Don’t Be That Guy. . .

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You know – Clover.that dude lead

It’s actually pretty easy.

The Don’t Do’s:

* Don’t pull out in front of people – and then fail to accelerate quickly enough such that the driver you pulled out in front of is forced to brake hard or swerve to avoid rear-ending you. If your car’s not quick enough do this – or you’re too scared to do this – wait until there’s space (and time) enough for you to merge without endangering and annoying everyone else. Or get a quicker car. Or take some driving lessons.

* Don’t come to a complete stop at stop signs at the top of hills when driving in a snowstorm. You’ll get stuck – and then everyone else behind you trying to make it up the hill will get stuck, too. Keep moving. If you’re afraid to – or unable to – stay home when it snows.jesus honk

* Don’t  just turn on your turn signal and expect other drivers to make room. Accelerate to match the speed of traffic, then signal – then merge.

* Don’t tailgate. Ever, for any reason. It’s always obnoxious, never safe – and only makes a bad situation (such as a slow poke in front of you) worse. Give them a wide berth, then pass them at the first opportunity.

* Don’t wait like a lobotomized zombie at red lights that never change. If no cops or cameras are watching, ignore the light – after making sure the way is clear. Use your brain, exercise independent judgment. It’s just a red light. It’s not alive, it’s not coming after you. It’s not a deity that must be obeyed.rolling roadblock

* Don’t “pace” the car to your right (or left) when driving on a two-lane (same direction) road. If you’re in the left lane and there’s a car to your right, you are driving too slowly. The left lane is the passing lane. Either speed up enough to pass the car to your right and then signal and move over into the right lane – or reduce your speed, fall back, and slot in behind the car in the right lane. Otherwise, you’re blocking traffic – which is illegal in most states. You know… like “speeding.”

* Don’t be the jack-off who makes everyone wait while he backs his car into a parking space. You don’t look “cool” – you look like a dick. And you’re not saving time, either. Not if it takes you twice as long to back in as it would have to just park nose first, like everyone else.

The Do’s:

* Pay attention to the light (watch opposing traffic, as well as the opposing signal) so that you’re ready to go before it turns green. Sitting there like a cucumber waiting for the green to appear inevitably means a delay before you get moving. Maybe you’re in no hurry – but that doesn’t mean the people behind you aren’t.backing up guy

* When driving along on a two-lane road, ease over to the left lane when you see a car up ahead that’s clearly waiting to merge from a side street. It’s a dick move to stay to the right when you could easily move over for a moment to let the guy trying to merge, merge.

* Use your turn signal. See item above.

* Leave adequate space between you and the car ahead . . . but close the gap when you get to a traffic light, so that people behind you trying to get to the turn lane can get to it.

* Pull up to the white line that’s usually painted at the mouth of every signaled “T” or “+” intersection so that your car will trigger the timer… so that you – and everyone behind you – won;t have to sit through three or four cycles before the light finally goes green for you(and them, if they manage to make it through in time).

* Pay attention to the task at hand. You know, driving. If you can’t multi-task, then don’t try. How to know? If you find that people are honking at you because you didn’t notice the light turned green – because you were too engrossed by your iPhone – put the damned thing down and drive.

clover lead

* Use your mirrors – especially your rearview mirror. If you see a car coming up behind you, move right now – before he actually gets behind you.  This simple thing, if practiced generally, would greatly reduce tension on the roads because people would get where they’re headed sooner – and waste a lot less gas along the way.

* Flash your brights to alert other drivers to the presence of pork. We’re all in this together.

Throw it in the Woods?  

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102 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting tid-bit: Back when I still lived on Lawn Guyland[Long Island], I’d say about 70% of the people who parked at the local LIRR station used to back in. I mean, you had cars there paked sideways in the middle of the aisles; throngs of people walking to their cars after being discharged from the train; tons of other cars leaving. I’d say that many learned that backing-in was a prerequisite and matter of self-preservation. Then along came the goobermint (Long Island has more gov’t than Stalin’s Russia or Hitler’s Germany) and spent tens of millions of [our]dollars to clean-up the parking lot….so now, far fewer cars can park, even though the lot is bigger; and they make a small fortune charging fees, and giving out tickets to any car not parked in “an official” spot. Once again, gov’t has broken what they were claiming to “fix”. I miss the days of the old gravel lot, where ya got to see the free market at work, and people cooperating to jam the most cars in, in a manner that will never be possible in a gov’t-regulated lot.

  2. I go one further than backing in.

    If there are open spaces, I park far enough away that there is no car adjacent to me.

    Why trust anyone. Why risk anything happening while you are in your car. Or while you are away from it. Why take even an infinitesimal risk, when all you need to do is walk an extra 40 feet.

    In other circumstances I go much further. Why not park far enough away from your destinations, that no one can connect you to your vehicle. The less anyone knows, the better. OpSec 101.

    I salute you backers inners, because that changes up the whole game. The whole clover narrative gets set on its ear, and breaks down.

    How is a clover to know who is a good guy and who is a bad guy if there are two or more options available. Sith Lords need absolutes to function as Siths.

    If you bitterly cling to your identity as a backer, you can never go wrong. If you are in a good mood, seize the opportunity to cause as little ruckus as possible. But never, ever, even consider not backing in. That’s who you are. That’s what you do.

    Fully transcend the objections and cognitive dissonances of backing in, and you can transpose that skill dozens and even hundreds of more times in other situations. You’ll quickly find you have become clover-proof.

    – First they came for the Socialists, and I never again spoke out. Don’t identify your politics, or they might come for you.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I never again spoke out. Don’t identify how you make your living, or they might come for you.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I never again spoke out. Don’t identify your race, creed, religion, or any details really, because you never know who is going to be coming for whom at some point down the road.

    Then they came for me–and I was long fucking gone. I stopped answering knockings at the door since the time with the socialists. Unless I was expecting someone. I was never in an unsecure place even, where anyone could break in and come for any one.

    The greatest lesson to be learned is the one of personal survival and continuing to live as one wants to live.

