Drivers education. For many- this consisted of a short course in high school and a quick read through the DMV handbook prior to taking the exam. The lessons learned deal more with rules of the road rather than driver’s etiquette and common sense. Recent trips to my local gas station has made it abundantly clear that not only have drivers forgotten the rules of the road but they also lack basic common curtsey and at times, rational thought.
Quick review: Driver’s etiquette consists of actions or behaviors regarding practices among members of a community. Proprieties of conduct involve such things as not speeding up and letting in a car in front of you when they have their blinker on etc. Courtesy should also be extended off the road. Such as in parking lots. People: when your car is parked and you are dawdling inside, and another car is waiting for your spot, give some signal that you are not leaving. Don’t leave the poor guy to wait there for 20 minutes clogging up the aisle and teeing off all the other drivers behind them.
Drivers etiquette became an issue for me while driving the long-term Bmw 335d. A stealthy diesel that neither sounds like one or is demarcated clearly as such. Small variances from the normal fuel-powered 335 lie in a tiny d instead of i and a small urea flap – mostly ones that will remain unnoticeable by the normal driver. Most gas stations do not have a dedicated diesel pump. In fact, these elusive green handles are usually in a shared tank with the regular and premium fuels. Invariably, when I need to fill up (a relatively rare occasion) I will pull into a nearly deserted gas station and of course the only two stations are occupied by people filling up a non-diesel car. As I wait patiently behind them, they will usually stand and stare at me with either a blank face or with a dirty look and probably wonder why I can just go and fill up at any one of the other empty stations. Without rolling down the window and yelling at them ‘I have a diesel you idiot!’ I just have to wait, seething and stewing, as they finish fueling, take 10 minutes to fiddle with something inside and then decide to clean out their trunk or spend 15 minutes washing their windshield.
The lesson in etiquette to be learned today is that if you do not own a diesel car please be aware that others do and use a different pump if one is available. While a complete list of rules of automotive conduct (RAC) will be too long, here are just some of the infractions I have noticed today.
1.) When another driver has their blinker on and wants to merge into your lane, do not speed up. Unless of course they are blowing noxius fumes from the tail pipe, have crap hanging or tied precariously to the back, or are a slowing moving Prius.
2.) At the gas station, know what side your gas tank is on and use the appropriate pump – do not try and yank the hose over the roof of your car to try to fit the nozzle in.
3.) When a car purposely parks in the very far corner of a parking lot to avoid others cars, do not park 2 inches from their car especially when the parking lot isn’t full
4.) The Fast lane is not for cruising – if you are not going faster than the car to the right of you, get out of the fast lane
5.) If you are not exiting or just entering the freeway – do not drive in the right-hand lane, and especially don’t drive continuously in the right-most lane at 45 mph (take the streets)
6.) Don’t bright me because your headlights suck, it’s called xenon- get used to it