As we mentioned during the introduction to our beginner’s course, Road Rage 101: How To Piss Off Other Drivers, poor driving isn’t an obvious side effect of limited cerebral capacity, but rather the result of countless hours of feverish, committed practice. Although drivers in places like New Jersey make it look effortless, the fact remains that dangerous, often illegal driving habits require fastidious dedication to the craft, and we here at RideLust are determined to help. To begin, you must first honestly asses your personal ability. If you feel as though you’ve successfully mastered all of the lessons outlined in Road Rage 101, or you have at least 5 years experience regularly commuting in the Tri-State area, you might be ready to graduate to an intermediate level of douchebaggery. However, be forewarned: the upper tier of jackassedness is an elite circle open only to those who have demonstrated an unfailing dedication to inciting blind road rage. If you still feel truly prepared to assume the responsibility of serving as an ambassador of the asinine, please proceed to study the advanced tactics we’ve outlined below.
1. Always Use Fog Lights
An extension of Road Rage 101, Section 8, the core principle you need to remember here is: “The brighter, the better.” HID headlights are merely a stepping stone into the world of irritating driving habits, and just because your Xenon’s are so bright they’ve triggered epileptic seizures doesn’t mean you’ve achieved your full jerk potential. A more aggressive tactical maneuver than simple HID’s, fog lights elevate jerkdom to a whole new level – provided you don’t get caught up in any of the “technical” issues, of course. Sure, some might say that “fog” lights should only be used to cut through a dense, engulfing “fog,” but why wait for inclement weather? You probably dropped a pretty big chunk of change on your sweet set up, and what’s the point of having it if you can’t use it? The second that sun slips below the horizon, you should be lighting those bad boys up like it’s 1964 and you’re patrolling Saigon for Vietcong insurgency. If you find that your OEM fog lights aren’t enough to illuminate every crevice of the Earth, consider investing in a high-density aftermarket roof-mounted lightbar. Remember: if your lights aren’t capable of guiding a shipping barge safely into port, you just aren’t trying hard enough.
2. Ride The Brake
When you find yourself mired in heavy stop-and-go traffic, don’t be afraid to share your frustration with your fellow motorists. Any opening you get with at least 15 feet of unobstructed asphalt, throw it into 3rd gear as fast as you can before downshifting like a madman and coming to a screeching halt three-hundredths of a second later. Once traffic begins to creep forward again, instead of coasting slowly in line as you wait to move through the congestion, continue driving as though you are Dale Earnhardt Jr. waiting for the caution to lift. Keep moving forward with sudden great bursts of speed, and make sure your abrupt acceleration has tricked at least two drivers behind you into thinking the flow has finally picked up before you slam violently on the brake pedal again. If you’re feeling up to the task, you might even try complimenting your larger, convulsive movements with several smaller, spasmodic brake taps. To put it simply: think of your braking system as a primitive sort of telegraph and your taillights as Morse code, use them to send urgent messages of distress to all surrounding motorists.
3. Do Not Pass
Remember those days as a child when a mid-summer storm forced you and your friends to stay indoors and play? Do you remember that game you invented where you pretended the floor was molten hot lava and you would jump around on the furniture and tables to avoid touching it? Do you remember how your mother would occasionally come out of the bedroom and shout at you to knock it off while she fixed herself another Bloody Mary? No? Alright well nevertheless, those rules you learned as a kid playing the Lava Game can be applied in your adulthood, just swap the floor of your house for the left lane on the interstate. If you find yourself in the right-hand lane behind a driver travelling much too slow for your liking, do not speed up to pass him on the left. Instead, creep so far up on his bumper that you can see his five o’clock shadow and glare pointedly at him, perhaps throwing in a few obscenities if you’re feeling adventurous. Even if he refuses to respond by speeding up, do not relent because this – this lane right here – this is your lane, and you’re not giving up an inch of it come hell or high water.
4. Hog The Road
When attempting to make a left-hand turn from a single-lane road, do not hug the center line to allow motorists behind you to navigate around. Instead, stop as close to the perfect center of the road as physically possible in order to ensure that all traffic behind you must remain at a dead stop until you move. If you’re feeling really punchy, occasionally jut forward suddenly as if preparing to dart across before suddenly stopping again, delicately lacing the frustration you’re causing with little bits of false, fleeting hope.
