It’s been forever since I
blogged joined in the festive 7 Quick Takes with Kelly and lots of other fun people. So here goes!
Growing up in the Bay Area, I knew drivers around here were a little cray cray. But I did not come to fully appreciate the true depth of the California driver brand until I went to college in Kansas and realized some people actually kind of follow the rules of the road. These people may move out of the right hand lane when cars are pulled over and sometimes wave at you just because (I know, what?!). Anyone who visits this great state (or big cities in general) might be a bit shocked upon witnessing our driving. So I thought I’d throw together a little how-to in case you ever need this vital information.
Here are 7 commandments to follow if you want to become a true California driver (or more specifically, Bay Area, because every area has their special brand of crazy):
1. Thou shalt lose thy s#!% at the sign of any type of inclement weather.
Which in California includes rain and . . . yeah, rain. Maybe fog if you live close to the coast? Let’s be real, guys. It can ruin your hair, AND HAVE YOU HEARD OF HYDROPLANING?! You need to go at LEAST 33mph under the speed limit for a drizzle, and slow to a crawl for anything heavier. It’s basically this, except in cars:
2. Thou shalt chillax in the left-most lane at 29 mph under the speed limit to teach those entitled speed limit breakers a lesson.
This is especially advisable if you’re driving a Prius or electric vehicle. Oh! And while you’re at it- don’t pay attention to the carpool lane rules.
3. Thou shalt significantly reduce speed and gawk at any unusual sights near the road.
This includes accidents, tow trucks, fallen branches, and rabbits. The best technique is to brake abruptly so you’re going slow enough to get the low-down on the situation. As soon as it’s out of sight and you’ve backed up traffic enough so evvvveryone can stop and see, resume normal highway speeds.
4. Thou shalt work thyself into road rage when traffic is slow and let others know about it by revving your engine and speeding in a zig-zag through said traffic, slamming your brakes only occasionally enough to narrowly avoid an accident.
Bonus points if you’re driving an expensive car because then everyone know you mean BUSINESS. There’s also the option of flashing your brights to shine some light into the souls of people who annoy you. Weaving in and out of cars on the road is an art. So release your inner Bob Ross.
5. Thou shalt not learn how to merge.
How does it work? One car from their lane to every two in mine? Big spaces between each other? Who knows! Who cares! Go when you want and don’t look.
6. Thou shalt catch up on social media and texts while driving.
Seriously, when was the last time you texted your Grandma? She is overdue for some love from you! Driving is the perfect time to check your notifications. Bonus points if you can do Facebook live or an Insta-story about the latest political upheaval without rear ending the person in front of you. And if you do hit ’em? You will get tons of responses and shares and followers so yay!
7. Thou shalt basically do whatever you want on the road. It’s about getting from point A to point B, not what happens in between.
So let your hair down and get there! Drive on the shoulder if there are too many people in your way. You got places to BE for crying out loud! And if the people turning in front of you weren’t fast enough during a green light, just go during the red one. People will avoid a collision. Most of the time. Talking and yelling at other drivers is also awesome, especially if you use the universal Italian hand signal.
Okay, but in all seriousness, I’m glad to have only been involved in one real accident in my life (plus a recent person who rear ended me with no damage). I’ve come very close to increasing that number more times than I care to count, but thankfully haven’t yet. And no, I’m not claiming innocence from doing some of these crazy things myself. This is a crazy area to drive in, but it’s kind of nice that this is where I learned. I just expect people to be crazy and un-courteous.
I also pray the rosary going to work each morning, so that helps me take deep breaths and enjoy the scenery instead of swearing. And I’m giving away an identical rosary CD! Because I have two. Would you like it? I prefer a CD over an app so that I’m not messing with my phone. It’s a simple version (just the prayers, no meditations), and their voices are thankfully not annoying or too slow.
To enter, leave me a comment about driving! Do you have a lovely commute? What crazy things do people do while driving in your area? Have a pro tip for other drivers? A funny story? One comment/entry per person. I’ll choose a winner at random on Sunday, so leave your comment by noon pacific.