5 reasons why y’all need to take driver’s education again

OPINION: I drive the streets of Los Angeles on a daily basis, and it has become apparent that none of y'all understand the rules of the road.

(Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

I have had my driver’s license since I was 18 years old. For those of you who are attempting to do the math at home, that means I have over 30 years of experience as a driver licensed by the state of California. In those almost 33 years, I have only had one at-fault accident, which happened when I was 19, shortly after getting my license.  

I have had plenty of accidents where someone has hit me, including one horrible hit-and-run accident 12 years ago, and all of these car accidents have shown me that people really don’t obey the rules of the road or know how to drive. 

The hit-and-run accident involved someone t-boning me because she pulled out without looking. Another accident happened because a driver attempting to make a left turn failed to yield to me, the oncoming traffic. All the rest of the accidents have been rear-end offenses, and by now, you should know that if you rear-end anyone, it’s automatically your fault because why were you following so closely behind another driver? More on that in a minute. 

After spending plenty of time in traffic cussing everyone around me out (and yes, I do cuss people out in my car), I have decided to compile a list of some of the worst driving offenses I have noticed. 

In no particular order, here is my list of reasons why all of y’all need to take driver’s education classes all over again. 

1. You don’t know how to use your turn signals.

In case you were unaware, your car has these little lights on both the driver and passenger side of each fender that, when illuminated, indicate to the drivers around you that you plan to make some sort of move in traffic, whether that be a turn or a lane change. 

You cannot see the lights from inside your car. There is an indicator on your dash that blinks when each one is on, and there is an accompanying clicking noise, but the reason you cannot see the lights from inside the car is that, once again, they are meant for the drivers around you to see. 

This means that when you get ready to switch lanes, you should turn your signal on so that both the driver immediately behind you as well as the driver in the lane you plan to move into are aware. This also means that you need to allow enough time before making your move, so they actually see the signal.

Y’all never do this. Instead, you turn the signal on as you are already making the move, thereby rendering it useless. Why even bother if you aren’t going to give people a chance to see it? Who exactly are you turning it on for when you do that? The cop who may call you out for your defective driving skills? He’s not going to care, and he’s going to tell you the same thing I am telling you now: You need to turn that signal on and give the drivers around you time to notice. Turning it on as you are already cutting someone off or making a sudden move or turn in front of them is not helpful, and you still stand the chance of causing an accident. Do better. 

This should be you in that car. (Getty Images)

2. Y’all don’t know how four-way stops work.

I always give a deep, heavy, negro spiritual sigh when I come to a four-way stop. I do this because I know undoubtedly some inept driver will mess up the flow of traffic because they don’t know what they are doing. 

A four-way stop means all four vehicles have a stop sign, and all four vehicles need to come to a stop before proceeding in whatever direction. If multiple vehicles get to the stop at once, the vehicle to the right has the right of way. 

Y’all will pull up to a four-way stop, basically slow down, and then play a game of chicken to see who can dart out first. Why? Why not obey the rules of the road and prevent driving mishaps? Why can’t you just be civil on the road? Why?!?

3. Y’all are always speeding on city streets.

I am going to preface this by saying I have a lead foot—on the highway. 

I will never understand speeding on regular city streets like you are on a race car track. Where are you going that requires you to do 65 in the 35? Are you running late? Why didn’t you leave on time? Why are you only thinking of yourself and not considering the lives of others as you dangerously weave in and out of cars, switching from lane to lane over and over again so you can get to where you are going? It’s upsetting me and my homegirls. 

4. Y’all be tailgating.

There is nothing that irks me more in traffic than someone riding my tail and being all up on my rear bumper when we come to a stop. Parking in my trunk will not make the red light we are both waiting for change any faster, so why are you doing that? Besides, did you know that in most states it is illegal to tailgate? This is why if you rear-end someone, you are highly likely to be deemed at fault because you were “following too closely” behind another vehicle. 

Stop doing that because if you rear-end me, I am opening my car door and falling out in the street and collecting all your insurance money, baby. For real, though, tailgating is such a thirsty way to drive. Why are you being thirsty in these streets? 

5. Random other issues you need to work on.

Some other things you drivers could stand to work on include learning how to merge onto the freeway, parallel parking (I’ve seen some of y’all a smooth two feet from the curb, like what?!), backing out of parking spaces and driveways and yielding the right of way on a left turn. I’m not going to go into specifics on those because they should be self-explanatory.

In summation, y’all don’t know how to drive, and I hate this for you, but I think if you brush up on your knowledge of the rules of the road, the streets could be safer for all of us. 

Namaste.


Monique Judge

Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at moniquejudge.com.

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