I got flipped off today on my way to work. Now, I am not saying this because I am proud of the fact, or even that it really irritated me all that much. After all, I drive almost one hour each way to work. One quickly learns Ohio highway etiquette during such a commute. Here are the high points:
- The far left lane is not necessarily for passing. You can pass in that lane; or not. If not, see #2 below:
- Oftentimes, the right lane is the best lane to use for passing. Or the middle. Or (my favorite) you can randomly move across all four lanes using the frogger method.
- Always be prepared to slam on the brakes in construction areas (which currently comprise 75% of my commute). And a big thank you goes out to the black SUV that ran into the median to avoid hitting me. I waved at you but you might have missed it, given the adrenaline rush. And I can’t help but wonder if I get pulled over for driving 75 in a 55 mph construction zone the cop will accept my, “What? You really meant that?” defense. Then, again, see #4:
- I don’t care how fast you drive. It you are driving a mini-van you will never be pulled over for a speeding ticket.
- Don’t think you can use the “Butler Ridge Centre/Mack Rd/Hwy 747” as a shortcut. Any shortcut off of I-75 will result in slow drivers on a two lane road. But the hill jumping over railroad tracks is awesome.
- Ohio drivers are VERY nice about letting you into a lane if you use your blinker. Having an out-of-state license plates probably also helps.
- Old people drive slowly. Now I know this is not indicative just in Ohio but figured I would throw it in because they just irritate the hell out of me.
- Truck drivers are very good about staying out of the left passing lane. Although this doesn’t really help my commute (see #1 above).
So I think there should be some formal highway travel etiquette which would include the rule that you cannot beep your horn in pissiness if you are driving, say, any banged up car that is older than 10 years or the color burgundy. Or at least have a limit to how long you can lean on your horn based on your car type. Traffic is so heavy that sometimes if you don’t jump into the left lane, you will be “effectively boxed in,” a phrase I have to mutter at least three times each commute. So if I move into the left lane at 64 MPH and piss you off, unless you are driving an expensive car – don’t bother beeping. But you do get allowance to beep if you are driving a BMW 5 Series Sedan type vehicle (And no, Hummers of any kind are not included). And since I NEVER beep at anyone, I express my pissiness by yelling at the other driver in the privacy of my van. And this means I have to speak loudly to be heard over the Mandy song playing on my CD player and usually goes something like this:
“Yeah, you stupid SUV, I wanted in so bite me. Just pull up your big boy panties and deal with it.”
It’s all just part of the commuting process.