How can I become a more polite driver on the road? I try my best and usually succeed at the basics--using turn signals, not cutting people off--but I still run into situations on a regular basis where 5 seconds later, I think, "Man, I was kind of a jerk there." How can I learn to be aware of these situations before the fact? [more inside]
I'm in my mid-20s and recently got my learner's permit, but I've never ever even tried to drive a car before. What are my options for actually learning this? [more inside]
We live in Philadelphia and just bought a car. Help us think of things to do and places to go outside of the city! [more inside]
We are going to drive from Barrie, Ontario to Ottawa this upcoming weekend. Google Maps recommends driving via Toronto / the 401, but I'm wondering: would it be worthwhile taking Highway 7? [more inside]
We are driving from Medford, OR to Reno, NV with a stop at Lassen Volcanic area in two weeks. I was curious about the roads between these places. [more inside]
To celebrate our anniversary, Mr. DrGail and I are planning a weeklong road trip to the only one of the lower 48 states we haven't visited: North Dakota. Now that we have a destination, what is there to do? [more inside]
I moved out to the 'burbs recently. I've never lived in the suburbs before, and stately Haddock Manor (Marlinspike) is in a suburb I visited only once before touring my home and making an offer. How does someone go about exploring the suburbs? I'm only used to cities. [more inside]
I'm going on a work trip with four other people, and we'll be passing through the Richmond area around lunchtime. Looking for suggestions for a lunch spot, pretty much anywhere in the greater Richmond metro area (but should be highway accessible). [more inside]
We're driving this route with our two kids and are looking for something better than the fly-ridden service centers and truckstops. [more inside]
I've enjoyed the discussion on this post about America's worst highways, but I have a particular interest in seeing the other side of the coin - I'm going to be driving from DC to San Francisco in early October (in a minivan full of everything I own that is too delicate/bulky/valuable to send by mail--it's not much but it's not nothing) and I want to know: what route is the least maddening? At least, which parts have better options than others? I'm going to take about a week at it (hoping to not do more than 7-8 hours of driving a day). Bonus points for suggesting ideal places (not far from the interstate) to start the day with an ~hourlong bike ride.
This intersection with a turning lane is usually very busy causing gridlock, and I need advice to stay safe. Basically both driveways are offset from each other so people in the turning lane need to occupy an overlapping space. Diagram and further details inside! [more inside]
I'm leaving NYC on Friday and driving to Canada for 12 days. I have a rental booked, but also just bought a car out of state and had it delivered to a mechanic. They did a safety inspection and some minor work that will not be completed until Friday, the same day I need to leave. The car does not have temporary out of state tags or license plates but I have an appointment with the DMV on Thursday. If possible, I'd like to drive this vehicle to Canada but am very skeptical of the timeline. [more inside]
How's the drive (for non-europeans) between Gothenburg Sweden and Amsterdam (via Copenhagen and Hamburg)? Should we drive this with our 9 month old daughter? [more inside]
How to get our unemployed and non-insured neighbors to pay for car damage? Our downstairs neighbors (we split a house) are borrowing an (uninsured) car from their friend over the summer. After getting super drunk early Mon, they somehow barrelled out of the garage, hitting our car and (we think) another car parked in the street. They didn't confess to hitting our car until we approached them with evidence and long after I had already filed a hit-and-run report.... [more inside]
My boyfriend drives a lot for work, maybe a couple of hours a day, a few days a week. I'm looking for things that will make his drive more comfortable. [more inside]
How do you stay safe while barrelling down the highway in a tin can? [more inside]
Is it crazy to drive from San Francisco, CA to Boise, ID (around Labor Day weekend)? [more inside]
I've failed my US road test (in NH) -- twice! The first time, six months ago, I messed up in a roundabout, missing my exit because I couldn't find the street the examiner wanted me to take, and slowing down too much while looking for it. I didn't have a chance to to take the test again till last week, and had very little driving practice in the intervening time. [more inside]
I want to make and receive calls when I'm driving, but I want to do it as safely as possible. I've tried two different Bluetooth devices, and they were both terrible. [more inside]