    As the article title says, Don’t Be That Guy… whichever guy it is that they’re going to be coming for anytime soon.

    • I really like parking horizontally, myself. Call me a back-forty space-hog?

      RE: “Don’t Be That Guy… whichever guy it is that they’re going to be coming for anytime soon.”

      In a parking-lot that works. … [Everywhere else?]

      Anyway, I’m glad the other car has door stoppers, a.k.a. rock sliders.

      For example, this: grocery cart stopper, too.

    • LOL! Great post there, Tor! Hey, there’s some truth in what you say though… Part of the fun of being a backer-inner is in being different, and settingt oneself apart from the crowd! And you know? Sometimes I will take a spot in which I can pull straight through, even if it’s a little further away- My usual modus operandi is to look for those spaces 1st. If I happen to see a spot right up front though- ya know, one of those coveted non-handicapped end spots….I’ll grab it! -and I’ll just pull straight in! I’m not taking a chance of anyone beating me out of that! Tell ya the truth though, since I stopped shopping at Walmart, parking strategies have become less of an issue. I think I need to write a book on this subject 😉

  3. In defense of front-in parking; when I see back-up lights I leave enough room for the backer to get out. I’m ‘forced’ to act in what seems a discourteous way when people are pulling front-first out of a spot because I can’t read their minds and don’t know they are wanting out until its too late.

    • Yeah, but here’s the thing, Get Real- If I’m backed in, I can see what’s coming and can wait till it’s clear before pulling out- so I don’t have to force you to yield nor act discourteous. It’s also a lot safer for any pedestrians, etc. I hate backing out for those very reasons- you just can’t see good. (Well….not as true with my tall 4×4 truck….but still….)

      You know what’s funny though: You don’t often see other people backed-in- but as soon as you park that way, when you come back to your car, there are several other people around you parked the same way! People are truly sheep. Us back-ins must be mavericks/innovators! 😀 (Seriously…try it some time!)

      • I dunno, Moleman.

        I have some spotlights on my back bumper tyed into the backup lights on my older truck, so I can see out my back window pretty clearly, day Or night.

        Lots of visibility on the older models, don’tchyaknow.

        I guess i get your point if you own one of those new fangled contraptions with no rear-view visibility. That was my Number one complaint about my 1991 Firebird: Backing up with that was an adventure in guestimation and crossing-fingers. Especially on an incline! I can’t imagine what it’s like with some of the behemoths I see nowadays. Even in comparison to “tiny cars” like a Charger. Heck, I half-almost don’t worry about the cop in my town who drives one seeing me out the back of his window. By my estimation, he can’t see Jack.

        I guess that’s, “A good Thing”?

        • So true about the newer cars, Helot- I won’t have one. But even in my big ol’ F250, if I’m nose-in, a lot of times you just can’t see what’s coming from the sides. I do have great visibility compared to most other vehicles- but then there’s the fact that [at least around here] they’re making the parking spaces smaller now-a-days, and the aisles narrower, which makes backing out with a long-bed extra-cab truck even trickier (Although, I’ve always backed-in, even when I was younger and drove cars)- I think the main thing for me, is I just like being able to hop in my vehicle when I’m ready to leave, and just being able to pull right out and go. Plus, if I ever decide to become a bank robber, I’ll already have a good habit to ensure a fast getaway! 😀

  4. I have another Cloveritic behavior to add to the list – or maybe its just a variant of something already mentioned.
    Traveling on a multi-lane road and want to change lanes to pass someone. There is a gap in traffic beside me (usually on the left), because Clover is pacing me from behind. But when I signal to pull into the opening, he accelerates to prevent me. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve about given up on signalling in such situations.

    • Phillip the Bruce wrote, “I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve about given up on signalling in such situations.”

      I still signal in those situations, but as I do so, I might say to myself, “I’m not asking. I’m telling you”.

      …Maybe then, it becomes a game of, ‘Chicken’?

      Or, “learning some manners”?

      …I don’t know. …Hopefully you all don’t consider that Clover behavior.

      Anyway, it’s worked ok like that so far. ..Maybe it’s like driving in Mexico? The guy with the nicer car yields to the guy driving the shittier car,… or, to the guy who does not seem to give a fuck?

      Again, …Hopefully you all don’t consider that Clover behavior.
      What else you gonna do in that situation?

      • I should clarify some.

        I Only do that when there’s things like a lane closure up-ahead, or I’m from out of town and I have to unexpectedly make that next turn-off up-ahead.

        Otherwise, I might just bite my tongue and wait.

        You’ve gotta anticipate.

        For other circumstances, Imho, if people are being jerky, there’s nothing wrong with turning As you signal. …But always use your signal in that situation. JMHO.

        • My philosophy of driving [and bicycle-riding; and walking; and pretty much everything else] is that whatever I do should not affect anyone else / not cause anyone else to have to take any actions to compensate for what I do. I just wish everyone else would play by the same rules. The way a person drives reveals a lot about their overall philosophies/worldview/values/politics/religion. I’m a Christian Anarcho-Capitalist Libertarian. I think my driving would bear-out that fact; just as you can tell who the Obammer-loving/socialists/entitled are on the roads. (Although, luckily, the worst of the aforementioned are standing at a bus stop!)

  5. more NJ hell:

    “When a cop’s speedo becomes a lawfully assented and gazetted measurement device, THEN I MIGHT pay attention to it 😉 ”

    It is here. Got citation by speedo pacing from IN FRONT (through his rearview mirror).
    State trooper was never closer than maybe 10 car lengths, but varied, doesn’t matter.
    Nor the fact that it was traffic jam, 1h to travel about 20 miles, with the intermittent speed not anywhere near what was cited.
    His word that it was so is considered prima-facie evidence.

    No one fights it, cause the process would cost thousands of dollars.

    About all the backing into parking spots comments:
    is NJ the only state where it’s illegal in many towns to back into spots?
    Signed: “park car front to curb only”. Costs more than an expired meter, lol.

