The 10 Commandments of driving in New Jersey
Driving in New Jersey is tough. It takes years of practice. The Garden State has some of the most aggressive drivers anywhere in the country. Whether you grew up in New Jersey or are visiting from out of state, there are some basic rules of the road that everyone needs to adhere to so we can keep it moving and get to our destination.
Here are your 10 Commandments for driving in New Jersey.
I. Thou shall use a turn signal
When you planning on making a turn on one of NJ's roads, there is nothing wrong with letting the driver behind you know that you'll be going left or right. Every car comes with a turn signal, it would be very nice of you to use them and alerting the car behind you that they may want to slow down and give you some room.
II. Thou shall allow drivers to merge
Getting on and off NJ's roadways can be likened to playing a video game. It takes some skill. It also takes some help from other drivers. Seriously people, instead of speeding up when you see someone attempting to merge into traffic, let them. It's not the Daytona 500, being behind one more car won't ruin your pole position.
III. Thou shall thank fellow courteous drivers
This is a follow-up to commandment #II. If by some chance you are fortunate enough to find a NJ driver that will let you in front of them, be sure to let them know you appreciate it. It takes very little energy just to give a kind wave to say "thank you" to the driver behind you for their kind deed. Trust us, they'll appreciate it.
IV. Thou shall ease up on the horn
We understand being stuck in traffic on NJ's roads can be near maddening at times, but if everyone is going slow, there's a reason for it somewhere up ahead. You blowing your horn endlessly is not going to help the situation. Trust us, no one wants to be stuck in traffic, if they could move, they would. This commandment also applies to being stuck at a red light. Give your fellow drivers a second or two to get their foot from the brake to the gas.
V. Thou shall put the phone down and drive
For your safety and for the safety of others, PUT THE PHONE DOWN and just drive. Cell phones have given us the ability to keep in touch with family, friends and work at a moment's notice. But trust us, you'll get from point A to point B a lot quicker and safer if you're not on the phone yammering away to someone or even worse, trying to navigate NJ's roads while trying to send a text response of "LOL" to your friend.
VI. Thou shall slow down at an amber light
Contrary to popular belief, an amber traffic light does not mean "speed up before the light turns red." While many NJ drivers believe this is the case and do whatever they can to avoid being stuck at a red light, it would behoove you to start slowing down just in case that light turns red faster than you thought it would.
VII. Thou shall not stop in the middle of the E-Z Pass booth
They call it E-Z Pass for a reason people. If you have a transponder in your car, put it somewhere in the vehicle where it can be easily scanned to keep it moving. Don't be that driver that slows down to grab their E-Z Pass, and then proceed to stop in the toll booth attempting to wave it in front of the scanner above hoping that the tag will get read.
VIII. Thou shall learn how to navigate the jughandle
The jughandle is as much a part of NJ's culture as Springsteen and WaWa. Yes, you have to go right to turn left. Out-of-state drivers can be baffled by the fact that they can't just make a left turn whenever they want. It's part of the landscape here in the Garden State so when you're driving through, be sure to keep an eye out for the sign telling you where your next turn opportunity is.
IX. Thou shall learn how to stay to the right
Getting stuck behind a slow driver in the passing lane may very well be the bane of almost every NJ driver's existence. The left lane is there to pass other drivers on the road, not for you to drive in and set your own personal speed limit for every driver behind you. If there ids a slow driver behind you, feel free to move over to the left lane to get by them, by all means. After that, slide the vehicle back on over to the right!
X. Thou shall hold thy breath past Exit 13A
NJ has plenty of great scenery when driving through the state for you to view. Exit 13 A on the NJ Turnpike is not necessarily one of them. It has quite the pungent smell depending on which way the wind is blowing. Just to be safe, before you get near the area, take a deep breath and try not to breath through your nose until you get past it. Trust us, you can thank us later.
Would you add more commandments to the list? What would they be? Leave your ideas in the comment section below.
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