Thursday, February 2, 2012

Traffic Hazards

The following is a guide to surviving Detroit traffic.

1. The Mystery Lane: The far right lane of every street. Avoid driving in this lane, because certain cars have the power to make it disappear without any warning and turn it into parking spaces. No one knows who these cars are or when they will appear.
Also, use caution when driving in the lane next to the Mystery Lane. If another car is driving in the Mystery Lane, when they approach the parked cars they will move into your lane without signaling or looking to see if you are in their way. Honking will just aggravate them and cause them to move over with more determination.

2. Intersections A: Seasoned drivers know that at intersections, there is a white line that marks where cars should stop at a red light or stop sign. When driving in Detroit, consider these lines mere suggestions. Feel free to stop 100 feet in front of the line or in the middle of the intersection. The only important thing is if you stop, not where.

3. Pedestrians: While crossing streets, avoid crosswalks at all costs.  Even if this means crossing mere yards from the crosswalk, weaving in and out of cars stopped at lights, and waiting in the suicide lane for cars to speed by before completing your journey to the other side. It helps if you do this while wearing dark clothes at night.

4. Snow: If it has snowed in the past week, proceed with caution. Even if it is 40 degrees and the snow has completely melted. Do not exceed 15 mph until there is not a spot of water on the roads. Then resume excessive speeding and tailing.

5. Lanes: Feel free to drift into other lanes or drive in two lanes at once. Take up as much space as you need. Others will get out of your way or suffer the consequences.

6. Intersections B: On busier streets, the rule in Detroit is the more confusing, the better. Sometimes, left turns are just not allowed. It is better to turn right and then make a U-turn, even if this means waiting at 3 lights instead of 1. When a left turn is allowed, one realizes why Michigan generally avoids left turns.  Refer to the included visual aid.

When making a left turn, follow the direction of the yellow arrows when your light turns green. Green lights in Detroit mean "go part of the way through the intersection and then stop at the most confusing and dangerous spot you can find" (see blue x). The red lights that appear to be for the traffic that is going straight applies to you as well. Only complete your left turn if there is a sign telling you to do so.  Don't be fooled by the other cars that don't know this rule. Stop anyway, even if you are the only one to stop. Ignore the honking and foul language that are sure to emit from passing cars. If you do not do this and decide to continue through the light, a policeman will single you out and ticket you.

And above all, remember that Michigan is a no-fault state.

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