The 10 Commandments of Interstate Driving
The speed limit on South Dakota interstates is 80 mph, one of the fastest in the nation. I've given my family's newest driver a few tips on driving and drew up the 10 Commandments of Interstate Driving. It's my own twist on the official South Dakota driver's test manual for obtaining a permit. Unlike Moses, I didn't use stone tablets.
1. Maintain a steady speed and keep pace with other traffic. Going 45 in an 80 is flat-out dangerous.
2. Thou shalt not tailgate. Ever. Follow the 3-second rule in the daytime and the 4-second rule at night. Watch the rear bumper of the car in front of you. Once it passes a landmark or sign, start your "one Mississippi's." If you get to that same landmark before "three Mississippi" you're too close and need to back off.
3. The onramps are designed to get you up to speed. Use it. Signal into traffic when clear and match speed safely.
4. Stay in the right lane unless you are passing. Cruising in the left lane causes confusion for other motorists and careless passing will ensue.
5. Never back up on an interstate. If you miss your exit go to the next one.
6. You really shouldn't use the median driveways. Those are for emergency vehicles. Again, go to the next exit.
7. After passing another vehicle, don't merge back into the right lane too quickly. Wait until you can see the vehicle you are passing in your rear-view mirror before pulling back in.
8. If you're feeling tired, open a window, crank up the radio, throw a drink in your lap, anything...then find a rest area.
9. NEVER drive the interstate or any other road while intoxicated or baked.
10. If you see a stalled car or emergency vehicles on the shoulder, merge safely to the left lane. If that is not possible, slow down!