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Driving Lessons: Rules of the Road (Trip)

Over the past week I spent way more time in the car than normal while taking my niece back home and to attend camp with her.

I made the epic journey back to St. Louis by myself today and came up with a few tips for long drives. Some are things I like for long car trips and one is a big pet peeve that kept happening all day today.

Of the things I liked about the drive today (and earlier in the week):

1. I am very happy that my car has an auxiliary input (iPod hookup) jack. On the first half of the trip this little invention provided some on the go surround sound for my niece’s portable DVD player, and on the way back I used my phone’s extensive music library to entertain myself.

2. Some Disney movies are pretty great to just listen to on long drives. My favorites of the trip were The Incredibles and Enchanted (and I may have sung along to Enchanted, much to the dismay of my passenger).

3. Sometimes the shuffle feature on my music library (and Pandora) do a better job choosing my music than I do. Today was one such example.

4. Cruise control is a lifesaver.

5. Despite the GPS and google telling me the drive would take 12 hours and 53 minutes, I managed to make it both ways in just under 12 hours (and that’s with 2 stops for gas and 2-3 stops for restroom breaks).

The Pet Peeve:

People who blatantly ignore all of the highway signs stating “Slower Traffic Keep Right.” I don’t know how many times I witnessed people getting in the left lanes and then slowing down. Most frustrating about this is I would usually notice this behavior whenever I wanted to change lanes to pass a slower moving vehicle (mostly semis and people pulling campers/trailers) and was not able to because I was gridlocked next to a slower driver in the passing lane.

After some of the longest days I’ve ever spent in the car, I am glad to be back home finally.

One last strange thing about the trip is this sign, which confused me a little when I first saw it on my trip. I thought it was funny and a little strange that one road can go both north and south at the same time, so I had to take a picture of it. 

What are some things you do on long car trips or pet peeves you’ve noticed when making long drives?

Update (07/16/2012): One last thing I forgot to mention is the trip was almost problem free. Once I had arrived at my destination I did have a teeny tiny accident, where I read-ended my sister and brother-in-law’s brand new mini-van at a stop light. Luckily no one was hurt, and the only damage was a broken license plate holder on my car and two little indents from the screws on theirs. I did, however, feel like a huge jerk and horrible person for not paying attention and trying to blame my brother-in-law for something that was clearly my fault. Sorry guys, next time I’ll try to be more careful. 🙂

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