    Warning of speed traps:
    I like that flashing decision, but in NY, they’ll cite you not for warning, but for “dazzling” other drivers, which is a prohibited conduct. Bet all NY courts will uphold, more dough.

  6. Why do i have to scroll to the bottom to comment? Its an inconvenience (much like having to tap my brakes when it shouldn’t have been necessary.)

    For me, being behind a trucker or even a van can be annoying. I want to know whats IN FRONT of you, and you’re blocking my view! Be the aware, courteous driver and move a little toward the shoulder so I can see around you when something is changing, especially if traffic ahead is slowing.

    When I was living in North Ga., many moons ago, courteous drivers would signal, even if THEY were not turning…someone in front of them was and they simply wanted to alert me. It struck me as something cool to do, and still does.

    • The drivers in northern Georgia on I-75 pace with the slow lane for long distances more often then anywhere else in the U.S! I have been an OTR truck driver for quite a few years, so yes; I do know that. That state has also banned parking on ramps many years ago. Ramps are great places for trucks to park when drivers become sleepy or run out of hours to drive legally and the nearby truckstops are unavailable, full, or undesirable.
      The drivers in Texas used to impress me back in the ’80’s because the slower traffic used to slow down and drive on the wide shoulder on bidirectional 2 lane roads to let others pass. Truck drivers also used to do that in many states even on Interstate highways if they were climbing hills slowly, but sadly: some states made it illegal to drive on the shoulder, and many shoulders now have highly annoying rumble strips. I still drive on the shoulder when I get a chance to legally do so if it is wide enough and I can see that it is clear for quite some distance.
      A warning to everyone: If you are stopped on the road waiting for oncoming traffic to pass by so that you can make a left turn: Do NOT stop with your wheels turned! Keep your wheels aimed straight ahead until you can actually complete that turn because otherwise you might get rear-ended and be pushed in front of on-coming traffic! I speak from second hand experience here as I got stranded in a traffic back-up that was caused when one car rear-ended another one with its wheels turned, and that car got pushed in front of an on-coming semi-truck. That car driver perished!
      Brian

  7. If everybody had to go through the regulatory processes that truck drivers experience as routine, there’d be a lot fewer morons on the road, and they’d pay for their lack of consideration by being more regularly surveillance by less outnumbered patrol officers.
    I’m not sure that it takes any more time to back into a parking space than it does to back out, but backing in is demonstrably safer than backing out, especially if you are driving something articulated and multiaxled. It is much easier to see the morons who think they are at qualifying at time trials in a parking lot if one is looking out of ones windshield than if looking in mirrors and through neighboring cars. In either case, there is a lot to be said for allowing the morons to clear the scene rather than emulating them.

    • Agreed Bill, although I’ve received a parking ticket (not that I ever paid it) for parking reversed in an angled spot and got fined for parking on the nature strip pointing the “wrong” way.

      I never paid either because the Council has no jurisdiction to issue fines, only a court can do that.

      But I believe that if it’s easier to back into and safer to come out of a parking spot forwards then there should be no problem.

  8. There’s a decent dystopian drama on Lifetime Network (not the alpha bonobo when it comes to choosing entertainment options obviously)(and also I’m being that [offtopic] guy… again)

    ‘The Lottery’ does a good job of defining the kind of cage we currently occupy. And also shows a few of the options that still remain within this new zoo-creature nightmare we all find ourselves in.

    The Lottery is an American post-apocalyptic drama television series. Set in a world destined for extinction as women have stopped having children. When remarkably 100 embryos are successfully fertilized, a national lottery is held.

    Basically it’s Children of Men turned into a weekly hourly drama found on Lifetime on Sundays.

    The Lottery
    http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/the-lottery

    Lottery Season 1 (new links will be added each week)
    http://tvwat.ch/watch/the-lottery-season-1/9728

    Lifetime’s ‘The Lottery’ Channels Children Of Men:
    http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/scifi/weeks-scifi-television.html

    It’s 2025 Maternity Wards Are Empty – NYT
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/19/arts/television/the-lottery-on-lifetime-a-world-of-tough-choices.html?_r=0

    -How much longer ARE we to be expected to continue to breed under statist captivity, anyway?

    • You’ve got me interested. I’ll check out both the movie and the show.

      There was a show on Netflix I believe that was called Jericho which I thoroughly enjoyed as well. Which also reminded me of a book called “one second after” which was pretty good.

      Take it with a grain of salt, this comes from a guy who loves the post apoc movies such as book of eli etc.

  9. Another do:

    If you’re passing someone in the right lane, especially if that person moved over to accommodate your passing move, pay attention to THEIR space, and if they’re about to be jammed into the spot, short of braking, accelerate to make room for them to pass that obstacle.

    This is why I sometime left-lane hog, there simply is not enough room between vehicles to move in-and-out and the person behind is most likely not going to do their part to accommodate.
    So your courtesy forces ends up condemning you to the often much slower right lane, because of the dunces that won’t pass the right way…

  10. In addition to being tailgated, the thing that frosts me the most is when a four lane road is going down to two lanes and some idiot that thinks he’s more important than everyone else races around to jump ahead of three or four cars. Like that is going to save a whole lot of time. That’s about the same as the one’s that decide to take the shoulder when the interstate gets jammed…and I’m not talking about where the exit is right there at you. Just a little courtesy always makes for a better driving experience and treat people like you want to be treated.

