Here's six of our tips for making the morning commute a painless one:
- Doing the wave: I see you in the merge lane, yeah you. We're in gridlock traffic and you've been waiting to merge for a while now. I let you in and off you go. When did we stop acknowledging when someone has done something kind on the road? Where has the Calgary wave gone? We used to be well-known for that little wave when someone lets you into their lane. As if we're not stressed enough in this gridlock already, but think of the appreciation you feel when you do something decent and someone actually thanks you! When someone lets you into a string of cars, thank them.
- Zipper-merging: There's such a thing as overdoing everything. Don’t let 15 cars in. The best way to keep traffic flowing is through "zipper-merging". Think of traffic as a zipper on your jacket. The teeth alternate, making them fit together perfectly. If you let in one car in front of you and the driver behind you lets one car in, that keeps traffic flowing nicely
- The slow lane and the fast lane: Let's be real here. There is no such thing as the fast lane and slow lane. The speed limit on Deerfoot Trail applies to all lanes. But slower-moving traffic, cautious drivers and those not in need of passing should keep to the right, opening up the right lane for passing. The left lane isn't for doubling the speed limit though, it's a passing lane. When did we forget this? It seems the left lane is just as slow as the right lane nowadays, with large trucks, min-vans and more clogging up the flow of traffic
- Back off please: You don't need to be riding my bumper and telling me to speed up or move over. I really don't need a back-seat driver telling me what to do. Your high-beams shining in my rear-view mirror certainly isn't going to make the situation any better either. Apparently nobody cares that the Alberta Traffic Act prohibits following too closely, When you're following so close behind me that I can't even see your headlights any more, you can't even see past me, which is a road hazard. If I brake suddenly or try to avoid some road debris, you may have no hope of stopping in time.
- Give me a sign: Believe it or not, I actually didn’t know you were going to swing into that parking lot, so an indicator would have been welcome. Using turn signals is about more than letting others know you’re taking a left: it tells us you know what you’re doing, and that you’re doing it on purpose. That quick lane change without signalling made me slam on my brakes. That sudden turn had me swerve to avoid you. Please Calgary, use your turn signals!