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Top 10 Tips For Not Screwing Up On The Road

This is a list of things which everyone can do while driving to have a dramatic impact on traffic. Mostly they’re the same things people are taught in driver’s ed class. They can have a very real and demonstrable impact on traffic conditions, particularly on the massive expressways, parkways, and turnpikes of large cities.


Drive Defensively

Defensive Driving2

You know you’re the best driver on the road; just like me and everyone else. In a way driving defensively means you assume everyone else is a little slower to react, a little more distracted (like the young lady above), perhaps even a little stupider. Since you can’t control how smart or quick someone else is, all you can do is be as responsible as you can for your own piece of road. It’s more of a philosophy than a single skill. The goal is to keep the flow of traffic smooth by not giving the other drivers anything to react to, and giving yourself ample time to react to anything else.


Use your cruise control


Cruise control is one of those things that works best when everyone uses it. If the person in front of you is having a hard time maintaining a steady speed then it’s going to be impossible for you to keep a reasonable distance and a constant speed if you can’t go around him. Same for the guy behind you and the guy behind him.
Because you’re not having to use your foot to maintain speed you’re better prepared to react by braking should the need arise. Just don’t let not having to work as hard cause your mind to wander.


Be reasonable about merging


So you’re going down the highway and there’s construction ahead—two lanes go down to one. Two things cause the congestion at the merge; drivers in the through lane fighting to not let anyone in, and driver in the blocked lane trying to race to the front of the line. It’s a vicious cycle; drivers cheat often times because they can’t find a gap in the through lane cars. Drivers in the through lane often close the gap to keep cheaters from getting in.

There’s no way to really prevent some measure of congestion when the same number of cars try to fit onto less road, but drivers can minimize congestion by moving over into the through lane early then leaving enough space ahead of them for other drivers to merge as well.
This is one instance where the way you’re driving can have an effect on traffic far ahead of you.


The Two second rule


A reasonable distance between you and car ahead depends a lot on how fast you’re going. Some drivers are taught to keep a car length for every 10 miles per hour. More common these days is the ‘two second rule’ which states you should keep two seconds between you and the car in front of you. Pick a spot on the road, a signpost or other marker. Two seconds should elapse between the time the leading car passes the mark and the time you do. As your speed increases so does the distance which can be covered in two seconds. At 60 MPH (96.5 KPH) this is 176 feet (53.6 m).


The other two second rule


Reaction time isn’t worth a damn if you aren’t capable of reacting. Aside from intoxication or distraction, a major driving impairment is fatigue or boredom. Even if you aren’t sleepy or tired your mind can still drift away from the act of driving. Try not to look at any one thing for more than two seconds. Alternate between focusing on the road ahead and other things important to driving such as the speedometer, the gauges or the rear view mirrors. When you look away from the road don’t look at anything for any longer than it takes to actually get the information before looking back up the road… two seconds at the most.


Look as far ahead as you can


If all you focus on is the car in front of you then you will only have however long it takes to drive the distance between you if something happens. By paying attention to what’s going on as far down the road as you can see you give yourself a better chance of seeing and reacting to whatever the car in front of you will be having to react to. Try to predict what the cars in front you will have to do… will the guy in the tricked out Nissan slow down or will he pass the old lady in LTD on the shoulder? Plan ahead what you would do if something goes wrong based on what you see down the road.


Glance before changing lanes

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Remember we’re trying to keep the flow moving slowly. If you do have to change lanes you want to do it without causing other drivers to have to react quickly to your lane change. If you’ve ever wondered what those mirrors on the sides of your car are for, they’re for looking to see if there’s anything in the way. Mirrors are great, but I’ve never seen a car that didn’t have massive blind spots on both sides behind the driver that the mirror can’t see. Giving a quick glance over the shoulder will let you know if you can change lanes without running someone else off the road.


Stay to the right, pass to the left

Picture 1-143

If you’re the type of driver that does the posted speed limit, no matter what the ‘real’ speed limit is then the thing you can do stay in the right lane. And by ‘right’ lane I mean correct. In America it’s to the right, and this time by ‘right’ I mean ‘not the left’. By doing this you minimize the disruption to the flow caused by faster cars having to merge into other lanes to go around you. This helps keep the over-all flow of traffic smooth.

If some asshat comes up behind you flashing his lights and following so close that you can see the clenched white knuckles on the steering wheel just merge to the right if you can and let him go. He’s a disruption to the flow of traffic as well as a jerk. He likely will leave waves of congestion in his wake, but the further he is from you, the less dramatic his effect will be.


Drive the real speed limit


To paraphrase the late great George Carlin, “ever notice how everyone driving faster than you is a maniac and everyone driving slower is an idiot?” The real speed limit is defined by the car in front of you. The best way to keep traffic flowing is to flow with it. If everyone on the road is doing a nice smooth 70 mph the one guy doing 55 is going to disrupt that flow in at least two lanes; the lane he’s in and the lane(s) the drivers behind him have to merge into to go around him.

By the same token the Cannonball Run wannabe doing 20 mph faster than everyone else will have to weave in and out of traffic to maintain that speed. Not only is he not likely to make up much time but he’s going to cause drivers all around him to react as he changes lanes. I realize that I am endorsing going faster than the posted speed limit just because everyone else is driving that fast, but it really can contribute to safety.


Don’t Tailgate
unless it’s a cookout in a parking lot…


It’s been proven that tailgating is the main cause of the ‘phantom’ traffic jam. You know the kind where all five lanes of road choke to a crawl for miles, and then about the time you expect to be passing a bloody 18 car pile-up all the cars ahead of you just evaporate without cause. Chances are really good it was caused by tailgating ahead of you. The concept is so simple it can be demonstrated with as few as three cars, all following close to each other. If the car in front taps on its brakes just for an instant, the second car has to brake harder to avoid a collision. The third car has to over-brake even more, practically coming to a stop. A few seconds later the tailing cars return to their previous speed like nothing happened. Now imagine that same scene multiplied 10,000 times.

Phantom traffic jams travel against the flow of traffic in massive waves which can be observed from the air, or if the road conditions are right they can be seen moving toward you. Distance equals reaction time. If everyone kept enough distance to give them enough reaction time the cars in the back wouldn’t have to jam the brake pedal to the floor. Space between the cars breaks up the wave, essentially robbing it of its energy.

Keeping some distance also gives you a better view of what’s going on ahead of the car in front of you. You have a better chance of seeing what it is the car in front of you will have to react to if your windshield isn’t filled by the tail end of the car ahead.

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • Lauryn

    love your lists, however I'd just like to refute your comments in point number 8… I used to be an early merger, however studies have shown that early mergers are inadvertently making the congestion worse. Merging early effectively turns a 2 lane road into 1 lane earlier than necessary. The best thing to do to minimise traffic congestion is for cars in the ending lane to utilise it to the end and then the two lanes merge one car at a time. Just my 2 cents…

    • Steve

      in a perfect world you might be right but we all know that it happens exactly as the author says. Half the people want to be first so they pass everyone else and the other half are mad so they don’t let them in.

      I’m with Smith on this one. I’ll let one person in and if everyone did things would move smoothly.

  • mom424

    I have a few pet peeves myself – and an awesome driving record – I know of which I speak.

    Do not slam on the brakes to merge or change lanes. Time it and accelerate – if you're going the speed of traffic or a little faster it is impossible for you to be rear-ended.

    You do not need to stop to turn. You are not driving a box with wheels; your car has suspension and steering. Use it! How many times have I seen traffic start the bottleneck while someone is making a right-hand turn (left for you folks from everywhere else in the world)

    Do not rush up to the next lights in order to stop – if you pace it not only will you allow other folks into the flow of traffic, you will also save gas and time. I love the feeling of sailing through the lights right on past the guy who roared on up there just to be first. (not that I wouldn't beat him had I been nose to nose at said lights – What with my awesome 'stang and all).

    Be considerate of others – if everyone did this behind the wheel not only would traffic move more smoothly, more folks would arrive at their destinations in one piece.

    @saber25 (18): You're yelling unnecessarily eh? We're not all barely pubescent teenagers you know.

    • Jackson

      And I did. Walked my bike on the sidewalk for 3 blckos until I got to the intersection by Forest Hills, then I jaywalked my bike (which BTW, kicks ass) across the intersection. Sweetness.

  • ants1

    staying to thr right and passing to the left will likely cause and accident here. :P

  • ants1

    wow me grammy no so owsome tonighting. :D

  • Barold

    I bet this list doesn’t make the next book! Dull!

  • ants1

    It might do if the next book has a list of the lists most liekly to save your ass list in it.

