I have lived many places, with many different kinds of drivers - all of them bad, but in different ways. Specifically Dallas and LA, likely because they're both ginormous cities that revolve around highways and poor public transit. People in Dallas are aggressive and stupid - the kind of driving that leaves a 40 car pile-up in its wake and the driver has no idea because they're so oblivious. People in LA fall into two different categories: assholes and pussies.
First let me comment on why I'm qualified to dissect and judge other people's driving habits: I'm a fucking fantastic driver. In the 17 years (holy god, I've officially been driving longer than I HAVEN'T been driving, I'm so old) I've had a license, I've pretty much driven everything except an 18-wheeler.
Most people learn to drive on their mom's Camry that's semi-old and kinda cushy, with easy steering, brakes and not a lot of extra thinking required. I, however, learned to drive in a really large and horrifically unsafe steel box, otherwise known as this beautiful creature:
Yes, this was my first car. A beautiful seafoam green 1966 Ford Mustang. The amenities it came with were 1) being awesome, 2) factory AC (rare and wonderful for that time) and 3) doors. It had no power steering or brakes, no airbags (which nearly sent my mom to the nuthouse) and at first, a very slow, weak engine with 170,000 miles on it.
As a 100lb 16-year-old, I got quite a workout driving this thing. To turn, I had to make approximately 60 complete rotations of the steering wheel, and to brake I had to anticipate things that might happen five minutes in advance while using all of my weight and both feet to bring the car to a screeching halt. Needless to say, I had to be on my game.
Fast forward two years and I leave my beloved behind to go to school in LA with a new Beetle. Being one of the only freshmen with a car, I quickly became the dorm taxi. Basically when you land in LA and you've been driving for a year and a half, you're thrown into some crazy shit. Six-lane freeways? Yep. Crazy assholes driving 80mph? Yep. So my survival instincts kicked in and within weeks I was a pro at driving like a west coast asshole, which became pretty funny when I moved back to Austin and scared people by changing lanes into a spot barely a car length long.
So at this point I've driven a car that I practically had to pedal and also driven in the craziest traffic city in the US. Let's up our game a bit here by getting a stick shift. Yep, that's right, my next car was a manual (upon request, no less) Mercury Cougar that I had for seven years until random parts started falling off and I had to get something more "practical."
In recent months, I've also had some interesting driving experiences, which include driving a 12-passenger van on a one-lane road through the hills of Napa Valley, and doing it so well that I became the REQUESTED DRIVER. Yes, that's right, people trusted my driving skills. They even suggested I be a bus driver, which actually flattered me.
So you pretty much can't outdo me in knowing how to drive unless you're one of the boys I hung out with in college who had fast cars and taught me how to do such things as "apex a turn."
Alright, so here are my driving tips:
1) MOVE BITCH, GET OUT THE WAY
Seriously, going under the speed limit? Not acceptable. I have shit to do and places to be, so get the fuck out of my way. If you don't know where you're going, TOO BAD, find a place to pull over but most definitely do not slow down to a crawl as you try to read the addresses on buildings while I desperately attempt to change lanes while people speed by. Get out of the fast lane on the highway. Just go ahead and don't even get on the highway if you can't fucking use it right. And here's another tip - the speed limit is the flow of traffic, and if the flow of traffic is going 70, SPEED THE FUCK UP. Can't handle it? Take a bus.
2) TURN SIGNALS
USE. THEM. I'm not kidding. You will NEVER get over in front of me without signaling, I will make SURE. One person at a time I'm slowly teaching the world to signal by NOT REWARDING BAD BEHAVIOR. Going to turn right? Well you're gonna get honked at like a mofo unless you have your signal on because it looks like you're about to just slow down and stop in the middle of the road.
3) SKIPPING THE LINE
Pretending you don't see that arrow that tells you the lane merges into one? Nope, not gonna happen. If I have to tie my bumper to the car in front of me by god you will not get in. Getting over at the last second? Nope. My friends that I've never met and I are making a beautiful unbreakable chain of cars that you will not penetrate because you DIDN'T WAIT YOUR TURN. I love the camaraderie of joining together with strangers to screw over an asshole. It just warms my little heart.
I'm going to say this once and only once: IF YOU HAVE NEVER LIVED IN A PLACE WHERE IT RAINED/SNOWED/HAD WEATHER AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH, JUST DON'T EVEN TRY TO DRIVE. I had to learn how to drive in the snow on my first day of work when I moved to Kansas City. Guess what? I made it. You assholes keep sliding off the road or going 2 mph or running into shit because water falls from the sky. You don't deserve the privilege of driving. Go home and let the big kids drive on rainy days. You're a danger to yourself and others.
5) WRONG TURNS
Guess what? Sometimes we miss our exits on the highway. It happens. There's an easy solution that doesn't involve killing 7 people and stopping traffic for hours - TAKE THE NEXT EXIT AND TURN AROUND. Wait, WHAT? Yes, I said it's ok to take the NEXT EXIT. If you're in the far left lane and have five lanes to cross to get to your exit in ten feet, YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE. 1) you should have been paying attention, so it's your own damn fault and 2) it's not like that 20-mile stretch in Louisiana on the 10 where you literally cannot exit because you're 20 feet above a swamp and are likely to get eaten by a gator - there's another exit in ONE MILE. Jesus people, COMMON SENSE. And I know half of you use GPS - SIRI WILL REROUTE YOU. I PROMISE.
So pretty much everyone on the road falls into one of these categories, which means that everyone needs to go practice in a parking lot until you can fucking handle yourself and your giant torpedo of death. Now let me drive JUST ONCE without having to curse you out.