The Female Drivers' Guide to the Road (American Version)
Are you a woman? Do you drive? If so, don't let your natural destructive behavior behind the wheel of a large vehicle discourage you from participating in one of life's joyful freedoms. This online guide to the rules and regulations of the road, written especially for women, will both enhance your knowledge of driving while allowing you to transport a hyperactive, nonathletic, possibly unanimously hated child to soccer practice in your over-sized SUV without incident. Not only will you drive safer but you will progressively arrive at your destination quicker with every try!
Beginning The Driving Process
OK, so you need to drive somewhere but you're a woman. First and foremost do not panic, it's one of the many problems facing American women today. The first thing you need to do is find your keys - or your husband's keys if you aren't allowed to have your own vehicle. Once you have found the keys you must now find the vehicle - perhaps it's in the garage or driveway? Once you find the vehicle, use the car keys to unlock the driver side door before attempting to enter. Do not hit your head on the roof of the car while entering. Please make sure that you aren't a woman under the age of 24 or over the age of 60. If this is the case, carefully step out of the vehicle and go back inside the house. There is the remote chance that your husband (you are older than 23 and you are married, right? If not, you clearly are a morally-challenged woman) bought a cool sports car from that other place that is not Canada. In said case, once seated, it is very likely that you'll see a phallic-looking thing sprouting up on your right-hand side, and that it looks that there are actually two brake pedals. The phallic thing is called a shift stick and the left-hand side "brake" pedal is called a clutch pedal: but nevermind, if this is the case, just carefully step out of the vehicle and go back inside the house.
Adjusting The Equipment
The key which you used to unlock the driver side door is probably the same one that you'll need to stick into the ignition keyhole in order to start the car. That's two holes you've already prodded with your shiny key and you're not even on the road yet! Before this liberated feeling carries you away, you must always remember to adjust the driver's seat, mirrors and controls for your needs. If you share a car with your husband or boyfriend, it's similar to sharing a bathroom with him - Can you trust him to close the toilet lid after using it? Probably not, so you'd better check a few important things before starting the engine.
Rear View Mirror
The first mirror you should adjust is what's called the "rear view" mirror. The name doesn't really make any sense because you'll be looking at your face in this mirror, not your posterior. The rear view mirror is the one that's hanging from the ceiling or windshield inside the car directly in front of you and slightly to the right. This is the main mirror for observing your face and doing all of the necessary cosmetics applications that are necessary for any drive. Simply center the reflection of this mirror so that your face is clearly visible while seated in the normal driving position.
Side View Mirrors
The name for this mirror actually makes sense as you will be using these mirrors to check your facial profile at all times. Loose locks and strands of hair can easily be seen while driving when you check your side view mirrors.
There's no decent outfit that a seat belt won't ruin. These days it's impossible to drive an American car without being forced to use the seat belt. To avoid these itchy, uncomfortable straps simply grab the seat belt where it's rubbing up against your left shoulder and pull until the belt has been completely unreeled to provide as much slack as possible. Using a few clothes pins or binder clips, simply prevent the seat belt from retracting back. This will allow you to drape the seat belt off to your side while stopping all of those distracting lights and chime sounds.
Backing Out of the Driveway
It is invaluably important to first look both ways behind you to make sure the road is clear. If all's clear the first time you look, it will stay clear until you are finished backing out. Don't worry about checking the sidewalk, people won't walk behind a vehicle driven by a woman. If you are backing out to the left, simply guess which direction you're supposed to turn the wheel and estimate the degree at which you should turn it. You'll figure it out as you go along but probably won't remember most of it the next time you attempt to drive. Turn your horribly mindless pop music to full volume for motivation and to get you in the zone. If you have a girlfriend in the seat next to you, sing to each other obnoxiously and choreograph a dance routine to accompany the singing.
