Rules of the Road, the official designation of regulations adopted by national or international authorities for the management of vessels in storms, fogs, or other danger. Under act of the United States Congress, in 1896, the rules already established were considerably changed to comport with the schedule to be observed by vessels of all civilized nations on and after July 1, 1897. These rules apply also to inland waters, excepting the Great Lakes, for which a special set has been devised.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

The state of Illinois puts out a Rules of the Road booklet every year (the other states probably do too, but I don't live in those).  In the eight years since I took Driver's Education, I have come to the conclusion that the DMV is playing a cruel joke on everyone.  They must have given roughly every third person an alternate Rules of the Road.  The rest of us drive like normal, sane people, but this subset of the population drive like they're bat-shit crazy and just want to piss everyone else off.  Just remember: these nice happy people think they're just following the rules, so don't be too mad at them.

And without further adieu, the Alternate Rules of the Road:

  1. No matter how many people are behind you or how loudly they protest, you must come to a complete stop before executing all turns.  This rule applies to right turns as well as left turns.  When turning right, if there is a shoulder present, for the love of God do not pull into it, clearing the road behind you, as you slow down in preparation for your turn.  There could be workers, squirrels, homeless people, other cars, or gravel in said shoulder, all of which could be completely invisible and pose a danger to your car.
  2. Turn signals are entirely optional.  You may not choose to use them if you fear you are being followed and are attempting to throw off your would be pursuer, you do not want to use the extra battery power required, or you are a double-amputee and are forced to drive by gripping the steering wheel in your mouth.
  3. Turn lanes are likewise entirely optional.  Your tax dollars paid for this road, you may use it as you see fit.
  4. When approaching an intersection with a traffic light, slow down, even int he event that the light has just turned green.  Traffic lights have been known to skip yellow and go straight from green to red, and you should be ready for this eventuality.
  5. When stopped at a red light, wait at least three Mississippis before accelerating after the light turns green.
  6. Accelerate very slowly from a stop to improve gas mileage.  This is especially helpful as the average American car only gets some nine miles to the gallon (highway).   
  7. When speed limits are posted, it is understood that the majority of the driving public will exceed them.  Therefore, the actual speed limit is usually some five to ten miles per hour below the posted limit.  Be sure to follow this speed limit at all times.
  8. Psychological studies have shown that the human mind is able to simultaneously focus on as many as six separate tasks at any given time.  While driving is a perfect time to practice this.  Take every opportunity to talk on your cell phone, listen to the radio, apply makeup, shave, eat breakfast, check your stocks, work on your novel, get dressed, and yell angrily at other vehicles with which you almost collide.
  9. Attempt to match velocities with any vehicle driving alongside you, completely blocking both lanes of traffic to anyone wishing to travel faster than you.  This is to ensure that any bank robbers attempting to make their escape along your route are caught and tortured.  Do your civic duty. If you arrive at a stop sign at approximately the same time as one or more other cars, you always have the right-of-way.  This is true no matter how unsure you are of who actually reached the intersection first.  You may exercise your right even after other vehicles have begun to progress into the intersection; they will stop for you.
  10. Hang out in other people's blind spots.  This is especially true for semi trucks.  Remember: if the other car can't see you, there's no way they could hit you.
  11. When turning onto a busy street, watch out for other vehicles which may be exceeding the speed limit (see rule 7).  If you see any, pull out very quickly in front of them, forcing them to slow down to avoid hitting you.  Continue to drive at or below the speed limit, making sure that any cars behind you are now in compliance with the law.
  12. Do not use your cruise control.  It is part of an automotive industry conspiracy to take control of the nation's cars and use them to run down schoolchildren.  Instead, randomly vary your speed by five to ten miles per hour to confuse your car's governing A.I.  This may cause you to repeatedly pass and be passed by people on highways who are using their cruise control.  Just remind yourself that when the robot car apocalypse comes, they will be the first to go.
  13. Just be a dick.

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