Hey drivers – here’s a lesson

Roxy Hammond

Roxy Hammond

I do a lot of interstate driving. Really, the only time I drive is on the interstate. Between driving home, going to Sioux Falls, or driving to various towns across the state for debate meets; I’ve racked up around 15,000 miles on my car since I got it last November. Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of time on the open road, and therefore, have noticed a lot of things you should NOT do while driving on the interstate. I’ve arranged a reader-friendly list for everyone, so then you won’t be the next idiot I glare at while having to pass on the right. Read carefully.

1) DO NOT merge onto the interstate at 30 mph with people behind you. This is slightly more forgivable if you drive an old crappy car that doesn’t have the capability to accelerate quickly. Otherwise, get some balls, and STEP ON IT!

2) DO NOT ignore merging cars. I hate merging, especially in heavy traffic. But what I REALLY hate is when I’m trying to merge, and the car in the right lane does not move over to accommodate me – if they are able to. Over Thanksgiving break when I was driving home, I merged from I-29 to I-90, and this stupid car was directly in my way and wouldn’t move over! There were no other cars in sight, but this lady was oblivious. Seriously, don’t be that lady. Change lanes!

3) DO NOT speed without a radar detector. Not that I’m encouraging speeding, but if you’re going to participate in this illegal activity, don’t be stupid about it! There are hypos everywhere. It’s completely ludicrous to have a lead foot without a little Big-Brother detector. I recently had a hot little Stealth fly past me on the interstate going at least 95 mph with no radar detector. Ten miles later, I passed him while a cop was handing him a speeding ticket. Idiot. Come on, you can get a radar detector for less than the $180 ticket you’ll receive without one. (Or another idea – just don’t speed at all.)

4) DO NOT get into the left lane to pass someone and then slow down so you block traffic. This causes my blood to boil, and I don’t think I’m alone.

If you’re going to pass someone, then PASS THEM! For the sake of everyone else on the road, don’t take your dear sweet time. A few weeks ago when I was coming back to Brookings, a car ahead of me pulled into the left lane to pass someone, and then stayed there, maintaining the same speed as the other car. As you can imagine, this created a nice little road block, because both of the cars were going about 72 MPH. Stupid, stupid people!

After at least 10 miles of following these two cars, I just decided to pass on the right (the sad thing was, there was enough room to do so, and the idiot still didn’t get back into the right lane.) Don’t do this!

5) DO NOT pass someone, then start talking to your friends and forget to maintain your speed so they have to pass you a few minutes later. This happens way more than people realize, especially if you don’t have cruise control. I understand, it’s difficult to maintain speed when you have nothing to control it, but don’t start talking about your girlfriend’s amazing sister or something and forget that you are, in fact, driving. This also applies to #4.

6) And finally, disregard #3, and just plain DO NOT speed when the conditions are crappy. The winter wonderland that hits South Dakota every year is approaching, and anyone that’s ever driven in a blizzard or icy conditions knows that it sucks. This fun time is not aided when someone comes speeding past you. Listen, if you want to die in a big extravagant car crash, be my guest. But I don’t. So don’t do stupid things that may cause me, or anyone else, to do so. In example, speeding when it’s snowing.

So there you have it. Driving isn’t too difficult, and driving on the interstate isn’t too difficult either … so there should be absolutely no reason that I have to curse society when I leave town. Cut this out, tape it to your dash, memorize it … I don’t care. But please, for the sake of everyone– DON’T BE A STUPID DRIVER!

Roxy Hammond is a sophomore journalism major.

#1.884447:4166095905.jpg:RoxyHammondUsethisone.jpg:Roxy Hammond, Columnist: