Driving Courtesy

What is with people?  Doesn’t anybody learn to drive courteously anymore?  On my recent trip to the hamfest, I took the scenic route – I find that the two-lane roads have much better scenery and are more challenging (and therefore more fun) to drive than the freeways.  It is on these roads that peoples’ driving courtesy (or, more often than not, lack thereof) becomes apparent.  It’s been years since I’ve driven a rural two-lane highway, and possibly longer since I’ve done so through mountainous terrain, but it all came instantly back to me, just like riding a bicycle.  Some things one never really forgets.  Except for those who never learned.  We’re talking about simple stuff here, too.  Like dimming your headlights for oncoming traffic, or when following another vehicle.  Signalling your intent to pass, and doing so only when it is safe. 

 For that matter, most people don’t seem to do much better on four-lane divided highways (two lanes in each direction).  I guess people are spoiled by 6- 8- and 10-lane freeways.  On a four-lane highway, you are supposed to stay in the outside lane, moving to the left lane only when necessry to pass another vehicle, returning to the right lane once you have passed and it is safe to.  Exceptions include moving to the left as yo approach an on-ramp to make it easier for the cars entering the roadway.  Oh… and of course signalling all lane changes. 

As much as I hate to cast stereotypes, you know who the biggest offenders are, at least here in AZ?  Nine times out of ten, if I see a discourteous driver, especially one that continues to drive in the inside (left) lane, whether passing or not, the car seems to have California plates.  I’m sure there are plenty of Californians who learned proper driving courtesy, but I guess these Californians never drive to Arizona. 

 Well, I’ll continue to drive the way I was taught. I guess it’s just me and the professional truckers who still practice common courtesy on the roadways.

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