Driving on "Main Street"
If you live in a town where inbreeding is not encouraged you will normally have one street which is consistently busy - also known as "Main Street". "Main Street" will likely have multiple lanes on each side of the road, leaving you free to use both lanes at the same time and limit the possibility of drifting off the road. However, due to the inconvenient laws of physics, two objects cannot occupy the same space at one time so please be certain that irresponsible male drivers aren't occupying the space you wish to drift into.
Main Street is filled with inconveniences. Inevitably you will run into someone who is either "slowing down" or "yielding for pedestrians" or "turning" and their taillights will forewarn you of said actions. Be careful to observe the taillights of the car in front of you. If the brake lights suddenly flash on, the driver is slowing down because he really doesn't care that you're in a hurry and he's probably indifferent toward your feelings - like most men are. More than likely he's a child rapist but you must resist the urge to ram his vehicle. Quickly slam on the brakes so as to not hit him, which will promptly forewarn other women behind you that you're slowing down for some male reprobate who's holding up traffic. How dare he slow down and embarrass you in front of the other ladies!
The Four-Way Stop
Eventually you will be forced to stop at an intersection known as the "four-way stop". Do not be intimidated and remember the four-way Stop Rules:
- The driver on the right always has the right of way.
- You are always the driver on the right, it's just a matter of perspective.
- Limit lines are only suggestions, not absolutes.
- Never stop the car completely, this only halts your momentum - You're in the zone!
Main Street also holds one of the most annoying devices in the history of roads - the unnecessary "stoplight". A "stoplight" consists of two different primary colors, green and red. Follow these guidelines when encountering a stoplight:
- It's lawful to turn right on a red light (in most states), there's no need to look or worry.
- It's lawful to turn left on a red light but only when it's JUST changed to red and you are approaching the intersection at high speeds - this is known as "yielding".
- Green means go. Just go! Stoplights are such a distraction that it's best to pretend they don't exist after they turn green, especially when turning left. Green means You Go Girl!
- Yellow is just a pretty color meant to make stoplights more attractive, otherwise they're meaningless.
- If you happen to get involved in an accident at a stoplight, it will be the other driver's fault if you were following these guidelines.
Be cautious when you see a crosswalk as pedestrians don't often yield for traffic like they're supposed to. This results in many instances of pedestrians striking and damaging innocent vehicles every year. Crosswalks are clearly marked, so pedestrians that stray out of their boundaries are considered legitimate targets.
Highways are open roads that allow free movement at extremely high speeds, they are also much wider and have more lanes running in each direction. Highways have guard rails and include "shoulder bumps" which make the car seat vibrate when you "unintentionally drift" off the roadway - providing naughty pleasures. Highways are also ideal for the driver who needs to use her cell phone, punish the children and apply makeup at the same time while singing that cool song from last night's American Idol.
The highway experience starts with a "ramp". "Ramps" are small sections of road used for entering the highway and merging with traffic. It's important to be up to speed before the end of the ramp, so make sure your vehicle is traveling at 40mph before the ramp ends . Once you have merged in front of the other vehicles doing 70 or 80mph, accelerate to anywhere from 45 to 90mph depending on your convenience or mood. Now you are driving on the highway!
Driving on the Highway
Make sure that you plan your trip in advance and know which lane of the highway you'll need to be in when it's time to exit. Immediately upon entering a highway, you should always occupy the lane which will be used to leave the highway, even if the exit is still 50 miles away. Try to keep your attention on things other than the horrors of highway driving because most accidents are caused by fear and obsession with lines and signs. Here are a few suggestions for maintaining a comfortable lack of focus:
- Text on your phone.
- Style your hair, that's what the rear view mirror is for.
- Provocatively eat a banana while passing a trucker.
- Change your clothes.
- Use your G.P.S. to become familiar with all of the shopping outlets in the area
- Strip-tease while passing a family in a van.
- Video-tape yourself talking about the drive so you may blog it later.
- Take pictures of you and your friend so you may Facebook them later.
- Read this.