10 Simple Rules For Driving in the Cedar Valley
The ability to drive a vehicle is a simple skill to master, but apparently the ability to share the road is not. Here are 10 simple rule reminders and general courtesy requests for those us that are tired of the total disregard to driving etiquette.
When we cruise the Cedar Valley, it might seem like a “Mr. Obvious” moment, but we are not the only drivers on the streets and roads. That being said, there are a few drivers who think they are, or worse, they think they're more important than the rest of us.
To those 'I'm More Important Than You' drivers, we the 'Ordinary Road Weary Travelers', have 10 simple reminders of rules and general notes of courtesy for the next time you hit the roadways in the Cedar Valley. If you don't, we may get overly frustrated to a level behind that of Mad Max and the other Road Warriors. You've been warned.
When I asked the Cedar Valley of their driving pet peeves, this was the overwhelming number one response. It's sad with all these nice new pieces of rolling stock that I see populating the roadways didn't come equipped with turn signals. I've lost count of how many times I've been patiently waiting for a car to cross through an intersection only to watch them turn at said intersection without ever signalling their intention to turn. The email that states that you ALWAYS turn there must be clogged up in my spamfilter.
A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle before turning when the speed limit is forty-five miles per hour or less...” Iowa Code 321.315.
THE PHONE TALKER:
I never knew that a mobile phone was directly connected to the gas pedal, but you can instantly tell if the person in front of you suddenly begins a phone call. How? Their speed drops at least five miles per hour. If you can't handle both tasks at the same time, try using cruise control, a hands free devices, or simply wait until you can pull over to chat.
Road construction is just one of the many summertime staples we have to endure in the Cedar Valley. University Avenue is a classic example of that. Everyone knows that traffic has to merge down to one lane, and for the most part, everyone works together to form a single line of traffic. Then there is that one jackwagon who thinks he can ace out the 20 polite drivers by zipping by in the left lane. I laugh and laugh when people don't let them in. I usually add a wave when I pass them too.
THE 'CIRCLE' JERK:
Whether you love them or hate them, roundabouts are becoming a part of the byways here in area. Hate all you want, but you still need to learn how roundabouts work. You don't need to use a turn signal to enter a roundabout. Instead, you should use your right turn signal when exiting the circle of death, but since all these nice new vehicles don't seem to have working turn signals, don't expect to see that happening any time soon.
Why do some drivers feel the need to take for ever to enter a turn lane. They slow down to safely take the turn, but they slowly merge into that lane at the same time. That forces those of us behind them to slow down, and it it increases the risk of getting rear ended. When the turn lane begins, enter it. Don't wait until the intersection to move out of the way.
THE LEFT LANE ROAD BLOCKER:
Did you know hanging out in the left lane on Highway 20, I-380, or any other major divided highways and getting passed by someone on your right is illegal... for the person in the left lane? Fact. Iowa Code 321.297. If you are traveling less than the normal speed of traffic, you are supposed to use the right lane.
Any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic upon all roadways... except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction... ” Iowa Code 321.297 #2
THE RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT DILEMMA:
This is Driver Education 101. The “Red” light means stop. It doesn't mean to mash the gas to make it through the intersection pushing your fate to the limit hoping that cross town traffic sees your 'dash for the cash' move before they enter the intersection. On the converse, “Green” light means go. It doesn't mean go when you finally pull yourself away from that ultra important text message about that B!#@% who stole your last diet pop out of the work fridge.
A person shall not use a hand-held electronic communication device to write, send, or read a text message while driving a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is at a complete stop off the traveled portion of the roadway.” Iowa Code 321.276.
THE FOUR-WAY STALE MATE:
I think it was day two during Driver Education that they explained who has the right of way at a four-way stop. If you need a 'crash course' to avoid a 'course to a crash' (sorry, I couldn't resists), this video is a simple refresher course for you.
THE BIGGEST JERK MOVE:
You're minding your own business driving down the right lane on Hudson Road, and suddenly Dale Earnhardt Jr comes zipping by you in the left lane, passes three other cars, and makes a quick merge into your lane. Then suddenly a turn signal (hey, they actually do work) to tell you they are turning at the next intersection. Although not illegal, one of the biggest 'jerk moves' there is in the world. Why did you have to pass just to make a right-hand turn? All of us hope you end up late for your next appointment.
THE SECOND BIGGEST JERK MOVE:
The second biggest “jerk move” has to be the pull out in front of you move. You are one of only two vehicles within a 1,000 mile, and the second car sits and the upcoming intersection, but they can't wait the five second for you to pass through it. They just have to jump out in front off you, because their time table and destination is more important than yours. Again we hope you are late. Well, that's the “P.C.” version of what we're really thinking. We have a signal we'd love to show, but it has nothing to do with our turn signal.