I am the first to admit that I’ve probably forgotten a couple driving rules in the last ten years (since I took driver’s ed), but there are some things that are just…common sense. Living in Bloomington for the past 7 years, I have come to believe that there is an invisible bubble around the city; when you pass through the bubble, you turn into a bad driver. So, because there are so many bad drivers and I am so tired of getting annoyed, here are some of the rules of the road…just in case you’re wondering.
Red Lights. When a light is red, STOP. I have not taken off at a green light for years. This is because I have not sat at a green light in longer than I can remember where someone didn’t run the red in the opposite direction. And I’m not talking those “wow, I didn’t realize it was going to turn that fast” or even the “I just wasn’t paying attention” kind of running the light. I am talking about the no questions asked, bigger than life, “I am going and you can just sit there forever and I don’t care” kind of running the red light. Unless your life is in danger, or you are about to give birth, SLOW YOUR BUTT DOWN. Leave earlier or resign yourself to being late. Stop trying to either kill yourself or get other people killed.
Tailgating. Riding my bumper. Whatever you want to call it, stop. Getting close enough to see what is in the back of my hatch in your SUV does not make me drive faster. In fact, I slow down, just to spite you. And no, your exasperated shaking of the hands and motioning for me to move faster does not work either.
Along the same lines, please pay attention to speed limits. I don’t like to tailgate anymore than I like people doing it to me, but the fact remains…going 10 in a 40 is just not okay.
If you no longer feel comfortable driving, because of age or otherwise, please do everyone on the road a favor and just stop doing it. I love my grandparents, but sometimes I think driving stopped being a good idea long ago.
Stop signs, like red lights, actually mean something. The “I get to go first because I just won’t stop moving” theory does not work with me. Stop your car at the sign. Rolling through at 5:15 in the middle of rush hour traffic is really not a good idea at all.
Turn signals. If you’re not turning, they shouldn’t be on. The opposite is also true. Use them appropriately.
When you are pulling up to a stop sign and there is traffic coming through that does not have to stop, please do not careen to the sign like a bat out of hell. It scares the driver coming toward you and puts her in a grumpy mood, especially if you proceed to then do any of the above.
Parking. Those lines on the pavement are there for a reason. Please place your car, at the correct angle, within the lines. Try and make it even. Do not park so close to me that I have to crawl through my passenger seat to get behind the wheel.
Headlights. When it is dark, dusk, or rainy, please use them. Especially if your car is the color of rain, pavement, or snow.
The Rotary. No, you do not have to wait until it is completely empty to take your turn. That is why the signs are those funny triangle YIELD signs and not the bright red STOP signs. However, if someone is coming right toward you, please do not try and beat them through the turn. You will make them slam on their brakes and they may even cuss at you.
Just some helpful advice for Bloomington drivers, and those everywhere…