My wife and I resided in California for over fourteen years and frequently skirmished with other traffic. Fourteen years is one hundred and forty driving years where we drove. Driving years are determined by the number of days that you drive on major highways during rush hours multiplied by the population density and cars per household. The SF Bay Area where we traveled has a twelve to one ratio for driving years to years of life. We were out on the Peninsula, mostly around San Mateo, RWC, Palo Alto, Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Life is easier out there. Driving years only have a ten to one proportion to calendar years. Down in Los Angeles, I understand that one human year equals twenty-five driving years.
Back when we lived in California, my spouse and I were too busy driving to understand the rules of the road. Moving out of California has allowed us to formulate rules that California drivers seem to follow. These are observations and exceptions to the observations often exist. Nevertheless, this is what we observe when California drivers visit our town.
1. The speed limit is five miles an hour above the posted limit. Limit means the lower edge of the speed range, like 55 to infinity - and beyond!
2. Do not stop for pedestrians. If they want to cross the road, they should be in a car like everyone else.
3. Do not use a turn signal! This can't be stressed too much. Do not use a turn signal. Turn signals give away your intentions. Knowing your intentions let other drivers plan ahead and thwart your moves. Once you use the turn signal and you're thwarted in your desire to advance, others will attack you. It's the weak that are always slowed.
4. Merging and yielding is for suckers. What's the matter with you? You fought for your piece of road. Don't give it up to another car. Doing so is a sign of weakness and other drivers will quickly target you as easy prey and take advantage of your weakness. Soon your car will be shuffled back in the line, delaying your arrival by as much as five or six minutes. Time is money and if time is money, then speed helps you make the best use of your money. Do the math, dummy.
5. Do not use your mirrors under any circumstance except to check your hair or make-up, shave or brush your teeth.
6. Put your front bumper up on the rear bumper of the car in front of you. Ensure there is no space between your car and them. Such gaps allow other cars in. Letting other cars in is a sign of weakness. Other drivers thrive on weak drivers.
7. Do not use your turn signals. It's been stressed twice. Three times should show how important it is to not use your turn signals.
8. Don't stop at stop signs. This is a matter of fuel economy as well as saving time (and thus saving money). A stopped car is achieving zero miles per gallon. By stopping, you're increasing Ameria's appetite for fuel and our dependence on foreign oil. Don't you want to be a good American? Then don't stop at stop signs.
9. Get in whatever lane you wish and establish the speed that you want to travel. If you're faster than the car in front of them, let them know that you're not impressed by getting up on their rear bumper and nudging them forward. The message is clear: speed up, move, or get run over. If they're strong, they'll speed up. There are no lanes for the weak on California's roads.
10. A yellow light means to hurry because that light is going to change. A red light is a trap. Once a red light stops you, you're stuck with the rest of the losers who weren't fast enough to pass through the intersection before the light change. Being stuck at a red light is wrong for so many reasons. You're not moving so you're getting zero miles per gallon (bad American), you're not moving forward, so you're wasting time and losing money (very bad American), and now, all those people that you've passed have caught up to you and will have another chance to get you.
11. Remember that driving is not a contact sport. Accidents stop you, letting all those people that you passed get back past you, plus you're traveling zero miles per hour when you're stopped.
12. And always observe the final rule: there are only so many parking spaces in California.
Those who arrive first will have them.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com