Sunday, May 18, 2014

Re: South Dakotans Can't Drive

I just want to say that if you're reading this, you're South Dakotan, and you actually can drive, mad props, bro. You're one of the few. Keep on doin' you.

I've written a post about South Dakotans and their inability to function appropriately behind the wheel of a vehicle before. I didn't, however, offer ways for South Dakotans to better themselves as drivers. It's understandable, then, that they still can't drive. I'm going to try to remedy that.

First, though, I have a question. I don't really understand the process that people go through in South Dakota to get their license. Is there actually a process? Does the State Government just send everyone their driver's license regardless of qualifications? Like, "Oh, it's your 12th birthday today*? Here's your driver's license! Good luck out there!" I honestly think that's how it works here. That's now how it should work. I feel like before someone tries to do something that could potentially lead to the death of his/herself and other people, that person should probably learn how to do said thing. There are very basic things that less than 5% of the state's population is capable of doing in a vehicle. I'll give you guys the rundown.

1. Turning, Part 1: Lanes, Part 1
When you turn, there's usually something called a "turning lane." The lane, itself, does not turn. Rather, you are to navigate yourself and your vehicle into this lane to get out of the way of people who are not turning. If you don't move into the turning lane, you're kind of just being a jerk because you're blocking people from going straight by coming to a complete stop to wait for oncoming traffic, and then turning.

2. Turning, Part 1: Lanes, Part 2
When turning onto a street that has multiple lanes in one direction, always turn into the lane closest to you. For example, if you're turning right onto a 4-lane street (two going in each direction), turn into the lane that is most on the right, or "closest to the curb," if you don't know directions. If you're not from South Dakota and you think about it, it makes sense. If you are from South Dakota, I'll explain. If you turn right and turn into the correct lane, a person who is turning onto the same road from the opposite direction can turn into his or her lane at the same time, and nobody will die. If you turn into the wrong lane, you will probably hit the other person turning and everyone involved will die.

3. Turning, Part 2: Blinkers
Literally every single vehicle that can be legally driven in towns (towns are where people live) has a blinker. A blinker, also known as a "turn signal," signals to other drivers that you are going to turn. Wait, what?! Crazy, right? You can actually tell other people that you're going to turn without actually telling them. This way, people (me) won't get mad when they're waiting for you to drive past so they can turn onto a street, only to realize that you're actually turning and not stopping them from turning at all or when you slow down for seemingly no reason and then turn. You see, it seems like there's no reason to your slowing down because you aren't signaling that you're going to turn.

4. Street Signs
These fun things are actually helpful. The point of their existence is to help you as a driver. For example, the sign that says no left turns isn't just saying that to inconvenience you. It's telling you not to make a left turn because you're going to wait there forever, because traffic is ridiculous all the time. However, when you, South Dakotan, inevitably disregard that helpful tip, you keep everyone else from properly making a right turn. And we (I) hate you for it.

5. Speed Limits
Okay, I acknowledge this one isn't just for South Dakotans, but they still need help here. Acceptable speed is +/- 5 mph of the speed limit. That's just kind of a general rule. However, a lot of times people do not adhere to his rule. One time I was literally passed in town because I was going 30 mph in a 25 mph zone, which is a HUGE no-no. Guys, passing in town (remember, towns are where the people live) is a horrible idea BECAUSE TOWNS ARE WHERE THE PEOPLE LIVE. Do you understand this? Your odds of killing someone are way higher in a town because, you know, people live there. Conversely, if you're driving 15 mph in a 35 mph zone (WHICH HAS HAPPENED AN INFURIATING AMOUNT OF TIMES) does not make you any friends. You actually lose friends when you do this, because everyone hates when you do this.

*Today I swear I saw a 12-year-old child driving a truck, which is horrifying on so many levels. Sadly, I wasn't even surprised because, I mean, South Dakota.

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