What do I put on a car insurance quote form? I am moving (NJ/NY/CA), changing jobs, and going through at least 3 unique stages of driving frequency/behavior over the next few months. And it really feels like most of this isn't the insurance company's business. But clearly I need to put *something* in each field. :) Help? Here are my facts, what parts of this should be put into the form? Work 1) I've worked full time in NY for just over a year now 2) I am unemployed between now and the end of June and for most of August 3) I have a full time, residential job in NY during July 3) I'm interviewing for jobs in CA that will begin in late August/early September and have already gotten at least one offer. But I haven't made the choice yet and won't for at least another month. Location 1) I've lived in NJ for just over a year now 2) I'm buying a used car from a friend in NC (my home state) next week 3) But I'm moving to CA and the car will be parked in CA starting in July 4) I myself will be in NY for the duration of July 5) I will begin renting and driving in CA in August Driving Behavior 1) Between June 1st and June 30th, I'm doing quite a bit of inter-state driving, although not all at once. 2) I'm parking the car and not driving it at all in July 3) I'm using the car to commute in CA in August and beyond [more inside]
So, this is frustrating, but do we just have to suck it up? Partner was driving car at night about 15 miles an hour down a poorly lit and deserted intersection in San Francisco and got photographed by a police camera before the reached the crosswalk. They were so surprised, they did not come to a full stop as they made a rolling right turn at that 10-15 mph speed. They then got photographed again and a ticket for $500 for not stopping in the intersection. I do think that the first flash of the photograph is probably a shady trick to do exactly what happened - startle the driver into committing an error, but I'm tempted to just have them pay. They feel like they were ambushed by the bright flash and are scheduled to contest in court. What say you, hive mind - what would you do? [more inside]
Hi, wonderful Mefites! I am thinking of driving from DC to New York City for a wedding next Thursday (the 22nd). Google tells me that driving time (from DC to an address on W 159th) is just shy of 4 hours. Considering that this will be a weekend, and holiday weekend, what is a more realistic driving time? (extra driver snowflakes inside) [more inside]
My wife has accepted a post-doc position in the University of Wisconsin system with duration of around two years. Where exactly in Wisconsin is slightly up in the air, but no matter where we end up, we have a host of questions to ask about moving there and Wisconsin life in general. Once we know where we're actually going, we may have more questions about the area, but right now I think our biggest concern is winter. [more inside]
I have a newly acquired 2007 Lexus ES350 sedan. It was my dad's, it is in excellent shape, has been well maintained, and has 50,000 miles on it. I drove a 2003 Lexus before this and had a similar issue to the one I'm having on the 2007, which is that the brakes are just too soft for my tastes. It seems it is part of Lexus' "feel" to keep the ride smooth but I really dislike that I have to press so far and so early to get a good stop. [more inside]
I moved in with my sister a couple of weeks ago. She just drove home drunk, and this isn't the first time it's happened. Please, please help me get her to stop. [more inside]
Hello - just got a speeding ticket in manhattan (44 in a 30 zone). *I haven't had a ticket or violation of any kind in over 5 years (actually over 10 years). *honestly I was just passing an erratically driving bozo in front of me *it came out to $200, ouch. (plus probably 12% increase in insurance, which would come out to $80 to $100 per year). Ouch. Is this worth fighting? I'd wind up in tvb-land (harlem dmv office on 125th, i'm pretty sure). The cop got me on radar. I know it sounds like a lost cause - but would my spectacularly safe previous driving record, and that I was just passing a guy, help me at all? Is it worth trying? Whats your experience? Could I negotiate down to a non-moving violation based on the above? I've read elsewhere that having a clean previous record as I do can help? thanks for any advice.
I'm leaving at 10am tomorrow from Waltham, MA and driving to Las Vegas. Stressing over the weather. I plan on taking it slow...driving maybe 8-9 hours a day and not at all after dark. I've never driven in bad weather so I'm really nervous. If I take Northern route I'll be in snow in Denver and if I take Southern route there are severe thunderstorms (and poss tornadoes?) in OK and TX by Wed. and Thurs. I'm driving alone and this is my first road trip. BTW I have a Nissan Rogue that will be packed full. Looking for advice planning route home...details appreciated! Thanks!
I'm almost 30 and I just got my driver's license. Yay! But I feel much more comfortable driving with my S.O. in the car, to the point that I get really nervous and make mistakes when I'm alone (city driving + non grid system). Can you spare any tips on getting comfortable with driving alone, especially in a high traffic city? The thought of lone highway driving, especially, is terrifying.
When I lived in Japan years ago I got my friends and family little omamori charms for their car from a local temple. Does anyone know a temple in Tokyo that would have them? [more inside]
I'm trying to find a good driving school or instructor here in Santa Monica or close enough to take a bus there. None of my relatives know anyone or any school that they can really vouch for. I want to make sure that I get lessons from somewhere where I won't just throw out my money and then have to take the driving test 8 times before passing the driving test. Anyone know any good driving schools or instructors?
