Once upon a time, someone decided to create big, mechanical beasts that were designed to hurl us down narrow strips of concrete at high speeds, moving towards other large, mechanical beasts going every which way, and the only safety precautions put into place were glorified balloons hiding in the steering wheel and flimsy fabric chest restraints that often do more harm than good. Clearly, I'm talking about cars. (Whoa, I bet you totally had no idea!) While there are lots of ways to get from point A to point B, cars are still the most dominant mode of transportation in the world. So you would think, by this point, we would've figured out how to tame the aforementioned beasts, right? Wrong: In 2012, over 33,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents, which is both shocking and sobering to hear. Why can't we seem to keep it together on the road?
I understand why some people simply choose to abstain from driving. Maybe they live in a big city with adequate public transportation, are scared to get behind the wheel, or have tried driving previously and are just terrible, but there are so many reasons why one would choose not to drive. (Side note: Women's ovaries are not put in danger by driving. That is completely, 100% ridiculous.) As a person who has never wrecked a car, worked at two different jobs as a delivery driver, driven from Chicago to Delaware unaccompanied and with little direction other than "go east," I'd like to think I'm a fairly good driver. Yes, some accidents are bound to happen, but keeping a car in between two lines is really not that difficult.
Why oh why can't people follow these simple rules?
The Basics: North, South, East, West
How hard is it to understand directions like "turn right," "turn left," and "merge onto the highway?" Apparently, extremely. Even if you're traveling in an unfamiliar area, you should be able to figure out that if you miss a right turn, you can take the next right turn and correct from there. Ta-freaking-da!
Drunk driving is never, ever okay
I hate that I'm saying this, but I have allowed clearly intoxicated people get behind the wheel, and I may have even unknowingly been a passenger of one of these people a time or two. When you're hammered, it's hard to gauge where other people's states of mind are sitting. Young Adult Me is absolutely horrified at the stupid stuff Dumb Teen Me did, and as Dumb Teen Me and her Dumb Teen Friends got older, they wizened up and stopped driving after drinking. The moral of the story is please never, ever drink and drive or let your friends drink and drive. It's depressing that we even have to say this out loud anymore, but we do.
Driving in snow doesn't automatically mean your car stops working and the world stops making sense, so calm down
While you shouldn't be drag racing on black ice, driving 5 miles per hour and refusing to go out on the road when there is even a chance of snow is too extreme in the other direction. Allow yourself extra travel time, drive cautiously, don't slam your brakes if you start to slide, and you should be fine.
Don't wear your headphones while behind the wheel
I know you need to jam out to your guilty pleasure car music (mine is Cher, no judgment), but just don't play it through headphones, okay? Shutting yourself off from the outside world makes you less aware of your surroundings and more likely to miss important sounds, like sirens or honking horns. Plus, it's illegal in most states because duh.
Do you seriously need to put your make-up on right now?
Who is checking out your lipstick while you're in the car, anyways? Wait 5 minutes and put it on in your office bathroom like a normal procrastinator.
Speed bumps are not stunt ramps, you weird show-off
Going super fast over a speed bump doesn't make you look cool. Also, it's bad for your car. Also, it doesn't make you look cool.
Please learn when to use your brights and when not to
No in fog. Yes in darkness. No in darkness when you are close to another car. Yes in gang initiations. (Just kidding, I hope.)
Parking requires at least a basic awareness of how angles work
Make your 10th grade Geometry teacher proud and swoop your way into a tight spot every time!
Speeding is never worth it and kinda messes up everyone's day
The average cost of a speeding ticket is 150 bucks, which is a new pair of boots, or a nice sweater, or 30 chai lattes! Don't throw your money away on something that doesn't really even get you to your destination much quicker.
Texting and driving is probably going to kill you and maybe the rest of us so just don't
Extreme? Maybe. But true. Texting and driving is no better than drinking and driving.
They're breaks, not spiders—no need to stomp on them so hard
Hey, does your neck seem to hurt all the time? Could it possibly be caused by your jerky "abruptly stopping and then quickly going" style of driving?
Blind spots are not a myth so please learn where yours are
Mirror, mirror, on my car, who else is behind me that I can't see?! It doesn't know, so you need to turn around and find out.
The rest of us are not here for your road rage, so please get a therapist
Does yelling at other drivers until you're red in the face make you feel better? Does it teach them their lesson once and for all? The only person that benefits is your doctor, who's making a pretty penny off of all the high blood pressure pills he's prescribing to you.
Pedestrians literally always have the right of way
You're making all car drivers look bad.
Pass on the left, drive on the right. It's really not hard.
Unless you are a cat driving a car, you should know this. And if you are a cat driver, how did you get a license?!
SIGNAL BEFORE TURNING
Not after. Not during. Not never. BEFORE.
And never, ever, ever piss off Taylor Swift
Rookie mistake, driver.
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