  • max

    hmmm…nice list…just like your book

  • joe

    i’m guessing Barold is the asshat mention in number 3 :P

  • mandiemurder

    My biggest pet peeve in the world is bad drivers.

  • immaletufinish

    WTH?!!! boring list….. (-_-)ZZZzzzz

  • Smith

    My general rule for merging is one in. As in, I will let one car in in front of me, then no more. Seems fair to me, especially if there an arse who hasn’t bothered getting in the right lane early enough.

  • Regarding item number one, take a look at how traffic jams can start with no actual cause…
    How much more likely are they when there IS a cause?

  • randomprecision24

    Going for my license test on Friday, thanks!

  • It’s a dull list. nice try though.

  • nuriko


  • Hendershot

    I wish everyone would follow these simple rules.
    It would make traffic so much more enjoyable !

  • Hendershot

    One more thing I would like to add.
    In the Netherlands they have a fantastic system to correctly merge.
    They would post signs early on, asking not to merge just yet. And at the end they put a sign to merge. In the other lane they ask to keep distance so the mergers can enter easily.
    This actually works very well…
    Unfortunately they do not use it always (and it’s the only country I ever saw it).

  • Shype

    ok, we’ll forgive you this time jfrater :P

  • saber25

    Oh c’mon what the hell is this thing? Unless you are a driver then you know much more than this. But mice list btw, and please, MORE HUMOUR AND FUNNY SIGNS AND FUNNY AND FACTS AND SCIENCE AND ACTION LISTS PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nicosia

    Good luck Random :)

  • Doghouse Riley

    #10 is the right picture, but wrong caption and list placement. Suggest a bump to #1 and a rewrite to TURN OFF YOUR F*****G CELL PHONE!

  • chubbmeister

    @Hendershot (16):

    you beat me to it. This system does actually work pretty good, you’re supposed to drive all the way through to the end, and only then merge. And the people in the through lane have to let only one car in front of them merge. Works just like a zipper..

  • muzli

    Keep left, pass right. That’s how I know it.

  • Taash

    ok.. each to his own.. I found this SOOOOOO boring!

  • muzli

    Good list for this time of the year. There seems to be a surge in car accidents and fatalities during this coming holiday season.

  • Jeremy

    It has been said before: Merging early is *NOT* the most reasonable thing to do. Stay on your lane until the end, *THEN* merge (or let the others merge, respectively). This makes it easier for everybody. In German, they even have a word (“Reissverschlusssystem” = “zipper system”) for it.


  • Aussie

    In Australia (and other left road driver countries, America being right road drivers)it is drive left and pass right. When the sign appears, it seems that only a few of us see it.

  • Visehsh Handa

    Freaky coincidence! I just got my driver’s license today, and now Listverse has a post about driving safely.

  • DogBitez

    Agree with all except #9. Cruise control lulls people into a false sense of well-being… next thing you know, they're rummaging thru their purse or glancing at the paper or nodding off. Nothing keeps you alert and focused like a constant need to be aware of your speed and the speed of those around you. Take your foot off the pedal, and you've taken your mind off the road. Guaranteed, cruise control drivers will react much more slowly when there's an immediate need to brake. Hell, it's like arm-chair driving. They have to put down the chips 'n dip first.

    • Steve

      The problem is people don’t maintain their speed if they don’t use cruise. They are constantly speeding up and slowing down. I agree somewhat on the focus aspect but one of the things you have to be alert for is people changing speed.

  • bucslim

    Your best chance at survival while driving is to get the fuck out of my way, because I am full of angst while I’m driving. I don’t care if you’re doing tai-chi while behind the wheel as long as you do it quickly and move over when you see me in your mirror.

    A note to the elderly: stay home. If I hear one more god damn story about how gramps thought the fucking accelerator was the brakes after he plowed into a crowd of people or gramma was fiddling about with her crochet needles when the storefront jumped out in front of her car I’m going to puke. Drop your keys and back slowly away from the vehicle. If you do need to pick up some items at the 5-N-Dime or your 87 prescriptions from Rexall, do it when I’m at work. Remember, the drug store opens at 9 and Matlock comes on at 5, so there is absolutely no reason for you to be on the fucking road during rush hour. If you do happen to get in front of me doing a ‘devil be damned’ lefty because your blood thinner kicked in gave you an extra energy boost momentarily, you’d better hit the gas. Otherwise you’re going to have a bucslim sized hole right through the middle of you.

    Note to idiot teeny boppers: Little Jimmy doesn’t give a shit if you have extra eyeliner on before your date, but if you think you need more attention to detail to get his affections Sally, do that shit at home and not in your fucking car on your way to the malt shop. And Jimmy, I love the throaty sound of your Holly double pumper posi-track 454 engine, but if you weave in and out of traffic like this is the 24 hours of LeMans, I’m going to show you exactly what this Tercel can do. I get a little extra skip in my get-along when I trap you behind gramma’s car so knock it off. That kind of shit gets you an extra finger.

    If all this fails, refer to rule #1. Getting to your destination alive means you’ll yield when you see me coming up behind you.

  • Xave69

    Hey guys,

    first time I am commenting. its about item no.4. there is a way to reduce the effect of blind spots, not eliminate them mind you, and it works like a charm. while sitting in your normal driving position adjust both your mirrors outwards. stop when you reach the point where your own vehicle is just out of the view. it takes some getting used to at first but is a life saver and also helps greatly while reversing. beware that this does not eliminate blind spots but greatly reduces them, that is if you don’t already use this method.

    Great list as always.

  • Rich

    Pretty Lame

  • Karen

    This list put me in the mood for a nap

  • Karen

    lol @ bucslim’s rant about the elderly. My thoughts exactly! Stay off the road grandma!

  • Ugly John

    Great list – I will be sending this to my 16 year old son who has only has his permit for a couple months.

    Two things I tell him, and remind him of often…

    When on the road – everyone is an idiot, and everyone is trying to kill you.

    Keeping those in mind can keep you out of trouble.

  • sad muso

    Good list but I don’t agree with potentially driving faster than the official speed limit. I don’t know about US, but if you did that in the UK you’d lost your licence after a week – there’s a ton of speed cameras over here. The limit is there and the goons behind you can just slow down and shut the hell up.

  • bucslim

    ****NEWS FLASH*****

    Dateline: Lincoln, Nebraska

    bucslim was sideswiped on his way to work less than 5 minutes after posting his rant. Officials from Webster’s dictionary were at the scene to take new pictures to put up beside the word ‘irony.’ When asked for comment, bucslim chuckled, “I need to hit the pharmacy before I go to work. Gotta stock up on Depends.” The offending driver was found beaten, bloodied and duct taped in bucslim’s trunk. More details as this develops.

    We now return you to your list already in progress.

  • kennypo65

    Do not, I repeat, do not slow down when entering a tunnel. This is the biggest cause of phantom traffic jams here in Pittsburgh. We have a lot of tunnels and traffic always seems to be jammed right behind the entrance, and magically clears at the exit. If you feel the walls are closing around you, then you should have waited for the LSD to wear off before you started driving.

  • Davy

    @bucslim (28): My thoughts exactly.

  • damien_karras

    Note to drunk drivers: slapping yourself or sticking your head out the window like a salivating beagle WILL NOT sober you up! Save some money and get liquored up at home.

  • oouchan

    An ok list. I would put more stress on driving distracted or drunk than the others on this list. Just a thought.

    @bucslim (28): Beat me to it!
    I live in Arizona. We get the snowbirds about this time of year who fly in from the colder parts of the USA to f**k with the rest of us. They can’t drive and if they do, it’s 20 MPH…in reverse. They need to stay home and leave us alone!

    My little girl thinks she is going to get her driver’s license when she turns 16. I got bad news for her, though. I have a test that she needs to pass first. If she can’t pass my test…no driving at all.
    More parents should do the same. Test your kids driving skills. Put limits on them and remove the damn radio! Can’t get distracted changing the channel or searching for a song on the ipod if there’s nothing there to play it.

  • damien_karras

    @oouchan (39): Best way for a parent to teach their prospective driver spawn is to put them smack dab in NYC, preferably 45th Street via the Midtown tunnel to Tenth Avenue. And make sure they’re driving a STICK!

  • jubyduk

    #8 is just plain wrong. Merging early slows the through lane and accelerates the blocked lane resulting in people from the through lane merging to the blocked lane in order to gain a few car lengths and adding to driver frustration. The correct approach is to maintain your lane until the very end and then alternating cars from each lane, one at a time.

    #4 should also suggest not to stay in another driver’s blind spot. This is one of the stupidest but frequent offenses on the road. Maintaning the same speed as the car ahead in another lane while “hiding” in his blind spot is expressing your desire to create an accident.

