re a long way from solving our traffic woes but we can at least make the long commute home somewhat bareable.