5. Insist On Yielding, ALWAYS
General law dictates that at a junction where two or more intersections are controlled by a stop sign, the driver on the right has the right of way. At smaller intersections or when less cars are involved, the driver who arrives and stops first has the right of way. Regardless of the law, however, your sole mission is to be as charitable and accommodating as possible, ideally to the point of causing chaos. When you are the first of 2 or more cars to arrive at a multi-directional stop, instead of proceeding ahead of the other motorists as traffic law would dictate, insist on waving everyone through first. If the other drivers hesitate or otherwise appear confused by your action, begin to gesticulate more aggressively, indicating impatience with their unwillingness to accept your benevolence.
6. Refuse To Make A Left-Hand Turn Until The Second Coming Of The Christ
This is an especially useful tactic when driving during rush hour or other peak travel times. When attempting to make a left turn which requires you to yield to oncoming traffic, instead of creeping slowly into the intersection to capitalize on any breaks in traffic, remain firmly stopped behind the white line. Do not even entertain the idea of removing your foot from the brake until the nearest oncoming vehicle is at least 3 geographical miles away.
7. Fear The Police
Note: This is actually more of a group effort as it requires the participation of several motorists in order to be effective. Even if you have a relatively clean driving record with no illicit substances in your glove compartment, you should immediately panic whenever you see a police cruiser travelling on the road. Rather than proceed as normal, when you notice a cop casually driving on the road, immediately slam on your brakes to make sure you leave a solid 50-yard cushion between you and him. Additionally, if the officer is in the right hand lane and you are well within the speed limit preparing to overtake him on the left, respond immediately by slowing to a crawl and – this is important – do not change lanes. Altering your lane position could draw unnecessary attention to you, so remain firmly ensconced within the passing lane doing about 10-20 mph below the posted speed limit. Remember: regardless of whatever sound logic or reason may dictate, that officer isn’t concerned about bank robbers, drug dealers, child molesters, or murderers – his number one priority is writing you a ticket.
8. Ignore The 3 Second Rule
Some so-called “experts” claim that you should follow the 3 Second Rule in order to maintain a safe following distance between you and other motorists. According to the rule, you should pick a fixed object somewhere on the road and after the car in front of you passes it, begin counting “one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand.” If you reach three-one-thousand before passing the fixed object, you supposedly have an acceptable “safety cushion” between you and the car ahead. What one driver sees as a “safety cushion,” however, you should see as an “opportunity.” Three seconds worth of distance is way more than enough space to dart in and out of, especially if you’re driving something like a Honda CRX or Toyota Celica that was specifically built for precision asshole handling. If you’ve got a couple friends who want to try their hand at bursting safety bubbles too, you might consider going for the big game: the semi-truck. Due to their enormous size and slower response time, semi-truck’s usually leave pretty large safety gaps and while it might seem like an ambitious undertaking, a truly committed douchenozzle should be able to squeeze 3, maybe even 4 cars into that gap before it closes.
9. Do Not Merge Until The Last Possible Moment
When a sign reads “Lane Ends, Merge Right/Left,” the unwritten subtext is “…but only after gunning it to the very end of the lane.” See although you aren’t a firefighter, police officer, or any other sort of vital emergency personnel, wherever you have to be is much more important than wherever anyone else has to be. You just simply cannot be expected to “wait around” and “seamlessly merge with traffic” like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry – you’re important, dammit. Of course, it might seem unfair that you have to exhaust so much effort to constantly remind others of this, but that’s just one of the unfortunate burdens you must bear as an accomplished asswipe.
10. Drive Like A Teenager
In our beginner’s guide, we suggested one way to encompass all the points covered in the lesson was to simply drive like a woman. While this might work for your more elementary driving tactics, in order to truly embody the scourge of the driving earth, one must attempt to duplicate the habits of the most highly skilled demographic, the masters of the craft themselves: teenagers. Thanks to the incredibly efficient folks at the Department of Motor Vehicles, teenagers are granted permission to operate 3,000 lb machinery at speeds in excess of 50 mph after simply coloring in a couple of traffic signs and completing a few quick Driver’s Ed sessions with an enthusiastic, attentive government instructor. Although proven to be a flawless system, about once every few weeks a couple hundred bad seeds slip through the cracks and are unleashed onto the roads. Like a cheetah bounding gracefully across the planes of the Serengeti, the sight of a teenager navigating through traffic will leave you speechless with amazement, right before it kills you in a bloody, violent mess.
So remember, if you want to deliver the most intimidating, fearsome presence on the road as possible while simultaneously inciting a blind rage in your fellow drivers, forgo grill-mounted flame throwers or keying cars in parking lots and elect instead to simply drive like a teenager. If repeatedly practiced correctly over a 2-3 month period, you will eventually reach that elusive pinnacle of success and receive the ultimate honor: multiple death threats.
Godspeed, ye elite few.