Tonight, while driving home from work, my husband and I heard a siren. After a lively debate where I ridiculed him for saying, "Where are you at?" [I hate 'at' at the end of a question; it bothers me more than other participle-ish things], we finally realized it was coming in the opposite direction. We looked across Jefferson Avenue (at the four lanes of oncoming traffic...Newport News-ians, we were at the stoplight at Walmart/Kiln Creek with all the merging and the reflective thingies marking the turn lanes...only we were headed toward the mall) anyhow...and a car was sitting DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE AMBULANCE. This prompted me to yell (clearly, he could hear me), "JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE AT A RED LIGHT DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO SIT. WE'RE ALL WAITING FOR THE AMBULANCE."
Obviously, he heard me. He went through the intersection (on the red light) and moved to the right side...WHERE HE KEPT DRIVING. WHAT?! IT'S AN EMERGENCY VEHICLE. DRIVING TO DENBIGH IS NOT AS IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!
My much more levelheaded husband responded, "I think they should have a mandatory driving refresher course every few years." [He really is a brilliant man...and much cooler under pressure...I'm much cooler...in life and society. sike.]
I agreed WHOLEHEARTEDLY, which prompted me to make my list of three things. Since I'm pretty sure this is my interwebs version of "is this thing on?", I thought you'd absolutely be DYING to know my 3 most important refresher tips for [primarily Virginia] drivers.
1. Blinkers, also known as turn signals. My sweet husband and I have a funny little saying..."Blinkers B*#@&es". Yes, I obviously came up with it in a raging fit (not unlike the one I had tonight). It drives me INSANE when people don't use turn signals whether it's to turn or to change lanes. I hate it. Hate. It. Hate it.
2. The law states that you MUST use your HEADLIGHTS (not your *fancy* daytime running lights...we'll get to that in a minute) whenever:
a) your windshield wipers are on.
b) you are in a tunnel.
NO. That does not mean your DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS. NO NO NO. And do you know why? Anyone? ...Bueller?
Daytime running lights do not show up in the rear! That's right, while your front end may be bright and appealing, your back end is very dull and undesirable. This may save you from a rear-end collision during rainy times or in tunnels (some get very dark- unlike HRBT which is trying to be a ginormous tanning bed).
3. Emergency Vehicle (and school bus) Conduct. There are all kinds of ALL CAPS REFLECTIVE LETTERS that tell you to stay 500 feet back and such...but clearly not enough people read them. Seriously, someone's dying. It's more important than getting to Starbucks, getting through the green light, etc. Also, it makes YOU the jerk who tails the ambulance so the people who correctly (and politely) stopped in front of you can't beat you. It means you're cutting them off. Jerk.
**"Fancy" is relative, in regards to daytime running lights. The lady Sunfire has them...she even has one of them there compact disc players...but she also has manual locks, windows, and transmission. Yes, I had a child ask me last week, "Is this thingy how you roll the windows down?!"...fancy, I tell ya.
***It's also REALLY nice if you stop for a funeral procession. Yes, I know you don't know the dead guy and it's a huge inconvenience to pull over on the shoulder when you're the one lane of traffic that actually GETS to go, but, coming from experience, it's SO sweet to see strangers going the opposite direction pull over...especially on a divided highway because those people REALLY didn't have to stop what they were doing. It's super duper respectful and might even prompt a person known as "The Ice Queen", (yes, my stepdad called me that while he was sick) to shed a tear or two.
See? I knew you wanted to hear this. But please, seriously, keep it in mind. Someday that might be your emergency (or rear-end collision due to a lack of headlights or blinkers) and I will DEFINITELY be the person to say, "I told you so." Double "I told you so"s if you just didn't bother to read this. Man. So many of those are about to happen.
Did I mention it's Friday?! Have a great weekend! :)