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10 Easy Steps to Become a California Driver

Welcome to California! Feeling confused and angry when driving around here? Relax, here's 10 easy steps to help you become a real California driver:
  1. Hit the brakes sporadically and for no apparent reason without looking into the rearview mirror. This will train the reflexes of the people driving behind you.
  2. See those lines painted on the street? They're meaningless. Sure, there's overzealous yes-men who actually obey them when they make a turn to avoid scaring other drivers waiting, but that's not you.
  3. If a traffic light switches to green, take your time before you actually start rolling. What are the people behind you gonna do about it? *You* are the king of the road.
  4. Keep yakking into your cell phone. Nothing is more important than the conversation you're having right now. Other motorists will adapt accordingly.
  5. If you can't drive, buy a bigger car.
  6. Sure, gas prices are rising, but letting the engine run while waiting in a parking lot is well worth it.
  7. If cabs can double-park, so can you.
  8. Using the turn signal is overrated. Instead, be creative: signal right and turn left.
  9. If you make a left turn at a traffic light, don't proceed to the middle of the intersection while waiting. You would enable the cars behind you to follow before the light switches, nullifying your advantage.
  10. Remember, bicyclists are just people who can't afford cars as nice and roomy as yours.

Drive safely :).

-- Mike

Extra Credit:

  • In ambiguous situations, like two cars arriving at a four way stop simultaneously, avoid sending clear signals like waving the other car through. Instead, keep staring through your windshield and do nothing, the situation will resolve eventually.
  • Avoid stopping before side streets to let other cars merge in, even in slow traffic, when there's no way to go after the junction. Instead pull ahead, block the junction, sit back, relax, and take another sip from your gallon-sized Pepsi jug.
  • If you're on the right-most freeway lane and see a car on the onramp trying to merge in, do not change lanes to make room. It's too complicated.
Have you experienced similar annoyances you'd like to share? Drop me an email, I'll add them here:
David Rout
  • When arriving at an intersection to turn left, make sure you pull in to the left lane, but DO NOT turn on your signal until 2 secs AFTER the light turns green. That way you have trapped the maximum number of drivers behind you while you wait to turn that would have used the right lane if you were signaling when you arrived at the intersection. Remember, you own the road!
  • If you're on one of the many slower, windy California mountain roads and driving an older, less capable vehicle you want to trap as many cars behind you as you can - you know they are sending you love & sympathy about you being stuck with a slower car. What ever you do, DO NOT use the pull-outs provided for slower vehicles, you'll lose that wealth of love & sympathy.
  • Remember there are no speed preferences for freeway lanes. If you pull into a lane to the left, have some fun, accelerate to bring yourself level with the car in the lane to the right of you, then ease off the gas and match the speed of the vehicle to the right. The more cars you pile up behind you, the more points you earn!

Simon Davison
  • If for some reason you do feel the need to use your turn signal when changing lanes, say for those pesky legal reasons when a police car is nearby, please only do so once you have started to perform your maneuver. Doing so prior would only alert other drivers that might might want to steal that position in the road from you.
  • When approaching a 4 way intersection with traffic lights and intend to turn right DO NOT USE YOUR TURN signal. Doing so would only allow on coming traffic that wants to turn left do so easily. By not using your turn signal you can be certain to leave a large number of vehicles stuck in the middle of the road waiting for enough space to make their turn.
  • Can you hear those sirens? Hmm, one of those emergency services again. Now is a great time to slow down where ever you are, especially if you're in the middle of an intersection. Never pull off to the side of the road and never remove your vehicle from parts of the road where it will cause the most confusion. It's your duty to keep those emergency service types on their toes.

Latest update: 18-Oct-2014