    • But you know, most people merge MUCH to early, people SHOULD drive all the way up to the merge point.
      That is not jumping the line, but smart use of space.
      Merging too early, esp. if everybody does it at that point so as not to be seen as a jumper, only causes valuable square yards to be left vacant, which in turn needlessly backs up the road further back.

      that is why some jurisdictions actually say to merge as far ahead as possible.
      Zipper fashion of course, another thing people don’t get

  11. Living in Grand Canyon country my gripe list is quite long.
    1. Idiots and their road barges (RV rentals). If you are going well below the PSL (and you are) and notice several dozen vehicles snaking out behind you . . . freaking PULL OVER and let them pass!
    2. Tourists who absolutely must pull out from the gas station/C-store onto the highway without stopping and then maintain a brisk walking speed for several miles.
    3. “Passholes” who drive well below the PSL until the road widens and then decide to match the speed of my passing-your-idiot-@$$ vehicle.
    4. Distracted idiots using their not-so-smart phones. And, no, you cannot multi-task, regardless of what your BFF has told you.
    5. Turn signals? Use them.
    6. Wannabe Ansel Adams types? Pull over and stop your vehicle to capture that “breathtaking” scene.
    7. A bit OT, but tourists . . . stop rating our local greasy spoon rip-off joints 5-stars on YELP and Trip Advisor. You’re clearly not thinking clearly in your tourist-addled brain and you’re just encouraging the Chamber Pot of Commerce mafia.

    • Hi Mike,

      I feel your pain!

      We also live in a “scenic” are (our place is walking distance to the Blue Ridge Parkway).. and the Tourist Clovers are a veritable plague. They do all the things you just described….

      And there are more and more of them each year.

  12. And never park at a stop sign. If you see the other guy stopping, get your ass going! Another dangerous and wasteful consequence of “law enforcement”, people afraid of almost completely stopping at a sign.

    • Yup – but you CAN be ticketed for failing to properly stop – defiend in the NJ driving manual as, fully stopped, no forward momentum, for 8 seconds.
      Fail to remain in place for 8 seconds, a cop can ticket you.

      Never heard of it being enforced, but – dead cops enforce nothing. Much better that way.
      And I HAVE heard of people getting tickets for going TOO SLOW, even on a side road. Speed Limit 45, she got ticketed for doing 35. She was lost, looking for a turn. (Before Tomtom et al were common.) Only person on the road? Cop.

      They, and all their ilk, are cacer.
      We are the immune system.

      We know how to deal with cancer….

      • Amen, bro! Cops are the hemorrhoids on the anus of humanity. No wonder the gov”t always out-laws any remedy which would really cure cancer…because the stinking pigs’d be the first thing to go. The idiotic and traitorous Supreme Court has given them virtual dictatorial powers. We now live in a police-state- and yet half the sheeple still complain that “There isn’t enough enforcement”; thinking that would stop dangerous drivers- and not realizing until THEY are victimized, that the fuzz mainly go after hapless innocent people who pose no threat to them and who pay their fines.

        • Hi Mole,

          Amen. Unfortunately.

          My wife’s friend just got pinched. For 54 in a 45. A 45 zone where everyone – even the Clovers – is running at least 50-something. He just picked her out of the crowd. Shooting fish in a barrel.

          And they don’t give a shit. Doesn’t bother them in the least that they’re plundering people they know haven’t done anything to warrant it. “Just doing their job” and all….

        • I see traffic flowing smoothly along a multi-lane highway as the free market at work…everyone is making good, personal decisions about what they want to do with their vehicle, and no one has had any accident to slow traffic down. Then, all of a sudden, traffic is jammed-up, no one is passing, all lanes are traveling at the SAME SPEED! What the crap? 9 out of 10, its a cop that everyone is afraid to pass. Government slows progress, on the road, and in society.

          • When a cop’s speedo becomes a lawfully assented and gazetted measurement device, THEN I MIGHT pay attention to it 😉

          • Exactly, Steve.

            Everyone has seen what you’ve described – yet depressingly few are able to draw the logical – the obvious – conclusion.

          • Hi Rev,

            Of course, what’s got to be “thrown in the woods” is the entire doctrine of positive law – insofar as it’s not derived from and conforms with the NAP.

            If a given action results in actual harm to an actual person, that is prima facie evidence that an offense – properly speaking – has been committed. If the action involved malice, or it can be demonstrated that there was deliberate intent to cause harm, then we have a crime – properly speaking.

            The above scales and could be – should be – the basis for all law.

            Or rather, no more law than this is necessary.

            Legitimate law ought not to require a law degree or formal training to parse.

            Is there a victim? Yes – or no.

            Was the harm caused by inadvertence – or recklessness – or was it deliberately calculated to cause harm?

            In the case of the first, simple restitution. Make the injured party whole. In the case of the second, the degree of culpability being higher, perhaps “make them whole – plus something else.” Perhaps a monetary bonus to the victim paid by the reckless person. Etc.

            Deliberate criminality can be – ought to be – dealt with more severely. Because the core of it is a conscious, willful rejection of the NAP.

            Such people perhaps are not salvageable.

  13. I generally back in to a parking spot….but NOT if there are cars behind me. (Not that I care about making them wait- as someone else is going to have to wait anyway when I back out…) but because it confuses people these days, no matter how you signal/position your truck, etc. (You could have a blinking 3′ high neon sign on your tailgate that says “I’m going to back into this space, stoopit!-> -> ->” and they would still try and pass you or sneak into the space 1st; or pull up right behind you…)

  14. Use the onramp to accelerate to highway speed, not the highway. Out here we have nice long 1/2 mile onramps that make it easy for just about any car to get up to highway speed BEFORE entering the highway. Yet every day I see people of all types poking along at 35-40 on the ramp, ignoring the traffic in the right lane, and pushing their way in, assuming the traffic is going to move over. Most of the time they do, but when they don’t (for whatever reason, since legally they have the right of way), the entering Clover usually panics and ends up in the breakdown lane, or the vehicle on the highway has to slam on their brakes and/or perform a potentially very hazardous move into the left lane. BTW the same rule holds true for getting off the highway, maintain speed until you get into the off ramp.

    I’m all for letting people in, but unfortunately this courtesy has become expected, at least around here. It seems to me there’s entirely too many unnecessary lane changes around highway exits, just because everyone ignores Yield signs.

