Utah may have the world’s most breathtaking mountains, powdery snow and friendly residents, but one thing the Beehive State is not famous for is good drivers. In fact, the phrase “Utah drivers” often solicits visions of screeching tires, blaring horns and blatant road rage tactics. But there’s no need to contribute to the state-wide stereotype. Next time you hit the road, avoid these Utah-driving pitfalls.
You think your “blinker” is your eye
That handy little turn signal (located on the side of the steering wheel, for those who are unfamiliar) isn’t as optional as you might think. Whether you’re turning, switching lanes or entering or exiting the freeway, your blinker should warn other drivers well in advance.
You’re missing a mirror — and you’re OK with that
Good drivers are aware of their surroundings at all times. But that’s not exactly possible if you’re missing your rear-view or right or left door mirrors. Replace those puppies, stat.
Your bumper looks like an Easter egg
Technically, your bumpers should be uniform in color. But if you’re starting to have a more “speckled” appearance (like, two or three various colors), you may be holding true to the Utah driver stereotype.
Your cellphone is glued to your hand (or ear)
Are you just a little distracted behind the wheel? If your cellphone is constantly in your palm or attached to your ear, you just might be. Good driving requires focus — not a gab session about what Heather did to her hair or how well LeBron played last night.
You consider several traffic signs “optional”
Yield? Says who? If that’s your current line of thinking, you may be a “Utah driver.” Traffic signs — even those pesky yield signs — are there to prevent accidents and incidents on the road. So be sure you’re following all of them, not just the red octagons.
You’ve been in several accidents — this year
Even if you’d swear on your grandmother’s grave that those accidents were “not your fault,” if you’ve been in several crashes in a proportionally short amount of time, you may need to own up to a deficiency in your driving skills. Defensive driving goes a long way to prevent accidents — whether your fault or someone else’s.
You frequently “teach other drivers a lesson”
On the road with a terrible driver? That’s a shame, but vying for road revenge is just as ridiculous. Spitefully cutting off another driver or preventing them from passing makes you just as bad a driver — and maybe even more dangerous.
You follow the speed limit (plus 20)
You may be in a hurry, or you may just like to drive fast. Regardless, speeding is a dangerous — and deadly — habit. Keep your speedometer close to the speed limit and you’ll improve your “Utah driver” status immensely.
You replace parts more often than anyone you know
Are your brakes perpetually in need of replacement? Do you burn through a clutch twice as fast as you should? Are your tires lasting half as long as the manufacturer specs? Sounds like you’re driving skills could use some polishing. Braking too quickly, accelerating too fast or screeching your tires won’t just increase your auto parts bill; it’ll also put you and your fellow drivers in danger.
You have no idea if all (or any) of your lights work
You may notice if a headlight is out, but are you sure your brake lights, hazard lights and turn signals are in good working order? Smart drivers keep their cars in good repair because they know that those lights really matter on the road.
It’s time to shed your “Utah driver” status and keep yourself (and everyone else!) safe out there.