    #3 could easily vie for the number one spot because it is such a large contributor to road rage.

  • bucslim

    And another thing,

    I know all you ball cap wearin truck drivers are ‘salt of the earth’ kind of people. Thank you for the job you do delivering a bevy of sundry goods to my local retailers.

    Now I want you to listen up Buddy McOwntheroad, just because you drive everyday to Salt Lake and back doesn’t give you the right to pull out in front of me the instant you see an opening. I’m pretty sure you’re load of shit spraying pigs outweighs my ‘just over matchbox’ sized car. Don’t give me the finger if I happen to pass you going up a hill.

    Just because you consider the grey line your ‘office’ doesn’t give you the right to drive like this is the mosh pit at a Hole concert. I got nothing but respect for a guy trying to earn an honest dollar, but you’ve got 5000 tons of rubber and steel bearing down on us. I don’t want to end up on the news as another statistic and be thrown from the vehicle as I swerved to miss your jack knifed tarkus. The last courteous truck driver I meet on the road will be the first one.

    I used to commute 50 miles to work everyday and was driven off the road exactly three times – all by truck drivers who suddenly woke up from their nap behind the wheel. Mix in a little 5 Hour energy blast next time and possibly take a glance in the rearviews before you kill someone, thank you.

  • jubyduk

    Addition: on ramps are designed to accelerate to match the flow of traffic on the highway before merging; off ramps are designed to descelerate down from highway speeds.

    Assh*les who brake *before* taking the off ramp or merge onto the highway *before* accelerating are seriously pissing me off.

  • damien_karras

    @bucslim (43):

    Nobody, and I mean NOBODY makes Sheriff Buford T. Justice look like a possum’s pecker!

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    @bucslim (43): This was far more entertaining than this shitty list.

  • bucslim

    @damien_karras (45): Direct quote from imdb:

    Buford T. Justice: This happens every time one of these floozies starts poontangin’ around with those show folk fags.

    @General Tits Von Chodehoffen (46):

    Thank you General Tits.

    I just love saying that, and I love tits in general.

  • callie19

    I’m convinced that most city bus drivers are actually monkeys in people costumes. They no nothing of these rules of which you speak. Think about it.

  • callie19

    ..know nothing. Wow.

  • Mindseye

    Alas, No.2 is a good theory, but will not avoid you getting a speeding find or loosing points.

  • SallySweet

    Another thing people in my city don’t seem to understand is using the turn signal when merging or changing lanes on the interstate! How difficult is it to do that? I’ve also noticed that if the weather goes above 80 or below 60 that people automatically forget how to be good drivers.

  • bucslim

    @callie19 (48): Absa-fucking-lootly!

    Driving the bus is a hard job, I’m sure those guys see lots of crap that has got to make their blood boil. But I’ve seen more rude behavior from bus drivers than Andy Dick on meth.

    Hey Ralph Cramden, sorry you couldn’t graduate from Jr. High. You don’t have to take that out on the rest of us.

    Note to City Transit Authorities: Just because Ralph could fill out the application by completely covering the answer boxes with his 64 color crayons doesn’t mean he’ll be a good bus driver. Before you hand him/her/it the keys, you might want to see if he/she/it can actually look around before they pull out into traffic. You also might want to pay extra close attention to his/her/it’s answers on the ‘Are you currently taking schitzophrenia medication’ portion of the application.

  • damien_karras

    @callie19 (48): Callie… completely agree with your assessment! Unfortunately, the bigger the vehicle the more the driver can mentally claim: “I WIN!”

  • bucslim

    Incidentally, ‘schitzophrenia’ sounds like a lower GI problem. A person inappropriately craps their pants while mumbling about how corn dogs are evil and wears a tea cozy.

  • GTT

    @bucslim (28): Always a pleasure to read your posts! Now I can begin to work with a smile on my face. :)

    That said, if anyone ever comes down to Peru, they should basically take everything they´ve ever read about driver safety and flush it down the crapper. We have our own set of road rules:
    – Driving defensively works, driving offensively is better.
    – What is cruise control? What are speed limits??
    – Changing lanes involves strategic timing and sudden movements. Using your directional lights (is that what they´re called?) only means you´ll never actually be able to change lanes because no one will let you in.
    – A two second rule might work in open, light traffic highways… In city traffic you should remember a half second rule (where you leave no room for other cars to switch into your lane… otherwise you´ll be stuck behing a constant stream of lane-changing cars).
    – Traffic lights: green means go, yellow means speed up, you just might make it and red means stop (unless you can cross before the cars in the other street have a chance to accelerate).

    Happy driving! :)

  • GTT

    @callie19 (48):
    @bucslim (52):

    The great thing about buses here in Peru is that they do not belong to some “City Transit Authority”, they are privately owned. I kid you not. So basically, any jackass who can get his hands on an OLD bus (picture school buses from the 50´s) can drive it around and collect a fare.

    Oh, and a note to our version of a DMV: I have a theory that you are giving out licenses in cereal boxes… Am I right??

  • doodlefish

    Methinks the poster of this list has a University degree in Stating the Bleeding Obvious!
    How to dramatically reduce traffic accidents? Restrict driving licenses to people with IQ’s of 120 or over (that will keep some of the previous posters off the road – you know who you are!)

  • rain

    Here in philippines. they don’t follow rule. hahaha. it’s every man for itself. Roads here are like battle fields. :))

  • bucslim

    your you’re your you’re your you’re your you’re

    Get it straight dumbass! Screw you’re degree in journalism. What, were you asleep the day they taught contractions and possessives?

    Why yes, I am talking to myself.

  • Rufus

    i love hong kong… the train does everything

  • bucslim

    You are = you’re, as in, you’re an idiot.

    Your, as in your ass is dumb. As in you used it wrong again in your previous post.

  • damien_karras

    @bucslim (61): You(‘re) being to hard on yur’eself dude.

  • damien_karras

    Too, to, two?

  • Randall


    You have eloquently covered everything I feel about the road, to the nth degree. We are 100% in agreement.

    I just got my copy of “Duel” from eBay. I trust you remember “Duel.” If you, like I, haven’t seen it since childhood, I suggest you get it. It’s still every bit as good as it was then.

  • marin

    I just got my driver’s license, and it’s true that most of this stuff is in the drivers class they teach here.

    I live in Argentina, and it is known that we drive like assholes here. I was really scared when I first drove on the street.
    I think the going with the traffic speed is really important. The first time I was out, I was going really slow, (never over 40 kph). It was actually more dangerous and scarier. When I finally started going faster, the driving got easier.

  • bullenium

    To everyone who finds this list boring – not all lists can be “Top 10 penis tattoos” or “Yet another 10 ways medieval people tortured each other”.

    This is a great list.

    Everyone who drives has a driving pet peeve. If the majority of people followed even some of these tips (at least tips #10, 7, 6, 5, & 1), there would be fewer driving pet peeves in the world.

    I only ask, my fellow drivers, a few simple things. Be aware of your surrounding, pay attention at all times, and don’t be a selfish driver.

    Drive safe.

  • mom424

    @Randall (64): Better. Stephen Spielberg before he thought he was all of that and then some. And Dennis Weaver to boot!

  • bucslim

    @Randall (64): Wow, I haven’t seen that in a very long time. McCloud FTW!

    As for the agreement, well you’d better hop on over to the album cover list for another little gem. I think you’ll find yourself shaking your head in disgust.

  • ianz09

    I thought it was a good list. Useful, if not the most entertaining.

  • Vera Lynn

    I have a rather long commute and am on the highway for 20 miles. If I go 60 mph it takes 20 minutes. If I go 80 mph it takes me 15 minutes. I love to drive and when I can I love to drive fast. However that being said, I am not going to go 80 mph to save me 5 minutes. That’s ridiculous.

  • Bob

    This is a great list. If more people would not only drive defensively but understand how using shared goals can lead to success for everybody, we wouldn’t have such problems with driving.

    Two things: 1) Technically, that jerk who races up the lane that’s about to close and then merges at the front leads to more efficient merging. It sucks, and you know that guy’s just being selfish, but studies have shown (look them up yourself – I can’t be bothered) that it’s better than everybody merging early. 2) Looking as far ahead as possible isn’t really the best thing to do. The distance you want to look ahead varies depending on conditions and speed.

    Great list!

  • Vera Lynn

    Bucslim I agreee about the old people. I was in an accident when a man turned left directly in front of me. I was going 40 mph and couldn’t stop. I was reading his info to my insurance company over the phone. He was born May 20, 1916. Yes. 19-fucking-16. That was World War 1. I can’t make up shit like that if I tried.