    • yes I was going to mention in the article I didn’t notice anything about merging. my esteemed spouse and I get into it at one particular interstate entrance. it’s a slightly awkward merge from an interstate spur from the left into the left lane of the main interstate and if traffic on the main highway is heavy she has this annoying (and dangerous) habit of slowing down beyond minor speed adjustments, to the point of even stopping. And if you’re stopped there it’s not a super high visibility on-ramp from the perspective of someone burning down to from behind you to get onto the main road. Scares hell out of me to stop dead on it. Once a kid on a crotch rocket whipped around our stopped SUV to get into the traffic- we had quite a spirited discussion that day!- I keep telling her hit the gas to get highway speed it’s a MERGE NOT A YIELD but to no avail she’s afraid no one will allow us in whearas my take is if I’ve matched traffic it IS a merge they damn well will let me in or I’ll make a way even if I’m in my little Mystique. This is almost funny she’s the one who tends to drive more aggressive than I but she freezes at that ramp. Drives me nuts.

    • G, this is a universal practice now in Australia, at least in Victoria. I call it the “speed camera effect”. As we are the speed cam capital of the world. Drivers must be assuming there is a scamera at the end of the ramp. I’ve had to adopt sudden, hard acceleration to avoid these stupid drivers when merging onto the freeways.

      • Ho to5,

        Cameras – ubiquitous in Arizona, where my folks live – have turned my mom into a Clover. She was once a good driver. No more. She’s fearful, nervous . . . spends most of her time behind the wheel wondering whether there’s a camera nearby… and you can imagine what that does to her focus on her driving.

  15. I live in central Illinois. Most of my driving is on rural, two lane state and county roads. The roads are mostly flat and straight and the shoulders are gravel.

    In the last year I have noticed a trend. People are driving on the extreme right side of their lane with the right wheels at the edge of the pavement. I’ve seen several drop off the pavement on to the shoulder. If the driver makes a hard steering correction to get back on the pavement, bad things happen. It is a dangerous practice.

    Drivers playing with an e-gadget started this – apparently because they would rather leave the pavement than sideswipe another car while preoccupied with texting.

    Now the unsafe practice of hugging the shoulder has been adopted by a lot of non e-gadget users. I know they not using a gadget because I can see both hands on the wheel, the head is erect and eyes forward.

    I reckon these people have started driving this way out of self preservation. This after near misses with the morons who cannot stop playing with their e-gadget.

  16. LOVE it… could have written it! BUT I do have a thought for you. I confess… I am ‘one of those guys’ who back it to a parking spot. Before I am cast in the lake of fire, hear the context.
    1) I am GOOD. First time; every time. (retired firefighter… backed into the station for 20 years. Got it DOWN. I can parallel park a ladder truck. (but I still don’t do trailers) )

    2) I ALWAYS try to do it when there is no one behind me to prevent confusing them.

    3) A driver will either back IN or back OUT. You will wait EITHER way and backing OUT is more difficult.
    Think about it. A guy who can’t back IN very well will be just as much a danger and a time waster when he is TRYING to back OUT of the spot. Come on haven’t you seen the guy who is too afraid to back ALL THE WAY can’t make the cut and has to back up a SECOND time?

    4) It is SAFER to drive FOWARD OUT of the spot. How many times have you seen a guy backing OUT almost run over pedestrians or almost back into another car backing out from across the other side.

    So my addition to your very correct insights is this: that rather than STOP people from backing in… make them LEARN how to do it RIGHT!!! (oh… that IS a lost cause, isn’t it. Sorry!!)

    • Hi Bob,

      No argument!

      I should have clarified the backing in thing to specify the guy who can’t do it well. Who moves forward, then back… slowly…. taking several moments to get it lined up. While everyone else waits.

      • When I was younger (we’re talking 60’s and 70’s), they used to have something called “angle parking” on both streets and in parking lots. Very, very easy to pull in and back out without killing somebody. The only downside, which apparently is what counts these days, is that for a given length of roadway there would would be somewhat fewer (20%?, just guessing) parking slots. Still, in my mind way better than what we have now.

        Backing in at a mall/store is ridiculous. How exactly do you get your groceries into your trunk or SUV/pickup cargo space?

      • Since I’m still in decent shape and enjoy a little extra exercise, I’d much rather back into a space than park close to where I’m going. Thus, I usually pass all the empty spots until no one remains behind me, then pick one to back in. Of course “pull-throughs” are among the little joys that make the motoring life worth living! 🙂

    • Almost?? I got a friend who knocked an old lady down once at Walmart, backing out. No harm done but it shook him up for a while. And I’ve learned no one pays the least bit of attention to me when I back out anywhere in this town.

        • “Sound horn when backing.”??/

          Clovers FREAk and jerk when horns are blown, what are you saying?
          Are you saying that Clovers should sound horns?
          Clovers Only do that when they are annoyed, or, it’s an emergency.
          They cannot compute That : ‘Horn blowing while backing up’ shit.
          It’s beyond them.
          Psft, you might as well tell them the government and the media don’t have their best interest at heart.

          …Oh wait. I repeat myself.

          They cannot compute That either. …

          [I encountered the twin brother of EPA’s Clover this evening. WHoa, … after trying to converse face to face with Clover’s twin,… all I can say is, “WHoa”. …And then I walked away.]

          • I used to have a van that had one of those beep-beep-beep back-up alarms. I found myself pulling straight-in a lot more often with it, because I felt that once I put ‘er in reverse and the beep-beep-beep was going, I was absolved of all responsibility, and it was now up to the pedestrians and other cars to sit-up and take notice, as I gleefully backed out with wreckless abandon. Of course, if everyone had one of those, the sound would lose all meaning; and mass shootings and suicides would increase 8000%…..

      • Ditto here Rick. Whenever I back out of a space these morons simply MUST endanger themselves. I mean, they can SEE me backing out but they just ignore me and walk right past, some with loaded prams.

        • I’m – Really – Not getting you alls perspective about Backing-Up.

          In forty-some years of living I’ve never seen a problem with backing out of a parking spot.

          If you couldn’t see it backing in,… you couldn’t see it backing out.

          I guess the danger is all about backing Out, and Not backing In?

          ….Yeesh, I don’t know, I’m no expert. But, it seems the same to me. In, Out.

