6 basic driving skills Charlotteans can’t figure out

6 basic driving skills Charlotteans can’t figure out
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Charlotte drivers are the worst.

I end up doing way more cursing in my car than anyone with an Elevation bumper sticker should be doing, and it’s thanks to Charlotte drivers.

The problem is that the city is full of transplants.

We’ve got the rudeness of the northeast, the aloofness of the west coast, and the “I learned how to drive on a tractor”-ness of the midwest.

But if Charlotte drivers could learn these six basic driving skills, we’d all stop getting road headaches.

drivers-in-charlotte

#1 The left lane is for passing

Dante once said the deepest level of hell is reserved for traitors, but I think people who drive slow in the left lane get to go a little bit deeper.

How do you go your entire life without learning that the left lane is the fast lane?

The right lane is for those of you who like to drive the speed limit, and the left lane of for those of us who are winners.

#2 Zippering

If two lanes of traffic are merging, cars are supposed to use both lanes up until it’s time to merge, then alternate turns between the lanes.

Charlotte has developed a different system.

We start with a line of overly aggressive males in good ol’ boy trucks refusing to let anyone merge in front of them as if their masculinity is at stake. Then, some doormat will stop to allow 2-3 cars to merge, but they’re too much of a pushover to stop the flow, so 5-6 cars jump in front.

Can we start using simple driving conventions instead of relying on the shaky ratio of jerks-to-pushovers?

#3 Don’t stop for buses on four-lane roads

School districts can’t legally make kids cross four lanes of divided traffic to get to their bus. That means if you’re approaching a bus that’s stopped on a four-lane road with a median, you’re not supposed to stop. Only the traffic behind the bus stops.

This is frustrating because all it takes is two people who don’t know driving rules to stop two whole lanes of traffic on Eastway every morning. The rest of us stuck behind you yahoos are fuming.

#4 Let people parallel park/3-point turn

When the car in front of you is parallel parking or making a 3-point turn, they have the right of way.

That means you can’t pass them. It even applies if they’re in the lane opposite of you.

By trying to pass them, you’re endangering yourself and everyone else on the road, because everyone’s vision is compromised.

Bro, you can wait.

Parallel parking only takes a few seconds, unless you’re a born and raised southerner, then it’ll take four minutes and three attempts.

#5 People are allowed to wait half a second at a green light before they go

Don’t lay on your horn the moment the light turns green.

I’m sorry my Nissan Murao doesn’t go from 0 to 35 in under a second. That light just turned green.

Blasting your horn right away makes you no better than those people who repeat punchlines out loud while watching a sitcom. We all heard Sheldon say BAZINGA and we all see the light is green.

#6 Blinkers exist

Fun fact: there’s this little switch near your steering wheel that allows you to show other drivers what turns you plan to make. Use it.

I encounter way too many people who say “Ackshually, you don’t need to use your blinker if you’re in a turn lane because everyone already knows you’re turning.” Wrong. You don’t get to decide what everyone else knows.


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