  • Peter

    great stuff

  • Randall

    @bucslim (68):

    Pick it up. Great little movie. It’s one of those where you think, “jeez, I liked this when I was a kid, but I wonder if it really is that good…” and then you’re pleasantly surprised when you see it… it IS that good.

    I’ll check the thread… I was there earlier, though.

  • Randall

    @mom424 (67):

    Exactly. I hate Steven Spielberg, but back then he was on his game, and wasn’t, as you say, so full of himself. And Dennis Weaver did a great job.

  • mcamp

    I do have to add a warning about cruise control. Especially for all the new drivers on here. Do NOT use cruise control during rainy, icy, snowy weather. You could hit an ice patch or a very slick spot, what happens then is your car speeds up and once it hits dry pavement your car takes off like a slingshot and you can wreck. I had a friend that did just that. So only use your cruise control on dry days!

  • mom424

    @Vera Lynn (72): Here after age 70 if you’re involved in more than one accident in a 12 month period you must re-test for your driver’s license. And after age 80, yearly.

    That said, I fail to see how the little old lady that can’t see over the dash, or is peering between the dash and the top curve of the steering wheel, ever passes the test.

  • archangel

    OooOOOOooOOOHHH… very helpful for learning drivers such as I? THANKS! =]

  • undaunted warrior

    Nice topic to come to lite, where I live you have to renew your license every 5 years ( theory ) only.

    Its a money making racket for the govement, most of the ‘inspectors’ that test you are corrupt if you have a couple of bucks in your back pocket you dont have a problem.

    This goes for drivers – ID – and any other papers you need.

    bucslim enjoyed your comments today thanks pal.

  • jakeryder

    Pull to the right (left in the UK, New Zealand, Japan etc.) when an emergency vehicle is being you. Not slam on your brakes, swerve, panic, crap yourself.

    Twenty years as an emergency worker and I still get annoyed at how stupid drivers are when there is a ambulance or cop car behind them.

  • Tryclyde

    This was not a dull list whatsoever. It’s good to see a very different list once in a while, as well as one that can be useful.

  • flamehorse

    I have a phobia about driving. So as a compensation, I drive offensively. It gives me courage. I’m kinda like Iago on the road.

  • cindyrulz

    I’m from Houston, TX and we drive really, really fast all the time. (This includes the freeway and the collector streets.) If you are ever driving in this city, try and keep up, or a finger will definitely be shot in your direction. Also, you WILL get a ticket in Texas for driving in the left lane as is it is for passing (faster) traffic only.

  • Tryclyde

    Damien – I’ve spent hours driving through Midtown Manhattan traffic with a stick shift, and holy jeez am I a great driver for it.

  • Vera Lynn

    mom424(77)Oh it was ridiculous!! When we got to court, he was wizened and so bent over. He couldnt even hear the judge. My car was totalled and he got away with a $75 fine. His insurance had to replace my car, but the cd in my radio was ruined, etc. It was more than my car that I had to throw away. 1916. Even I dont believe it and I was there.

  • renegade01

    HAHAHAHA, Oh man bucslim…every single one of those comment made me laugh. I’m surprised you didn’t touch on the dumb asses to think a yield sign means stop and cause traffic to build up for blocks because once one person stops EVERYONE has to fucking stop behind them.

    Tip to new drivers: DONT FUCKING STOP ON YIELD SIGNS. YIELD ON YIELD SIGNS. If you don’t know what that means I suggest purchasing a dictionary >_>

  • phat_stack

    I can’t believe SallySweet (51) has been the only one to mention turn signals. People forget that they need to use a signal to indicate that they are going into a turn lane and then finally turn on the signal a second before they actually turn.

    That and not keeping right except to pass. My pet peeves.

  • D train

    So glad I work and drive at night. Mostly. I do have to contend with the five AM crowd on my way home but it’s pretty sparse.

    Also, when the drive through at Tims reaches the road, just go without Tims today. Nobody likes the morning traffic jams in front of those places, do NOT be that guy.

  • Samzilla

    @flamehorse (82): I’m the same way. People may think I’m crazy, but they can all suck it.

    When my father was teaching me how to drive he would yell at me if I was going below the speed limit, and that includes one mile below the speed limit.

  • Jenna_Bug

    @36 Kennypo- I’m from Pittsburgh too….the Squirrel Hill tunnel IS THE WORST! The signs clearly state “MAINTAIN SPEED THROUGH TUNNEL”. WTF? I don’t get it, and it drives me completely insane, as soon as you’re out of the tunnel the traffic is totally gone. You would think living in a city like ours where there are soooo many tunnels, people would be used to driving the normal speed through them. It’s also horrible when there is a little fender bender IN the tunnel, but instead of driving out of the tunnel and pulling off to the side, the people involved in said fender bender decide to sit in the middle of the tunnel, backing traffic up for miles and miles until Mr. Policeman comes and clears it up…ugh so frustrating. Another thing…the whole driving slow in the left lane is my biggest pet peeve. Get the hell out of the way!! That’s what the right lane is for!! Ok I’m done :)

  • redcaboose

    Good list, maughloque. These are common things everyone ought to be doing on a daily basis. But I think too many people think that they are better drivers than they are, and that these rules do not apply to them. Especially teenagers.

    As far as the cruise control, be sure to NEVER use it when the roads are wet or icy. You will not be able to control your car if a problem arises.

  • damien_karras

    @renegade01 (86):

    A yield traffic sign indicates that a vehicle driver must slow down and prepare to STOP if necessary — usually while merging into traffic on another road — but needn’t stop if the way is clear.
    Sorry man, call me an old lady driver if you must, but if I’m coming up to Rt. 80 up the ramp and there’s a line of traffic barreling down the slow lane that I’m going to attempt to merge into, yeah I’m going to fucking STOP until the way is clear. I’ve seen too many people ignore the yield and the next thing they see/hear is a Peterbilt Semi about to administer an auto enema.
    People are getting pissed behind me? Screw you pal…

  • gav

    Parents of new drivers: Buy two running piece of shit cars for about $100 a piece. Find an abandoned parking lot. Drive your car in reverse into their car at about 15 MPH. Have them do the same to yours. Then run your car into theirs at 25 MPH. Then have them do the same. (by all means wear your seatbelts). Keep doing it at 5MPH intervals until your kid understands what impact means.

  • cooter1mb

    A excellent list albeit somewhat dry! But a must read non the less!
    Some additional tips :

    AIM HIGH IN STEERING: lOOK12 seconds ahead to see what is going on up there. Leaves you better prepared to make choices.This will leave you able to choose the safest path.

    Take in the big picture: Take in the full block ahead. From bumper to up a block and curb to curb. Even watch what the pedestrians are up to as the are very unpredictable.

    Keep your eyes moving: Take it all in. Use the mirrors every 5 secs ALL MIRRORS. Your peripheral vision will develop and you will be more aware of whats going on around you!

    Leave a out: Never get to close to the vehicle ahead of you.(I belive in the 4 second rule but hey) If your to close you cannot A)get out if the vehicle ahead of you stalls B) if your rear ended you will be plowed into the vehicle ahead of you creating a second collision and more damage to your vehicle. General rule in stop and go traffic is “can you see the rear wheels of the vehicle ahead of you

    Make sure your seen: Make eye contact.Toot the horn (dont blast it)Use signals.And vehicle position. Let the cyclist know your there. Make the person getting out of the parkeed car know your coming. Toot the horn and give a little wave. The wave prevents some of the rage they may direct at you but even if they get mad who cares… may have prevented them from getting splattered!

    Final tip for all you dodge and weavers speeding to get there: As you dodge and weave, make a note of a car ahead of you. As you dodge and weave keep a mark on them. When you get to the next set of lights where are they. Now at the next set of lights where are they now? Again next set where are they. Funny how they are always near you despite all your dodging and weaving isn’t it. You have actually gained nothing on them did you!

    FACT: did you know that a 2 sec glance at you cell phone or any other in car distraction ant 30 kph you travel 80 feet! The distance of 2 north american buses?

    So relaxe during rush hour, have a smoke a pop and crank up the tunes. use it to de-stress that way you dont bring you work home with you!

  • Kevin

    Lots of room for argument and rankings here. But I’d like to put in a big personal vote for #5. I learned it early and remember it often. Too many drivers don’t bother to look past the car or two ahead of them. I am very rarely surprised by lane closures, accidents, roadside workers, etc. because I acquired this habit long ago.

  • Blue

    I am seeing that most people think that the aged in our communities should not drive. I totally concur, however I do have a theory about this, basically all old people are in hyperdrive, here let me explain.

    If you’re five years old a year is a fifth of your whole life, which is why it seems to go on and on for an eternity, remember those days when a year actually felt like a year? But if you’re 45 a year is a 45th of your life, which is why it passes quickly and everyday is almost too small to count. When you’re 45; time passes quite literally nine times faster than when you’re five.

