As a service to the public, I have decided to provide a list of 10 Things to Know when Driving in Phoenix.
1. 98% of the drivers do not know how to drive in the rain. Even little sprinkles can throw Phoenix drivers into a panic. They either slow to a crawl or continue to drive like maniacs.
2. On the relatively rare occasions a road floods, if there is a sign saying "Do Not Enter", DO NOT enter, dumbass. I don't care if you have an SUV, you probably have never taken it off-road (and no, the dirt parking lot at the local camp ground does not count) so you have no idea exactly how it's going to handle and will probably get stuck. The only people who will care that you have an SUV are the cops who are going to have to pull your dumbass out - did I mention, if they have to rescue you, they charge you for it? And that's only when they can get around to it, assuming you're not in imminent danger.
3. Turn blinkers are completely optional. If you want to change lanes, the best way to do so is to simply start to move over. If they don't move, then signal with the middle finger of the most appropriate hand.
4. The speed limit is always at least 5 mph faster than the person in front of you.
5. The police radars are set to take your picture only if you are more than 10 mph over the speed limit. This means if you suddenly brake down to the real speed limit, you are likely to either be rear-ended or flipped off, or both.
6. Fancy sports cars, Hummers, and "crotch-rocket" type motorcycles always have the right of way, regardless of any laws which may say otherwise. It's not so much a rule as a safety thing. They're probably going to take the right of way regardless, and as they obviously have more money than you, they can afford to hire a better lawyer to get them off and blame you for any accidents. It's just better to let them have their way.
7. If you're here in the summer, your car will be hot. I'm talking industrial oven hot - for example, if you leave a water bottle in the car all day, by the time you come back it will be hotter than the coffee you had this morning. Nothing you can do will really prevent this (lessen it some, yes, but really prevent, no), so get over it and quit whining. This means you do not want to leave anything which can melt in your car. This includes, but is not limited to: cassette tapes, most foods, the glue holding the clip on your garage door opener, and your hands when you first grip the wheel. Most importantly, DO NOT leave any living thing (ie - children, pets, elderly relatives) in there without the a/c on (seriously, in my opinion anyone who does this should be locked in an a hot car themselves until they look like a well cooked pot roast)!
8. Road closures for construction are the norm, here. The roads are an ever shifting slalom of cones, barrels, and potholes. Personally, I think they just keep moving the cones around to confuse people but I have no proof of this . . . yet. Along with this are the people who will try to force their way to front of a construction zone. Most other drivers will not let these people in and are often carrying guns, large tire irons, and/or large Maglites, so if you are thinking about cutting around like this, don't.
9. There will be at least one accident every rush hour, more likely 3 or 4. If you pass one, don't rubberneck unless you want to be the next one. Just accept that your drive will likely be hindered by an accident - even if it's not in the immediate area as traffic will be diverted your direction. Believe me when I tell you that "car-b-q" is a real and frequently used term.
10. People will jump on the red light just as other people are trying to sneak through. This is why one of my friends and I have talked about getting an old beat up truck, welding a roll cage in the cab, getting crash helmets and five-point harnesses so that we can cut these people off when the light goes green. We'll be fine and then we can just settle with them right there for whatever they have on them - their watch, their cash, any CDs they might have, their cell phone. If they try to complain, well, funny, my neck is starting to hurt and now my back is beginning to spasm, and you know, I think that nice BMW you hit us with might just cover the medical bills!