          A fender bender might have higher odds, but anything more than that…? It just seems like more, “Pussy-talk” to me. YMMV.?

        • ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N wrote: “Whenever I back out of a space these morons simply MUST endanger themselves. I mean, they can SEE me backing out but they just ignore me and walk right past, some with loaded prams.”

          That shit ain’t going to change no matter what direction you park. …IMho.

          ..But I think you know that.

          • Of course Helot, it’ll never change, but the fact is I’d be culpable if I hit one of those idiots. If I have the time and space, I prefer backing in. Coming out of a parking space forward is safer IMHO.

    • Dear Bob,

      “2) I ALWAYS try to do it when there is no one behind me to prevent confusing them. ”

      Ditto. I too back into perpendicular parking spaces, but only when the coast is clear.

      Also, if I’m driving down a street too narrow for a U turn, and need to make a three point turn, I look to see if the coast is clear, if no one is behind me. I drive past a driveway, stop, back into it, then emerge with my car’s nose pointed toward the street. I believe this is safer than turning nose into the driveway, then being forced to back up onto the street.

      In decades of driving I’ve never inconvenienced anyone do it this way.

  17. I’m that “dick” that backs in a parking spot if able.
    With a small car,I’m usually parked between a van and giant SUV.Much safer to pull straight out than blindly backing out till I can see past the edges of them.

    Nose in or out,you still have to perform the same series of events,just in reverse order-same time used.

    • I work at a plant where more than half the people back into the spaces. Also I’m often got my little car between ginormous 4wd diesel pickups. I prefer backing in even if I’m a little slow at it sometimes.

      • Agreed. Backing in is safer that backing out of a parking space – less likely to hit other things and hit things/people. Also, the car is better situated for a tow or jump in the event your car doesn’t start when you return.

        • Hi George,

          Oh, I agree… provided the driver is competent and can do it without endless back-and-forthing… which in my experience seems to be the rule rather than the exception!

  18. Great piece! I would add, in general, to allow more than enough time to get to your destination. I think failure to do this accounts for reckless driving and aggression whereas, in the absence of this added pressure, cooler heads would more likely prevail.

    As a rule of thumb, I try to be the same person when I drive as when I’m on foot – that is, patient, tolerant, polite, and careful. I realized this once in my younger days after stubbornly refusing to let a motorist in front of me. It occurred to me that if I encountered this same person on foot and had the opportunity, I’d probably hold the door open for him.

    • Ditto all that, Jeff.

      And: When you’re not in a hurry, don’t assume others aren’t. If someone coming up behind you clearly wishes to drive faster than you’re driving, let them by. I pull off to the shoulder for a moment, if need be. It’s no skin off my nose – and it immediately defuses the tension.

      • Great point, Eric, about pulling over. I realized long ago that I am not the official arbiter of the maximum safe speed on a road (nor ought the government be, imo!). I do pull over whenever I have someone who appears to want to pass me, and appreciate others doing so for me. We have a windy two-lane road nearby that’s heavily traveled, so I do this fairly frequently. (I’m not a slow-poke, but I’ve had a enough near-misses with deer on that stretch, that I tend to drive in a way that makes sudden stops possible.)

    • I totally agree, allow plenty of time to get some where, have enough knowledge of the area ahead of time so if possible, have a 2nd way or 3rd alternative route to get somewhere. I know that is sometimes impossible, but it is good to know of an alternative if possible.

      I try to leave so that I will arrive at least 10 minutes early. It saves a lot of aggravation. Generally the longer the drive, the more time I will allow. Heck if I get some where way early, I can always get a Dr. Pepper and wait ! Much better than hurrying and causing others to be miserable.

  19. Hey Eric;

    Most of your advice is right on, but I think you’re being a little hard on people who “sit like zombies” at traffic signals. Tickets are expensive, cops tend to come out of nowhere at times, and any interaction with the county revenue enhancement bureau is bound to be unpleasant. And cops, being cops, know full well which lights are the most annoying ones for motorists and camp out at them looking to make their quota.

    I go to work early and have been known to sneak through a light that is red “just because,” but I wouldn’t advise anyone else to do it. I also don’t hold it against drivers who don’t do it. Maybe they got a ticket for that at one time and don’t want to take the risk.

    • Hi Dan,

      This is why I never home without my V1 radar detector!

      That – plus a good set of eyes – greatly improves the odds in your favor.

      A little civil disobedience is in order. Scratch that.

      A great deal of civil disobedience is in order!

      • Try the waze app. Cops and hazards are located by other drivers and then waze audibly notifies you of their presence .25 miles ahead. I’m loving it. Of course privacy is shot in the arse.

      • You guys reminded me of this bit:

        “It surprised me how much I had to screw up my courage to cross a street against general disapproval…As a way of justifying my conduct to myself, I began to rehearse a little discourse…It went something like this, “You know, you and especially your grandparents could have used more of a spirit of lawbreaking. One day you will be called on to break a big law in the name of justice and rationality. Everything will depend on it. You have to be ready, How are you going to prepare for that day when it really matters? You have to stay ‘in shape’ so that when the big day comes you will be ready. What you need is ‘anarchist calisthenics.” Every day or so break some trivial law that makes no sense, even if it is only jaywalking, Use your own head to judge whether the law is just or reasonable. That way, you’ll keep trim; and when the big day comes you’ll be ready.” …”

        Have You Done Your ‘Anarchist Calisthenics’ Today?

    • Yeah I don’t particularly like going thru red lights either even in the wee hours. If that makes me a Clover, so be it (at this point it’s tempting to quote Red Foreman about rules) but it’s simply not worth it to risk a ticket on account of a cop being hid back somewhere or a camera installed I wasn’t aware of. It may be the Libertarian thing to do so I concede the sense in it when the road is empty but I prefer to wait it out. I do wish that more lights would go to blinking in the wee hours, something I find them doing less and less around here.

      • Rick wrote: “it’s simply not worth it to risk a ticket”.