    When you’re 75 time is hurtling by at such a rate that driving your small car is like plunging through a tear in the space-time continuum. The throttle pedal is a hyperspace button. This is why old people drive so slowly; because 12mph to a pensioner is like 2,000mph to a teenager.

    When you sit behind old people at a roundabout or intersection wondering why on earth they won’t pull out, it’s because the approaching lorry that, to you, is moving at 14mph is coming at them like the Starship Enterprise on combat power.

    Other than that GET OUT OF MY WAY, the fast lane is mine all mine, I reserve the right to launch weapons at you if you sit in that lane and dont let me past.

  • kingevx

    I hate how people drive here in L.A I wish they would read this and do what it says. People are stupid. They should make cars that don’t allow you to drive past a certain speed and force you to go 65mph.

  • oouchan

    @Blue (96): Other than that GET OUT OF MY WAY, the fast lane is mine all mine, I reserve the right to launch weapons at you if you sit in that lane and dont let me past.

    I agree! I would like to get my hands on some photon torpedos for those going slow in the fast lane. You don’t belong there so move over. Especially when you see someone right behind your slow a$$!

  • crispin

    “Duel” is a great movie… I wonder why it never got the MST3K treatment, however…

  • Chelsea

    The two second rule has actually been changed to three seconds, i took a test on it today(:

  • Randall

    @crispin (100):

    Why *would* it? Did you not get the premise behind MST3K? They mock BAD movies.

  • crispin

    “Duel” is so bad that its good. One of those movies. I was being a bit facetious.

  • crispin

    And I have personally watched over half of all MST3K episodes, so yes, I “get” MST3K.

  • Randall

    @crispin (103):

    Well, ‘scuze me. I think general consensus is and has been for a long time that “Duel” is NOT bad, not even “so bad it’s good.”

    I’m no fan of Spielberg, but one has to admit he knew his way with a camera. I hate his smug ass, actually, but he’s by no means freakin’ Ed Wood.

    And “Duel” was written by the top-notch Richard Matheson.

    So I’m curious as to what you found “bad” about it. No, it ain’t “Hiroshima Mon Amour” but it’s not “Plan Nine from Outer Space” either.

  • Simon

    I hit a cat on my way to work yesterday. *sigh. Its safe he didn’t read rule #8 very carefully.

  • Randall

    @crispin (104):

    “And I have personally watched over half of all MST3K episodes, so yes, I “get” MST3K.”

    I don’t think you do.

  • crispin

    Um, yes I do get MST3K. I don’t really feel like arguing that point. How the hell would you know? I think “Duel’s” pacing and the fact that he’s being chased by a deranged truck driver is good fodder for MST3K, despite the fact that I enjoy the movie (mostly because I like campy movies.) If you don’t find “Duel” funny, then we don’t really see eye to eye.

  • Randall

    @crispin (108):

    Uh, no, I don’t think we do see eye to eye. I think you’re clueless as to what “campy” really is, and I don’t see how the “pacing” would make for “good fodder” for humor. Nor does the subject matter itself.

    I didn’t find “Duel” funny—except in spots where it was intentionally so. Tense, yes, suspensful, yes, scary, yes. A tad over the top, of course. But to the point that it’s “funny?” I think your sense of humor is kinda bent, Crispin.

    You must be a riot at parties—laughing at all the wrong points in someone’s jokes.


  • crispin

    I guess we’ll agree to disagree. Although I won’t accuse you of being a “pinhead” for not seeing my opinion, oh infallible Randall. Yeah, my sense of humor is a bit wacky, what is so wrong with that?

    I find “Duel” campy, and I do understand what that means. That’s my opinion. I don’t really care if you agree or not.

  • Maggot

    @Randall (105): I think general consensus is and has been for a long time that “Duel” is NOT bad, not even “so bad it’s good.”

    One can appreciate it even more so when you consider it was a very low-budget production and in fact was “just” lowly TV-movie.

    Like you, I recently watched it for the first time since having seen it when it first aired. A month or so ago it was on some late-night cable channel so I DVR’d it. Brought back great memories of me and my school chums back in the day talking about how cool it was after we’d all watched it. Enjoyed it just as much this time around, although I found myself yelling at the Weaver character to “do this” or “do that”…that dumbass just exacerbated the problem IMO. lol

  • Rascalian

    Well written list. Growing up in Alaska, i can proudly say i can handle just about any driving condition except for when tourists get on the road and seem to just be rendered brain dead by the fact that they’re driving in Alaska. Its like they think that Alaskan roads require you to drive slower and for some reason don’t require turn signals. Just typing this is making my blood boil. I will stop now. Good list.

  • stokessd

    The idiot state I live in (indiana) has a slower speed limit for trucks than cars in the highway, forcing a natural disparity in truck vs. car speed. Lots of time one truck will pass another slowing the flow considerably. Yet another reason to fly over.


  • copperdragon

    a couple of general rules i always follow:

    reduce speed by 5mph for every adverse road condition (snow, rain, dark, etc.) So if the limit is 65 and its dark and rainy – drive closer to 55.

    at stop lights, i always make sure i can see the BOTTOM of the rear tires of the car ahead of me. it provides adequate cushion should i get rear-ended.

    i also like the “zipper” method for merging

  • Blue

    114 Copperdragon: reduce speed by 5mph for every adverse road condition (snow, rain, dark, etc.) So if the limit is 65 and its dark and rainy – drive closer to 55.

    This is actually the main cause of accidents, speed really is not a factor per se, the major factor is difference in speeds. So if you are uncomfortable driving at 65mph (which for my day to day transport is about 1/3rd of its capability – R35 Nissan GTR) and I and my cars capability are very comfortable at 65mph in all weather conditions save for the very worst, then your immediate or even gradual slowing down will cause me to come up on you very quickly and it is only my reflexes that will save the day.

    All factors must be taken in to consideration and really the only reliable indicator of what is the major accident cause is the cars and its drivers capability. That is, how well trained a person is to drive and how well teh car performs in various weather patterns. A large 4×4 is going to have less risk in adverse conditions so therefore the occupant feels safer in bad weather, hence the reason that 4×4’s cause the worst impacts, it is design and capability and a feeling of surefootedness leading to drivers who are hard of thinking.

    Remember it is not the speed that kills it is the sudden deceleration that kills. If there is no cause to decelerate then speed wont be a factor. Most speed limits are in place for a reason, those reasons are, in 99% of cases, out of touch with modern machinery. British stopping distances were written in teh 1960’s and are still in use today, even though my car can safely stop in well under one third of those distances in adverse conditions. Driving regulations have barely changed in half a century, yet the machinery and the design has come on in leaps and bounds.

    Most data is skewed by the fact that one car will be travelling faster than another car leading to silly equation that speed is the only factor. This is hyperbole and gets away from the real issues such as bad driving and lack of vehicle education. As an advanced driver (I used to rally) I have a keen sense of awareness around me, however that does not mean I can foresee every idiot on the road who is not as proficient as I am. indeed when i used to own and ride motorcycles every junction was a ptential deathtrap due to peoples situatiional awareness.

    Driving is an art form and should be respected as such, unfortunately we allow too many people on the roads who have bad driving habits, including the worst such as being under the influence of drink and drugs. This is the main cause of accidents undue care and attention not speed per se.

  • GTT

    @crispin (100): What in the world is MST3K??? WTF?

    @copperdragon (114): “at stop lights, i always make sure i can see the BOTTOM of the rear tires of the car ahead of me.”

    I do that too whenever I go to Venezuela. It provides enough room to be able to react if some thug decides to rob you while you´re waiting at the light.

  • MinaLumina

    Haha! I wish the woman who swerved in front of us yesterday had followed these rules… Anyway- listverse follows my life- today we get reminded how to drive properly (the day after our accident), and yesterday I hear one of my lists made the book (under a different user name I think…)Listverse cheering me up and teaching me, it’s lovely.

  • bucslim

    @GTT (116): MST3K is Mystery Science Theater 3000. A guy and his robot friends are trapped in a space ship and an evil scientist or fat chick sends them horrible movies – the guy and the robots riff while the movie is playing.

    I got started on the DVD’s this year – I think they’re up to about 25 sets of 4 movies and short films (1950’s stuff they’d show you in school). In my opinion, the shorts are friggen brilliant. I think some of the movies are hit and miss.

    There’s actually a list devoted to the best episodes on this very website.

  • astraya

    I read somewhere way back that they’d done a survey asking people to rate their driving ability. Something like 85% of the respondents rated their ability as “above average”.

