Driving around Jacksonville can be really tough. It’s stressful when you’re not sure what the rules of the road are (how did you get that license again?). You might have taken some kind of Driver’s Ed course in high school, but they typically only tell you boring stuff about seatbelts. I’ve been driving around this city for quite awhile now and based on my observations, these are the most common rules you need to follow if you want to get around.

  • When you approach a four-way stop in which one or more other cars are stopped, the most efficient thing to do is pause briefly at the stop sign, then continue into the intersection as quickly as possible. It doesn’t matter who stopped first, you’ve got places to be!
  • Add extra hours of productivity to your day by responding to emails and text messages while you’re driving. When you’re doing 75 on the highway, there’s nothing else to distract you from addressing your overflowing inbox.
  • If you are over the age of 65, the left lane on the highway is designated just for you. Be mindful never to drive faster than your age minus 20.
  • If you are traveling along a busy road and become lost, immediately slam on your brakes and take a minute to look around and figure out where you are. It is also perfectly acceptable to reverse your car if you missed an important turn. Going around the block might only cause further confusion.
  • If you are attempting to turn left at a light, wait until there is a green arrow to guide you. A regular green light means nothing. Even if there is a break in the traffic, you should continue to just sit and wait patiently for the magic arrow. If you missed the arrow because you were doing something more important, like reapplying lipstick, that’s fine! Just keep waiting for the next one. The people behind you are honking because they’re proud of what a cautious driver you are.
  • Eating behind the wheel can be really messy. Ideally, you want to try and eat with both hands. Knees were invented to act as a third and fourth hand for driving purposes. Even better if you have a passenger or small child in your lap to steer for you while you eat — you can even try training your pet!
  • If you are merging onto a highway, the only way to do it safely is by slowing down to a crawl and carefully easing your car in between the others. Just because they are driving at highway speeds doesn’t mean you should risk your life too! Make everyone else slow down for you.
  • Your flashing hazard lights are designated specifically for use when it is raining. How else would other people know that it’s raining if you don’t turn them on? Always make sure that if you notice any moisture falling from the sky you follow these three simple precautions: panic, slow down to at least 15 miles below the posted speed limit, and engage your hazard lights.

Those are just the basics for now, we’ll get into the more complicated stuff like yield signs and traffic circles another time.

*seriously though, read up on the Florida traffic laws and don’t get yourself into trouble on the road*