        Is it because of the amount of the ticket?
        Or, just because it’s – a – ticket?

        I mean, would you jaywalk?
        Or, is it simply not worth it to risk a ticket?

        What – is – worth risking a ticket over?

        “How are you going to prepare for that day when it really matters?”

          • And then I thought, “Are you a Pussy”?

            A.k.a., “panzy”?

            If you’re a poor person who couldn’t afford the ticket because it meant devastation to your family, I could understand, somewhat.

            Also, I totally ‘Get’ the whole, “Not wanting to pay the bastards anything more than I MUST pay”, part.

            Is that why you say what you do?

            I only wonder: would you rather Obey and Submit?
            Or, would you rather avoid paying Up?

            I mean, if you were forced to Pay Up, would you and your family starve? …Or, would it just be an inconvenience?

            I’m thinking it’s more of a, “Just go along, to get along” kind of deal.

            …It which case, that means you’re not just a Clover,.. it means you’re a Pussy, too.

            As that two-faced bitch Pelosi says in instances which don’t apply, “Try manning up.” ???

            Otherwise, just put some tape on your balls and put on some lipstick???

            …Unless, I’m missing something? …?

  20. Don’t go overboard being “nice.” Don’t stop on a main road to let someone out when there are people behind you. You’re being nice to one person and screwing everyone else. Don’t sit there at a green light and flash your lights. What the hell does that mean? Just follow the rules of traffic and right of way. You have the right of way, and the obligation, to just go – not sit there and wait to see if the guy opposite you will figure out that you want him to turn left in front of you.

    The rules at a 4-way stop include that the person who stops first goes first. If you didn’t actually stop, you do not have the right to go, never mind go first.

    • RE: “The rules at a 4-way stop include that the person who stops first goes first.”

      I only wish more people knew that. It seems like fewer and fewer do every year. Don’t EVen! expect people to know that when both drivers get to the stop at the same time the guy on the right has right of way.
      I all-too-often find myself having to time a stop sign, by that I mean, I let my car creep along very slowly the last few feet to the stop sign so the other – already stopped – driver on my right can clearly see he has the right of way as my car is still moving just a bit, but we still wind up playing this Tag/Cat/Mouse game of them expecting me to go first, when I don’t, they wave me through. It’s irritating as all get out.

      Sometimes I just take it from them without waiting for the wave as they should have already been moving on through the intersection by then. About half the time, when I do move, that’s when they decide to move too. Arg! Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Go already, then, will ya!?

      Its gotten to the point where I prefer the herky-jerky method of Mexico, the nicer car yields to the crappier and/or bigger vehicle. [Hmm, I don’t know what happens there when two crappy cars meet. They, “just Go”?].

      • Cloverhelot if someone is supposed to go before you then wave them through before you even stop. It makes it pretty easy and no guessing. I never have the problem you have when I do that. I know some libertarians would have a hissy fit for making things simpler for others but they are angry at the world anyway.

        • Define “supposed to go before you,” Clover.

          Being the self-centered creature you are, no doubt the translation is: Make room for Clover.

        • RE: “if someone is supposed to go before you then wave them through before you even stop.”

          That’s retarded.

          Some people enjoy the Tag/Cat/Mouse game, I guess?

          About the time I wave at someone like that is about the same time they try and wave me through and there we are playing the waving and waiting Tag game. It’s ridiculous.
          And just never-mind if it’s dark out.

  21. LOL, if you truly believe hanging out in the left lane is illegal in TN, try calling TN highway patrol in Knoxville, have that discussion with them. They REFUSE to do anything to address that situation, which is HORRIBLE from Chattanooga to Johnson City. It’s SO bad, I am probably going to quit going there 4-5 times a year to enjoy my motorcycling in their state.

    • Hi Mark,

      It depends on the state. In many it is illegal to squat in the left lane; you’re obligated to yield to faster-moving traffic.

      But, of course, this law is rarely enforced.

      • It’s a huge problem here too. It makes it impossible to turn left from a side street. Usually women on cell phones but not always. I got so sick of it I just started to pull out in front of them. We work on a lot of the local revenuers vehicles. I told one If he gave me proof of issuing warnings for 10 people I’d fix it for free.

        • Cloverism continues to spread… and soon, all too soon, there will be nowhere left to escape them.

          We moved to a rural area 10 years ago. It is becoming more and more like the place we fled with each passing year.

          They come here – lovely country! – and then turn it into a replica of what they left behind.

          FTL drive can’t get here soon enough.

          I hope it gets here before I’m too got-damned old to migrate.

          • FTL isn’t on the table, EVER.
            Nor, BTW, is any sort of tech to get us off this goddamn rock.

            We’d slip Gunvermin’s leash. Can’t allow freedom!
            Can’t even allow EDUCATION….

            • Hi Jean,

              I hope you’re wrong about FTL.

              The prospect – the possibility – is one of the things that keeps me somewhat optimistic.

              I believe it is technically feasible. And anything that is technically feasible can be done.

              Fingers crossed.

      • Oh, don’t worry, NJ enforces it, quite a bit.
        But of course only when you’re not all the way over right, it’s an empty road, and the only other car there is the cop about to give you the “failure to keep right” citation.

        • Hi Chris,

          How do you stand living there? I mean, VA is no Libertarian paradise by any stretch. But compared with NJ?

          Forget about it!

          • Dunno…

            true enough, and you didn’t even mention the tax kleptocracy that is some of the worst in the country.

            Only thing we haven’t yet adopted from VA is car property tax, and those sky high fines for tickets.

            Even 4 pointers here often are only about 85-125 bucks.
            The trick here is not to extort directly from you by a 1000k fine, but to incentivize you, via the points accumulation, the supplementals (like the $25 per point per year for three years if you have 6 points or more at any one time) and the insurance hit, to plead the ticket down to a lesser or no points charge.

            That way, court costs, add-on fines, and lawyers fees are produced, all of it intended to fund the leaches indirectly (you know the local ambulance chaser getting his cut from the nice business relationship he has with the local DA and municipal judge…).

