Dear Abby: I am a professional driver. Please allow me to offer some advice to everyone I share the road with:
1. Please do not honk or display obscene gestures because I am driving the speed limit. It’s not my fault that you’re late.
2. Please don’t pass me on the right, using the curb lane, parking lane, bike lane or sidewalk. It’s dangerous for me, for you, and for anyone who happens to be in those lanes legally.
3. Please obey the stop signs, stoplights, yield signs and other signs on the road. They’re there to protect people.
4. Please put down that breakfast sandwich, cup of coffee, lunch or dinner. If you’re that hungry, pull over to eat.
5. Please turn off your cellphones while driving. Whatever it is, it can wait. And if it can’t, you have no business being behind the wheel.
6. If you must discipline your children, please pull over to do it. I have seen drivers wrap their vehicles around trees and lampposts because they had turned around to talk to their child.
I drive more than 1,000 miles a week, and I see more accidents than most will in a lifetime. Many of them could have been avoided simply by paying attention to the road. If you choose to ignore this advice, I can pretty much guarantee that you will injure, or possibly kill, someone eventually. If my letter prevents just one fatality, then it was well worth the time it took to write it.
– Milwaukee Mile Man
Dear Mile Man: Thank you for taking the time to write. As both a driver and a passenger, I have seen some frightening near-misses because drivers chose to ignore speed limits and run stop signs and stoplights. Usually the infractions are caused less because of thoughtlessness than by rudeness and an attitude that the rules of the road apply to everyone else.
And please don’t think that automobile drivers are the only transgressors, because I have seen bikers and cyclists do some of the same things.
Hands off, please
Dear Abby: Why do some people think it’s acceptable to tuck in the tag on my shirt? It’s bad enough when my mother does it, but I have had acquaintances and even strangers do it without asking. I said something the last time it happened, and the woman had the gall to take offense! All I said was, “Please don’t!” Am I wrong?
– Please Don’t in Texas
Dear Please Don’t: I’m sure there are various reasons why people try to tuck in an errant tag or remove a piece of lint from a stranger’s clothing. I suspect they range from attempting to be helpful, to impulsiveness to compulsive behavior.
However, because what the woman did made you uncomfortable, you were right to tell her that you didn’t like it. She should have asked before touching a stranger.