Road Etiquette

By Mike Johnson

Here in Wyoming, we drive the most miles per driver in the entire USA.
We have the least population, the eighth-largest land mass and the fewest large towns and cities.
So there is lots of open road and fewer drivers to fill it.

Weíre used to driving long distances with no one ahead of us and no one behind us.

When someone catches you from behind on a difficult-to-pass two-lane, the unwritten etiquette is to pull into a turnout and let them by. Or, if the shoulder is wide and paved, scoot over a few feet onto the shoulder, giving them better visibility to pass on straightaways.

About half our stateís drivers are aware of this etiquette.

Therein lies the problem. Combined with a percentage who drive under the speed limit, are distracted by phones or food, impaired by drugs or alcohol, daydreaming, or flat out just donít care theyíve become a rolling roadblock, you have a high chance of encountering bad and dangerous drivers.

Slow drivers are not safer drivers because they cause frustration, which can push others to pass in unsafe situations, causing deadly head-on collisions.

Most years, Wyoming leads the nation in driving fatalities per capita. Officials say theyíre mostly caused by speeding, bad weather, and impaired and distracted drivers, including falling asleep at the wheel.

Besides the medical & emotional costs of injury and loss of life, Iíve read damage costs and lost work time due to car accidents equals 5% of annual USA GDP.

Unfortunately, more than half the world sorts by self rather than sorting by others. These are the worst drivers because they only care about themselves on the road.

Iíve also read that 90% believe they are good drivers while the actual number of good drivers is less than 25%.

Whoops. Thatís a huge percentage who donít even realize they're creating problems for others on the roadways.

Sadly, thatís pretty much the same percentage of unaware people causing problems for others during daily life.

Hence the common adage, "You're driving everyone crazy."


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