            This is how you turn 2 point, $85 citation into a no-point plea, that costs a total of $850….

            neo-conned, bible-belt hell in VA (outside of the DC circle); socialist-liberal hell in NJ.

            BTW, isn’t it funny how they’d complain about lack of representation when a heavily whatever-minority state only has white male representatives, but when a state like NJ has a Black and a Hispanic senator, there’s no disproportionality there at all….

            • Hi Chris,

              Yup – it’s not really “good” anywhere… just varying degrees of worse!

              VA is (mostly) ok on guns, but it’s one of the worst states with regard to rapacious traffic enforcement. I’ve lived in both Northern and rural SW Virginia and Northern Va. is – by far – the worst in ever respect except one. You can find good sushi almost on every corner.

  22. Stay out of people’s blind spot.

    If you can’t see their rear view mirror, they can’t see you. Speed up or slow down.

    • CloverOwen Kellogg I agree with you that you should not be in someone’s blind spot and you should also allow someone to merge onto a highway but there are stubborn libertarians that say it is the responsibility of others to know you are in their blind spot and try not to allow other cars to merge. They are against helping others.

      • Sad little Clover.

        Once again, she leaves out the key element, to wit:

        “They are against helping others.”

        No, Clover. Libertarians are not against helping others. They oppose the idea of being forced to “help” others. The “help” being defined by creatures such as yourself.

  23. OK Eric, please use your highly developed sense of driving etiquette to answer this question.

    In the Phoenix region, we have freeways with up to six lanes going in the same direction. Outside of rush hours, most of those lanes can be very uncrowded. With the 65mph posted speed, a majority of traffic is moving around 75.
    So let’s say our subject driver is going about 79mph. He’s not driving in the far left fast lane, but in the lane just to the right of that. Another driver comes up behind him in the same lane, moving 5-10 mph faster. It’s not during rush hours. So the far left lane is not functioning as a High Occupancy Vehicle lane.

    Does our subject driver have an obligation to move another lane to the right, even though the passing lane to his left is wide open?

    • while passing through TN, I encounter that very same situation on I-40. Usually, I stay in the far right lane, ONLY move to my left to pass slower traffic.

      • there is a very good reason NOT to drive in the far right lane on many highways esp. the three laners.

        Because trucks generally are in that far right lane, and on three laners are often not permitted in the far left, the road tends to be much worse in shape due to the much more abuse trucks impart.
        Why have to endure that?
        Not to mention the truck/tire debris found there much more frequently.

        having said that, common courtesy, if not the law should require the one in back to move into the far left lane, after all, he is the one wanting something, ie, to pass.

    • That would be the polite thing to do as long as your right lane is clear. It’s what I do when paying attention and sipping a cold beer on the way home from work.
      The right lane is for getting on & off, the middle for getting through, and the inner fo passing, though some interchanges are opposite.

  24. Re: easing into the left lane to allow the “merger” ahead into the right – this can be related to #1. I will do this if I can do so safely and conveniently, but it is NOT a requirement. Do not assume that I will, or even should do this. Especially if there is another Clover pacing me in the left lane.

  25. eric, you’re off to a good start and covered many things that cause others to be less safe or simply unsafe moves in themselves.

    To all those fools who see a big rig and think “I can outrun this guy”, don’t count on it. He doesn’t want to slow down behind you for ANY reason.

    Please don’t use that PSL as your limit after you’ve pulled around a truck that was getting up to speed. Maybe he has no intention of doing the PSL so you have just created a situation where he’s tailgating, not out of desire, but because he had already achieved your speed as you got to your top speed. The problem is, that wasn’t the speed he intended to be stuck at and he’s not expecting you to do something that stupid. Yep, he’ll slow down and leave a less than good gap behind you simply because you pissed him off with this move. It’s especially bad when you do it on a two lane road.

    Back in the good old days(sic), people actually gave you the peace sign…..only it wasn’t the peace sign, it was the V done sideways indicating radar. If you pay attention and somebody’s hand is in the windshield as they are meeting you and it looks like they’re signing peace sideways, they’re trying to warn you of radar ahead of you. Be courteous and do this yourself. It may not be legal for the cops to ticket you because you flashed your headlights but they can cause you lots of grief and give you a ticket for any old thing they want to. Does that sign sound better now instead of flashing lights? I guess it’s a lost art but it is effective and stealthy. I’ve given it to the DPS before just making a joke and had them briefly flash their emergency lights as a response. I’d guess we were both laughing since they’ll just go on. I told a black and white once (two way radio)there was a speed trap ahead, telling him there was a smokie and a county mounty ahead giving out Green Stamps. He laughed and said “thanks”. It’s not like LEO’s are completely devoid of humor and sometimes, lightening up is a good thing.

    At stop signs, don’t just sit there when a big rig is trying to turn and nobody is coming. When he flashes his lights and all the markers and signal lights are flashing on the direction he wants to turn, yes, he wants to turn past where you are but you’re blocking the turn so go the hell on and make your turn like he’s asking.

    There is that clover that will speed up as you begin to pass. What’s up with that? That’s not only dangerous but stupid and discourteous. He wouldn’t be passing if you were going faster, wouldn’t have ever caught up to you so what’s your point? Are you wanting to find out if you can outrun a .45? That’s a good way to find out. When you string somebody out in the oncoming lane that’s trying to pass, it’s not only dangerous for everybody on the road but maybe doubly if you get somebody who’d just as soon shoot you as jack with you. I hope no responsible driver finds one of these people but clover, I wish you the worst of them.

    Well, that’s my rant for right now although I can cite a few more things that are dangerous. And girls, do your damned makeup at home or wherever you’re going but don’t do it on the road. This goes for cellphone use too. I’ll grab my phone since it’s almost always business but I never take my eyes off the road and don’t get it up in my vision……if I answer right then AND, I don’t text….period.

    • I generally just let the truckers know if there’s a speed trap ahead. Someone’s got to feed the bears, might as well be the idiots in cars.

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