I am traveling to Indiana from California for work. I need to get from South Bend to Indianapolis. I was originally planning to just rent a car, but I've never driven on snowy roads and my family is convinced I'm going to kill myself. Can you help me travel safely? [more inside]
When I got my job, I was required to relocate from my hometown to a new city. I bought new furniture for my new place (previously had been staying with family, so I hadn't needed, e.g., a couch), and settled down. 2-3 weeks later, my employer asked me to travel to my old hometown to do work (they have bases in both locations). I ended up staying for months, and my employer decided it made more sense for me to live in my hometown, so I was relocated back. [more inside]
Another late driver getting a license for the time. I've seen previous AskMe questions on road test advice, but I was wondering if there's anything unexpected that will come up on the NH test. (I'm taking it in Claremont in an automatic.) [more inside]
My brother is moving to Boston (Waltham area) and he's driving there from Vegas tomorrow morning. What is the best way to get there (avoiding Colorado) and what cities would you recommend stopping for a motel to crash along the way? Can it be done in 3 days? He's traveling alone and would like to avoid snow when possible. Not looking to sight see. Just want to find the simplest way to get there. Thank you.
We're driving in snowy weather for the first time in our lives. Do we need snow tires, or is it better to just get a new set of all weathers if we are spending the money? Cars are a Corolla and a Focus.
I normally position my car's side mirrors according to this method of minimizing blind spots, but the car I'm driving now, the driver's side mirror will not move as far out as I need it to, so I am supplementing the mirrors with little convex blind spot mirrors (the current mirrors also won't show parking spot lines). However, what is the optimal placement for these? Outside/bottom? Inside/bottom? People have them all different ways and I'm wondering what works best. [more inside]
I just moved to Evanston, IL from North Carolina. It snowed about an inch today, and unlike what I'm used to, everything didn't shut down in panic. What do I need to know in order to make my driving commute a safe one? [more inside]
I will be taking my first road test on Monday, in Massachusetts (specifically, Lynn). I'd like to hear from people who've taken this test in the past. What were you asked to do? I'd particularly like to hear from people who've failed the test: where did you fall down? [more inside]
I've become mildly obsessed with trying to improve the fuel efficiency of my old truck. I've already done all the basic things and I realize that I'm fighting physics at this point, but what else might I consider if I wanted to make a bit of a hobby out of it? [more inside]
I see this behavior all the time on the road, and I don't really get it: drivers about to turn -- usually into a parking lot/space -- who first swerve in the opposite direction before making the turn. Sometimes it's just a small movement. Other times the driver will actually swerve into the other lane before turning. What is the advantage in doing so? It doesn't look like a move that saves any amount of time or effort, and in most cases seems counter-productive. I've tried this to see what the benefit is, but have only ended up making my turn less efficient.
I failed my road test 3 times. My driving instructors said I'm ready and I have years of experience but the day of the test I choke and freak out. [more inside]
Driving from Brooklyn, NY to Emerald Isle, NC — via the NJ Turnpike, Delaware 1 and US-13, and Route 17 past Norfolk VA into NC. Anything truly worth checking out along the way, or taking a reasonable detour for? [more inside]
How is driving on I-95 on Christmas and New Year's Day? [more inside]
So I have an old truck. I'd like to hear your suggestions for tools, spare parts, fluids, etc that I should keep on hand in the truck either in case something goes wrong or in case I find myself having to do something tool-related while I'm out of the house. Hit me with your best suggestions! [more inside]
Best DC-area restaurants that require a car to get to? [more inside]
Our vanpool just switched to a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan. It's a FlexFuel vehicle and we'd like to know when/if it makes sense to use E85 fuel. We live in Minnesota. Our typical commute is 40 miles at highway speeds. Environmental concerns will be weighed, but so will economical ones.
With the government shutdown, everything but the road itself is closed. Wife has declared that just driving without stopping at the parks and attractions is stupid and a waste of time, so has nixed the idea. [more inside]
With a month, a thousand bucks, Puerto Vallarta as a starting point, and a hot travel partner, what's our best backpacking travel option? Cross-Mexico drive? Hop down to Costa Rica/Panama? Something else? [more inside]
My friend checks her email constantly while driving. How do I get her to stop? [more inside]
I recently moved. My new commute has me driving directly into the sun in both the morning and evening; as winter approaches, it is getting more and more hazardous. I slowed to a crawl this morning as there was so much glare I literally couldn't see the road/cars/anything in front of me and if a child had darted out into the road in front of me I honestly don't know that I would see. I tried rolling my window down and sticking my head out but maybe I didn't stick my head out far enough because it didn't seem to help the front view (it did make it easier to see what was going on leftwards though). I wear sunglasses and pop the visor down. I had my car's defrost on. What else can I do? [more inside]