Houston's Unofficial Driving Rules and Road Etiquette for Newbies

Page 2 of 2

That's right, your driving. While we're happy to roll out that purple (drank) carpet for you, we need you to work on this commuter business in return. With so many of us on the road, the rules of driving in a city this size need to be followed.

And here they are, the ten unofficial rules of driving in Screwston. Take heed, y'all.

Rule #10: Please do not stop at yield signs. This is not San Antonio. We do not do that here. Should you do that here, say on a freeway entrance ramp from downtown Houston, you are going to cause a pileup of epic proportions, and everyone in this relatively relaxed city will side-eye you. Just cross your fingers and merge, son! It ain't that hard.

Rule #9: Drive Faster. Just do it. Just. Drive. Faster. People are behind you, and if you are able to accelerate, that means traffic is actually moving -- an inexplicable phenomenon that happens rarely in this town -- so pedal to the metal and go. You'll regret that dilly-dallying in about a mile or so, when everything comes to a halt and you are stuck twiddling your thumbs for hours between exits.

On that note, the left lane is for people going fast. You like to go fast, Ricky Bobby? Good. The left lane is for you. If you're slow as molasses, stay in the right lane, but never, ever ever ever, go under the speed limit. Just trust us on that one.

Rule #8: Don't hesitate at green lights. We know you're new here, but that's no excuse for sitting at a green light. It's just not. Green means go in literally every place everywhere. It's a universal sign for go, for Christ's sake, and for some reason, y'all newbies tend to sit there like you've never seen a green light flash before.

Should you continue to sit there on Candy Crush, you are going to feel the wrath of every angry horn-honker sitting behind you, and it's definitely not going to be worth it. And no, it doesn't matter that the traffic is backed up and you can't move forward. Just go somewhere, son.

Rule #7: Pay Attention to other cars, not other drivers. We know it's tempting, but driving in traffic in Midtown does not mean it's time to howl at every hottie you see out on the patio at a bar. Or every hottie you see in another car, for that matter.

Now is not time to flag down the chick who is anxiously trying to get away from you in gridlocked traffic, man. It's not the time to flip off the dude who cut you off, either. That's how accidents, and more traffic, happen.

Rule #6: Yes, the line is long to get on 45 South from I-10, but that doesn't mean you get to cut. Okay. So you may not have ever seen a line like the one born from the devil's loins in the depths of hell and then placed on the 45 S/I-10 interchange, but that's not our problem, and native Houstonians aren't going to just let you in. Pay attention to the road, fool, and you won't have to cut off people at the very, very end of that awful line.

New to Houston or not, that freeway exit has the old playground rules of no cuts, and you're breaking them. You're also causing some dangerous road conditions for the lanes that aren't merging onto the Gulf Freeway, too. There's a reason why officers frequently stake out that little area, and that reason is people like you who are total cutters.



KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Angelica Leicht
Contact: Angelica Leicht