  • crispin

    @bucslim: I agree with you that all of the shorts are amazing, but the movies are hit or miss. Sometimes its not even their fault, as the movie is just so boring and bad that it’s hard to find a way to make fun of it. My personal favorites are “Manos: The Hands of Fate,” “Eegah” and “Pod People,” which is by far the best out of those three.

    I have most of mine on old video cassette tapes that I bought from Rhino way back in the day. There’s at least one brilliant comment in each movie, and that type of humor is simply nonexistent on TV today. I wish ol’ Mike Nelson would come back around and repopulate the Satellite of Love…

  • Woyzeck

    I hate it when people write “and” when they mean “an”.

    What the FUCK is wrong with you people?

  • kayleyrae

    I don’t drive a car yet, but its nice to know these things when I do.

  • BooRadley

    When I lived in Colorado, I had a 30-minute commute on the highway to work. I would get so angry at the people driving slow in the passing lane! I would always picture myself in a rage, yanking the “Keep right except to pass” sign out of the ground and smashing it through their windshields. “There! Can you see it now, buddy?”

  • Randall

    @crispin (110):

    Yeah, yeah, whatever, eat me.

  • Randall

    @Woyzeck (121):

    Where the fuck have YOU been?

    …and you smell like a whore.

  • GTT

    @bucslim (118): Wow, I had never heard of this MST3K thing. We definately did NOT get it while I lived in Venezuela. In any case, I went to the LV list in question but unfortunately, most of the videos were pulled so i still have no idea exactly what these things look like. I´ll have to look around when I get home…

    Thanks for the info!

  • Randall

    @bucslim (118):

    TOTAL agreement about the shorts. They’re almost always funny as hell. My kids still lose it over the old PSA-oriented “Cheating” short… “anybody seen my ribcage?”

    That, or the “State Fair” short… “let’s go eat something grey.”

    The movies, eh. I saw almost all the episodes during their original run. I remember that it helped to be a bit hammered while watching them. Made it funnier. I own a few DVDs and VHSs from the show, but you’re right—the shorts are still tops.

  • gabi319

    LOL. Great timing with posting this list today of all days considering I got myself into a car accident of sorts last night. I think I hit something…or someone?… because I was driving along and felt this gigantic thump! However, no body under the car (of any kind). No gigantic potholes to be seen. Nothing out of the ordinary on my usual route home. I would’ve thought I was imagining things if my steering wheel wasn’t messed up.

    You all can complain all you want about old people…I prefer take issue with the emo kids, especially those who almost rearend me while going 55-60 mph (I was currently not moving because approximately thirty cars ahead of me were also immobile because of a red light). What’s worse is that when the emo car finally came to a complete stop, I looked back and saw all five emo guys swishing their heads and fussing over their asymmetrical bangs. Next time this happens, I’m giving out free haircuts, whether they want one or not.

  • mom424

    @D train (88): I second your rant about the Timmy assholes. We have a Tim Horton’s (A Canadian coffee institution – highest in “quick food” sales here and one on every block)right around the corner, on the main drag into and out of town. Every morning folks from the military base not only fill the drive through lane and the road that leads into it, but also often block the entire intersection of Hwy 90 and Mill St. Hwy 90 is our main thoroughfare. What the hell? Where are the cops? I’m sure that it is some sort of offense to block off the intersection for a damn coffee.

    Timmy’s does have good coffee btw – but 2nd cup is better. And either put Starbucks to shame. That shit is horrid. Tastes exactly like poorly made Maxwell House instant. Ewww.

  • BooRadley

    I think that all the funniest MST3K episodes are the ones with Joel hosting. After he left everything kind of went downhill. Joel was the one who ceated the show, and while Mike was always one of the writers, he didn’t have the kind of personality that seemed natural conversing with toy robots. The fat lady skits were awful, too.

    So, if you’re new to MST3K, be sure to get one with Joel, not Mike, as the host.

  • BooRadley

    Ooops! “created” not “ceated.” Sorry!

  • Anonymous

    Brilliant list. As a fifteen year old that just went through driver’s ed, I found this more educational than the class.

    P.S. Loved the George Carlin quote. He was brilliant.

  • Um….

    holy boring…. if you didnt know all 10 of these already.. you shouldnt be driving in the first place

  • Mike Z

    Props for using a Cleveland Browns tailgate pic:)

    I’d like to add a few driving tips that should have been added…
    1. When turning or switching lanes, USE your turn signals! there has been many times i’ve seen some fool switching lanes and not using their signals to let the drivers behind them they are gonna switch and nearly cause an accident because they cut someone off who didn’t know they were gonna switch.

    2. At night, when approaching another vehicle, switch your high beams down to low beams. I’ve been nearly blinded by this group, one time almost missing a curve and landing in a ditch. yes, there are times people forget, but i have flashed my lights at people who had their brights on and they still kept them on! and this rule also applies when approaching someone from behind so you don’t have your brights blinding the person via their rear view mirrors.

    3. Drive according to road conditions. if you don’t know what that means, it means drive slower when it is raining or snowing or the road is wet, snowy, icy, or muddy. there are many times I have seen people in these conditions like it was a bright sunny summer day on a perfect road. driving at your normal driving speed in these conditions could cause you to lose control of the car via hydroplaning or loosing traction and could cause a serious accident.

    4. When driving, your main focus should be…DRIVING! Putting on make-up, talking on a cell phone, or worse, Texting while driving can impair your driving skills as badly as if you were driving drunk. Many communities now have bans on driving while texting or talking on a cell phone. If you need to do these things… be safe and pull over to the side of the road or wait until you can find a place to park before doing these things….no call is more important than getting into an accident. I know this sounds cliche but the live you save could be your own.

  • Meg

    I hate it when the car behind me is too close, especially because we’re driving in a 65mph interstate and the left lane is completely empty.

  • Clarsax

    I’m a little disappointed that drunk driving isn’t on a list. It’s a common problem where I live, and it seems every other day there’s a news item about somebody or other getting killed by a drunk driver.

  • renegade01

    @damien_karras (92):

    THAT is the problem. There is no NECESSITY to stop if you just look. If the closest card beside you is at your front half, you tap the break to slow down enough to get behind them. Not stop, but slow. If they are behind you then you don’t need to yield. YOU have the right of way.

    Now then I suppose I should clarify a little better. There is almost NEVER any need to stop to yield to merging traffic. Maybe of weird occasions where there’s just come crazy douche bag merging, but outside of that no. However yielding to on coming traffic, yes, that calls for actually stopping more often. However there are STILL idiots who treat it as a stop sign when there is nobody around and it makes me insane.

  • Ben

    129 mom424

    I agree. I don’t know about anywhere else, but it sucks driving some places in Canada, especially Hamilton(birthplace of Tim Horton’s). I love this coffee, but when I need it that bad in the morning I park my car and use my legs, instead of clogging the drive-thru and nearby roads.

  • Jay

    I drive my husband to work and pick him up everyday, so I use the highway where I live 4 times a day 2 of those during peak hour. It’s bloody amazing that there aren’t more accidents with the way some people drive. People merging is the biggest peeve I have. The ones that get to the end of the on ramp and just stop. Then there’s the jerks who just don’t let ANYONE in. Then there’s the other jerk who instead of merging before the end of the on ramp they go past the end just to get that one or two cars in front.
    But the main rule I adhere to is assume everyone is an idiot. It always works.

  • Vera Lynn

    Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel.
    Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel.
    Yeah, we’re going to the Roadhouse
    Gonna have a real good time. ;)

  • MartinL

    Okay, people — take Mike Z’s minilist @ 134, blow it up to poster size, AND MEMORIZE IT. And good job, Maughloque.

    And as for all of you who whine about how BORING this list was, as you do in your obnoxiously adolescent way about anything else in LV that doesn’t afford you instant gratification, you’re probably some of the worst drivers on the road, the very kind this list is warning the rest of us against. You could never be bothered to become good drivers, and you never pay attention to what’s going on around you on the road — or anywhere else — because you’re BOOOOOORED. Pardon me, excuse me, a word please? I DON’T CARE. Go back to the children’s table, so the adults can continue their discussion, and come back when you’ve grown up and learned some manners.

