The 10 Commandments Of Driving In Louisiana
And lo, shall driving upon the humble roadways of our great state be rife with temptation to observe warning signs and be courteous to other drivers. Be not swayed by this dark path to lawful obedience! Nay, stay the course and chart thine own destiny with these ten sacred commandments of driving in Louisiana.
This commandment is for everyone's safety. Drivers in Louisiana think green means go, yellow means go fast, and red means go really fast.
Therefore, waiting for a second or two before you start driving after the light turns green could mean the difference between getting to where you're going, or totaling your car as some insane person comes barreling through the intersection at Mach 5.
Trust no one.
Protected left turns at intersections in Louisiana are even more rare than actual turn lanes, so people tend to make their own little green arrows.
The only exception to the tenth commandment is this one, wherein you simply must smash the accelerator instantly upon the light turning green, lest oncoming traffic get the wrong idea that it has the right-of-way.
Show no weakness.
Use of a turn signal in Louisiana is a declaration of war. Basically, it signals your intent to invade the sovereign nation of Someone Else's Lane, which they own by birthright.
By using your turn signal with intent to merge, you're just asking for the driver in the other lane to speed up and form a blockade against your unlawful invasion.
Don't do it.
Driving the speed limit in Louisiana is a sure sign that you're not used to driving in Louisiana. Or worse, that you're not from Louisiana, which automatically identifies you as easy prey for the natural predators of Louisiana's roadways: native Louisiana drivers.
A general rule is to drive at least 15 miles above the speed limit at all times, but especially on the highway, where there are no rules.
You can't drive 55.
The left lane might be the passing lane in other states, but any lane is fair game here in Louisiana. Can't pass on the left? Try the right lane, instead. No right lane? No problem! Use the shoulder.
A successful driver is one who weaves in an out of traffic so quickly and so often and so recklessly that every other driver on the road knows to stay out of their way.
Be aggressive! Be-be aggressive!
Parking correctly in marked spaces is something that happens to other people in other places that aren't Louisiana. Feel like double parking your '73 Ford Pinto across two lanes at the grocery store to minimize the risk of an errant shopping cart bumping into it and exploding the gas tank? Go for it!
Want to park your jacked-up dually with attached lowboy horizontally across 10 parking spaces because you forgot to buy ice before you left in the morning? No sweat!
No parking spaces available? Easy. Just make your own. Drive up on the sidewalk, if you want. Park in the grass.
No man can judge you.
If some out-of-state driver is actually going the speed limit, you're morally obligated to get right up on their bumper and aggressively tailgate them for a few miles. Flash your high beams at them too, if you want. Maybe honk once or twice for good measure.
Then, quickly cut into the other lane, smash the accelerator so your engine growls as you pass them, and cut right back in front of their vehicle as close to their front bumper as you can.
This is the way of highway royalty.
Nothing interrupts the perfect flow of speeding, tailgating, and weaving in and out of traffic quite like seeing a cop car up ahead. A ticket could really ruin your day, so it's best to just smash your brakes as hard as you can the instant you see the officer's car.
Sure, you were probably already hit with the speed gun before you ever even saw the police, but don't let that stop you from conspicuously slowing down. Yeah, it might draw even more attention to your vehicle than your speeding did, but it'll cause everyone behind you to smash their breaks too, which has a good chance of causing one of those phantom traffic jams for everyone you've passed over the last hour.
Which will be something nice to think about while you're waiting on your ticket.
It doesn't tend to freeze very often here in the Bayou State, but when it does, it's important to never remember that bridges ice before roads. Go ahead and try to cross them anyway, because you've got places to be and things to do. You're important.
On a similar note, always try to go through standing water under flood conditions without being able to gauge how deep it is, because turning around is for the weak.
Just in case you forget to forget about the whole icing thing though, Louisiana has helpfully placed signs before each and every bridge in the state to remind you not to remember.
The final and most important commandment is also the most comprehensive. Traffic laws are written by man, and are therefore fallible and not to be trusted. True Louisiana drivers get their laws from a higher power: themselves.
Really, just make up your own rules of the road. It's what we do here in the greatest state in the union. We live by our own laws, and damn the consequences.
Just don't come crying to us when you get a ticket.