For those of you who are not from the Pittsburgh area, these are the rules that most people follow while driving in Southwestern PA.

1.            A right-lane construction closure is just a game to see how many people can cut in line by passing you on the right as you sit in the left lane waiting for the same drivers to squeeze their way back in before hitting the orange construction barrels.

2.            Turn signals will give away your next move. A real Pittsburgh driver never uses them. Use of them on the Parkway may be illegal. Cadillacs don't even come with them.

3.            Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, or the space will be filled in by somebody else putting you in an even more dangerous situation.

4.            Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane-change is considered "going with the flow."

5.            The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the chance you have of getting hit.

6.            Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive bodywork.

7.            Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving a nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it's a chance to stretch your legs.

8.            Construction signs warn you about road closures immediately after you pass the last exit before the backup.

9.            Electronic traffic warning signs are not there to provide useful information. They are only there to make Pittsburgh look high-tech, and to distract you from seeing the state police radar car parked on the median.

10.      Never drive on the right when you can drive on the left.

11.      Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right.

12.      Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions, and are apparently not enforceable during rush hour.

13.      Just because you're in the left lane and have no room to speed up or move over doesn't mean that a Pittsburgh driver flashing his high beams behind you doesn't think he can go faster in your spot.

14.      Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident, or even if someone is just changing a tire.

15.      Throwing litter on the roads adds color to the landscape and gives Adopt-a-Highway crews something to clean up.

16.      It is assumed that state police cars passing at high speed may be followed in the event you need to make up a few minutes on your way to work.

17.      Learn to swerve abruptly. Pittsburgh is the home of high-speed slalom driving thanks to potholes.

18.      It is traditional in Pittsburgh to honk your horn at cars that don't move the instant the light changes.

19.      Never take a green light at face value. Always look right and left before proceeding. In Pittsburgh it is common to stop and then decide which direction to turn.

20.      Remember that the goal of every Pittsburgh driver is to get there first, by whatever means necessary.

21.      Real Pittsburgh drivers know that weather conditions are God's way of ensuring a natural selection process for body shops, junkyards, and new vehicle sales.

22.      Of course we can't forget, but all must slow down when approaching a tunnel. When we go in, are we actually going to get out?


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Created April 23, 2002