  • Derek

    In 30 years time we’ll have flying cars, so this list won’t be needed anymore :P

  • ianz09

    @Mike Z (134): amen

  • Iakhovas

    Anyone else find it ironic that cab drivers, who are essentially professional drivers, are always the worst? Also, sick of cock heads who, when trying to merge with traffic on a freeway doing 110km/h, attempt to do it while driving at 60km/h… WTF? How is that ever going to work? I’m usually calm as a Hindu cow, but on the road I am psychotic. I flip out with people’s dangerous stupidity

  • I used to live in Los Angeles, the home of the world’s endless freeway system. It’s an evil system, especially during the so-called period dubbed “rush hour”, which is neither an hour in length, nor is anyone rushing anywhere. Traffic tends to ebb and flow with no earthly reason, and the mean distance between cars tends to be on the order of 6 to 12 inches.
    Got the picture?
    Fine. I’m on the 132 merging onto the 101 in the very middle of rush hour, driving my best friends car (my car had died a month earlier). As I was leaving the L.A. side of the hill and hitting the Valley side, the temperature rose a good 10 – 15 degrees. Not being familiar with his car’s dials I looked briefly down to find the air conditioner…as I did so the traffic came to a complete stop, except for me……..I came to rest against the bumper of the car ahead of mine.
    Now, because I take some narcotics (prescribed) because of my disease, I couldn’t pass ONE part of the DUI test (not even a part that would infringe upon ones driving skills), and I was put in handcuffs and arrested.
    What is the point of this long diatribe?
    Believe me, the outcome is more embarrassing than you want to know about.

  • arkz

    oh ho, i do like this list.. i drive alot, delivery driver.. tailgaters are my biggest pet peeve… if i cant see your front license plate you are way too close, as for the speed limit… in California its always the flow of traffic. or at least where i drive

  • Ajezz

    I think it has been mentioned before, but #8 is just totally wrong. In fact, using both lanes until immediately before the obstacle is the most efficient way of driving because it uses all the given street space and thus prevents large traffic jams.

    That’s why here in Germany drivers are obligated to use both lanes until the end and only then merge. This system works like a charm. Calling the drivers in the blocked lane “cheaters” is nonsense when they are the ones that drive correctly, and the drivers in the through lane who block them are the ones behaving in a stupid and wrong way.

  • thanks for these tips

  • InfearNO

    Traffic Jam? Speed Limit? What are these strange things?

    FYI I’m that sports bike rider filtering through traffic at 70mph on a 30mph road, guess this list wasn’t meant for me.

  • mom424

    @InfearNO (149): You’re one of the causes of this list. You might have much skill at the bobbing and weaving thing but at what consequence? Some inexperienced driver sees you out the corner of their eye and they panic – slam on the brakes, swerve into another lane – you’ve an accident in the making.

    Not to mention the fact that I know 2 guys, should say knew 2 guys ‘cuz one of them is dead. The other is alive but missing the bottom half of a leg. Many people in cars are oblivious to motorcycles – you best be more careful if you want to live – with all your parts.

  • Mathilda

    Kennypo65 @ 36 and Jenna_Bug @90 – Hey neighbors! Not that there is much hope of morons ever driving through the tunnels properly, but I’d like to add my two cents. Let’s say you drive down the Parkway West every day after work at the same time, and every day for the past three days when you exit from the tunnel the sun is setting right in your eyes, thereby necessitating (in your mind) that you slam on your brakes while you fumble for your sunglasses which may be in your glove box or may be under the passenger seat or may be at home being chewed up by your pit bull Fluffy-Snookums, why then, where do you think the position of the setting sun will be tomorrow? That’s right, in your eyes! It is in fact perfectly legal to be prepared for this and have your sunglasses in your hand ready to put on as you are exiting the tunnel.

    Of course, we also get to deal with people who do not understand the concept of all wheel drive who think it is some sort of magical device which will enable them to drive at 100 mph through an ice storm down a twisty cobblestone hill, all in complete safety. Suffice to say that next time one of you jackasses runs into my car because you cannot bother to drive carefully and expect your vehicle to do it for you, I will take out my frustrations upon you with a crow bar.

  • bucslim

    @BooRadley (130):

    Eh – I find myself liking the Mike episodes better than the Joel ones. I can do without the skits – very rarely do I find myself laughing at any of those.

    The best shorts I’ve seen is the one on preventing accidents and the one obeying traffic signs. Some kid and his gal get into an accident and die and the brother is on the scene when one of the Troopers ask him if he could identify this bucket of his brother. That was just a scream. And I gotta say I really enjoyed the MST3K movie, eh, movie “This Planet Earth.”

  • Woyzeck

    @Randall (125): I’ve been here, but the powers that be have taken to censoring my comments, regardless of their content. Ho-hum.

  • Randall

    @bucslim (152):

    “This Island Earth.” And I always thought that was a strange choice, seeing as it wasn’t really a “bad” movie per se… just kinda on the silly side.

  • Been there

    All this list contains is the same shit I learned in High School driving class. I mean come on, lets have some really serious tips like “avoid road rage at all costs” or “if the guy in the car has a gun, shut the fuck up and get out of there”. Just saying

  • astraya

    I have never held a driver’s licence, and don’t particularly want to, but my wife is anxious that I get one. The state road authority website has an online demonstration test. I did that for the first time this morning and, without any real study or preparation, scored 44 out of 45, mainly through common sense and some intelligent guesswork at times. The question I got wrong was a rather non-fatal one about how long I should hold one class of licence before I can apply for another.

  • Slap

    And never ever drive high. Just kidding. Light up and enjoy the scenery, kids.

  • melurker

    @blue (96) I hope you don’t mind but I have stolen your definition, I just loved it

    I have found that you have to be wary of drivers who wear hats.

  • Randall

    @Woyzeck (153):

    Are you shittin’ me? ARRRRRGGGHHHHH…

  • mom424

    @Randall (159):
    @Woyzeck (153):
    Not to my knowledge. Honest.
    It is possible that you may be in the same ip range as a spammer. I’ll check.

  • Leah






  • Leah

    you know, it’s funny, because i bet all of us have committed the very same offenses (or still continue to commit) that drive us crazy.

    but it’s always okay if we, ourselves, do them, right?
    if anyone else commits our “pet peeve”, then THEY are the idiots.

    Some of you guys act like you’ve never been an inexperienced driver. You just pop outta the womb spouting out driving tips?

  • Wolfedrone

    I like this list. I’m a Civil Engineer who designs highways, and a lot of the factors we try to design for are described in this list. Though, you can never design for the knuckleheads.

  • Oz

    What about using your turn signal? It tells other drivers what you plan on doing.

  • copperdragon

    @Blue (115):

    You must not live in a state where there is adverse weather and weekend tourists. Most of the cars i see stranded, flipped, etc. on the roadside are soccer moms in their SUVs that were doing 75 on a snowy road at night, thinking their do-everything car will protect them from black ice and physics.

    Or the teenager in his souped up rice-burner going 90 in the rain and hydroplaning into the semi cuz they couldnt swerve with 2 inches of water under their wheels.

    Remember, the signs say speed LIMIT (ie maximum) – not minimum. I understand that those limits were created back when cars and tires were not as efficient, and in dry sunny conditions, the limit should go up. But that means they should go down in poor conditions.

  • Blue

    165 copperdragon
    You are actually making my point for me, read what I actually wrote.

    Again i will point out to you that most speed limits are over 50 years old when Model T’s were still in operation in large parts of the world, it is not the rules and regulations or road conditions it is the loose nut behind the wheel that causes most of the problems.

    Speed limits are in place for various reasons, however on highways those are plainly ridiculous for the performance of modern cars, a much more acceptable formula should be found, I dont have the answer to that, but to me speed limits seem to be revenue generating instruments and not actual laws protecting people.

  • mike

    Another great driving rule is the 3-or-5 second delay after your red light turns green before you go.This can save you from those maniacs who run a red light from the other direction.

  • twitus

    re:Phantom traffic jams – I finally understand the principle behind this!!! I cannot recall how often I wondered why on earth was the traffic suddenly being jammed without apparent reasons. A HUGE thank you for resolving this inner enigma.

  • copperdragon

    @Blue (166):

    Even a loose nut in a high-performance car will slide/flip off the road when speeding in poor conditions.

    My point was simple – slow down in adverse driving conditions (night, rain, snow, wind) – regardless of speed limit or car or driver.

  • bucslim

    @Leah (161):

    So Leah, you were saying something about pent up angst? You’re the one typing in all caps.


    Yes, Leah, I’m trolling. I’ve been trolling here since this place opened. And I’m trolling now. Judging by your comments above, I don’t think anyone reading it will have any problem spotting who the friggen troll is. And since you can’t seem to make an intelligent argument against what I’ve said, you resort to typical Junior High behavior. Although no one will mistake me for Ron Jeremey or Peter North, I don’t think my Johnson size should enter into the conversation.


    Ok, I don’t have a fucking license. But I do have a driver’s license. And just so you know, I haven’t been in an auto accident for over 15 years, my first speeding ticket was when I was 24 and my last speeding ticket was 5 years ago. Any more up close and personal information requests will need to be handled by PM.


    I’ve never had an aneurysm, driving or otherwise. However it looks like from your all caps message, you’re about to have one. Really, that vein on your forehead looks like it’s going to pop. Calm down. And since you mentioned, ‘we’ll all get where we need to fucking go,’ you can go to hell.


    Yeah, I did make some good points didn’t I? I’m really insightful, but it’s assholes like you that show their ass with all caps replies to my trifle of a comment or two that make reading a horrible experience for everyone else. Go blow it out your enlightened ass.


    Having never done valium because I’m perfectly calm behind the wheel and other times in my awesome life, I might suggest you taking an entire bottle before you start typing. Perhaps then you’ll see that the caps lock is stuck and you look like a screaming ass monkey. Better yet you’ll just fall asleep so the rest of us won’t have to read your stupid, weak, ridiculous fucktardery.

  • gabi319

    I’ve taken valium! Or rather A valium. Always been busy so with the way my schedule worked out, I had to have all four wisdom teeth removed in one go. They were all under the bone meaning it required sedation, cutting of the bone…the whole nine yards (or 8.22 meters for our overseas friends). So they gave me a tiny blue valium half an hour before surgery. Definitely felt some floaty, trippy feelings for a few minutes like I was in the middle of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. …woke up later and in no time my face was more swollen than a chipmunk hoarding for winter.

    I made a toddler cry when he saw me.

  • Backwoods

    I’m amazed that more hasn’t been said about cellphone use. I think that most drivers
    these days could benefit from this simple tip:

    1) End active call.
    2) Turn your cellphone sideways.
    3) Shove your cellphone up your ass.
    4) Watch your driving improve dramatically and immediately!

  • Shell

    Oh my, lots of fodder to choose from here…

    bucslim – good comments. Ifeel the same way, or did for yeas. I drove for a living for a while and commuted across Atlanta at various times. I firmly believe that the police should be authorized to issue citations for HUA (Head Up Ass). Some of the things I saw people do beggar belief.

    xave69 – you got it almost right. To properly adjust your side mirrors: While in the driver’s seat. Lean your head against the window and adjust the mirror so you can just see the side/rear fender of your car at the edge. Then lean the same distance toward the passenger side and adjust the mirror on that side ditto. Adjust your rear-view mirror so that you are looking straight behind your vehicle.

    With the mirrors adjusted thus, any vehicle coming up on either side will show in the side mirror before it can no longer be seen in the rear view mirror.

    jfrater – it is NEVER a good idea to turn your fully away from your line of travel, as you advocate with in nr. four’s “…a quick glance over the shoulder…”. As others have stated in different ways, you should practice what aircraft pilots call “situational awareness”, in other words be aware of what’s going on around you at all times. That includes paying attention to cars you’ve passed and those approaching going faster than you. Slightly turning your head to the side and using your peripheral vision to double-check beside you should be sufficient and is much safer.

    Someone, I don’t remember who and can’t be arsed to go back and try to find out, replied to a rant about not stopping at “Yield” signs with a pretty good explanation of how they’re meant to control traffic and how to act when approaching one, except for one glaring error. A “Yield” sign means exactly that, YIELD to all traffic, not just to cars that are at or near the same point in their lane that you are in yours. If they’re behind you in the lane you want to enter you still must yield the right-of-way if they’re too close or are approaching too fast for you to enter the lane without causing them a problem. “Causing them a problem”, by the way, includes having to apply the brakes to allow you to pull out in the lane.

    Continuing in the vein of that last – keep in mind that the car occupying a lane has the right-of-way in that lane at all times. It doesn’t matter that you “need” or even “have” to turn RIGHT HERE!, that you don’t know the roads and don’t want to miss your turn, that you want to move over a lane for whatever reason. If there’s a car in a place that you want to go, he has the right-of-way there, period.

    And last – regarding the “zipper” method of merging I’ve seen mentioned. There used to be signs posted at expressway on-ramps (in Georgia, where I live) that read “Take Gap/Give Gap”, and everyone knew what they meant. Now when I mention them to people in discussions like this or in person I get blank looks and the occasional, “What does THAT mean?”

  • katerinaelaena

    I’m suppose to get to do by G2 test sometime soon but i’m too scared =P I think driving is a prety complicated skill to master, so Kudos to all the people who are on the roads so much! I drive for 25 minutes and get so stressed, can’t even imagine a job on the road..

  • firkin

    Speed should be governed by stopping distance. That includes bad visibility: your stopping distance must be within the distance you can see. It’s saved my butt at least 3 times.

    I look over my shoulder twice: once to look, and the second time specifically for motorcycles.

    Fog lights: DON’T use them all the time. It’s just as blinding as driving with your brights on. And it’s a dead giveaway that you are NOT looking down the road for hazards.

    Drive conservatively. Even if you’re doing 80 mph, if you give the other drivers plenty of room, you probably will not draw the attention of the police. (This does not apply where there is camera speed monitoring!)

    How not to get a ticket when pulled over: Be nice to traffic cops! (Think what the roads would be like without them!) Admit you were wrong – even if you think you weren’t. Don’t say stupid stuff like “you should be out catching criminals!” In 99.99999% of cases, they pulled you over because there was something wrong.

    Good driving and good manners = 41 years of driving and only 4 tickets; three accidents and not at fault for any.

  • darren

    "Stay to the right, pass to the left" – are you kidding me. If everyone did this there would be accidents everywhere. Everyone needs to follow the same rules; which are the last time I saw them was to stay to the left and over take on the right.

    • sir_bio

      That rule would depend on which country you drive in. The rule on the list is for countries like America, Canada, etc, where one drives on the right.
      Your rule is for countries like Britain where people drive on the left.
      At least this is what I’m assuming the writer meant.

  • Fyl

    There ARE cars without blind spots. Just get a car without airbag pillars and upgrade the rearview mirror.

    Examples: E36 (90s models) BMW 3-series. Older Volvos. Slap on a wide panoramic mirror ($5.99 – 15) and you’re done.

    I’ve even stopped doing all that looking over my shoulder while backing up crap because I literally get better rear visibility through my mirror. I literally see cars behind me and to my sides all the way until they enter my peripheral vision.

    Side mirrors? What are those for?!

  • LomoShoogEduh


  • Steve

    here is the situation that ticks me off the most. I am traveling in the right hand lane at 65 MPH (the posted speed limit) or maybe a few MPH over with my cruise control set. A slower moving vehicle is in front of me a good distance ahead. I check the left lane and it is clear so I signal and move over. Some ram rod comes flying up behind me at 85 mph in the left lane and gets on my tail. I figure at that speed if I move back he will be past me and I can get over again so I move back to the right lane and the asshole proceeds to get along side of me and slows down so I have to brake to avoid rear ending the vehicle in front of me. I brake, the prick goes past I move to the left and he speeds up and flies away. Note, I won’t usually pull over to pass that far in advance if it is busy. I’m talking about times with very little traffic. If its busy I’ll either slow down and wait to pull over to pass or I’ll speed up to keep up with the passing traffic until I get past the slower vehicle and can get back into the right lane.

    Another thing that irritates the hell out of me. People braking when they see a cop car in median or service turn. Trust me if you’ve seen them they have you. Besides, you are only traveling 5 MPH over, THEY ARE NOT GOING TO PULL YOU OVER. I’m traveling 3 or 4 over with my cruise set, you barely creep by me, see the cop, pull in front of me and slow down to about 60. Now I have to either brake or move to the left to pass you. Then, as soon as the cop is out of sight behind us you pass me again. I was passed by the same car 3 times in a 5 mile stretch once because they had a speed trap set up and he kept speeding up and passing me and then pulling in front of me and slowing down while I just kept my cruise set and passed him.

    One more thing about the merging. the zipper method would probably work well if everyone did what they were supposed to do. We all know however that the people in the through lane will look at people in the ending lane as cheaters and not let them in. It wouldn’t be so bad if all those people in the ending lane actually knew that they were doing the right thing but we all know that they don’t. The only reason they don’t merge early is because they want to cheat and get ahead of everyone else.

    Of course there was the one nice little old lady that sat through two light cycles letting all the cars from the ending lane in in front of her. She was first at the red light in the through lane. The light turned green and she let a couple of cars from the ending lane in front of her. OK, no problem, a couple of cars is no big deal. Then she let six or seven go through and then a few more and then the light turned red again. I’m three cars behind her and I know the guy in front of me was ready to jump out and kill her. OK, take a deep breath, she’ll go this time…wrong…she does the same thing. During this red light one of the construction workers must have said something to her because she almost jumped the next green light.

    The moral of all these little stories. “if I were the last person on earth some moron would turn left in front of me” (thanks Louie)

  • Asim

    i guess like me many people click on this due to sign of #2