JOKE – Driving Tips for the DC Area


I read this one a while back and saved it to read later. If you have ever driven through DC, for any reason you will laugh a little but agree that each if these tips are based on reality.

If you are from D.C. you’ll understand these rules. If you are moving here, you’ll learn them. If you are just going to visit, study then carefully.

1) First, you must learn to call it by its rightful name. It is D.C., or “the District”. Only tourists call it Washington.

2) Next, if   your road map of Montgomery County is more than a few weeks old, it’s obsolete. If in Loudoun or Fairfax County and your map is one day old, it’s already obsolete.

3) There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in D.C. It’s just another chase, usually on the BW Parkway.      

4) All directions start with “The Beltway,” whic­h has no beginning and no end, just one continuous loop that locals believe is somehow clarified by an “inner” and “outer loop” designation.

5) The morning rush hour is from 5 to 11 AM. The evening rush hour is from 1 to 8 PM. Friday’s rush hour starts Thursday morning, especially during the summer on Route 50 eastbound.

6) If there is a ball game at FedEx Field, there is no point in driving anywhere near PG County.

7) Tip: Never say PG County to anyone from Mitchellville, Upper Marlboro or Fort Washington. They’ll blow a vessel and go into seizure.

8) If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended and shot at. If you run the red light, be sure to smile for the $100 picture you will receive courtesy of DMV. (However, if you don’t go as soon as the light turns green, you will get cussed out in 382 languages, none of them English.)

9) Rain causes an immediate 50 point drop of IQ in drivers. Snow causes an immediate 100 point drop in IQ and a rush to Giant for toilet paper and milk.

10) Construction on I-270 is a way of life and a permanent source of scorn and cynical entertainment. It’s ironic that it’s called an “Interstate” but runs only from Bethesda to Frederick. (Unless you consider Montgomery County another state, which some do).

11) All unexplained sights are explained by the phrase, “Oh, we’re in Takoma Park or Greenbelt”.

12) If someone actually has their turn signal on, they are by definition, a tourist. Car horns are actually “Road Rage” indicators. Heed the warning.

13) Old ladies in Buicks have the right of way in the area of Leisure World.

14) Many roads mysteriously change their names as you cross intersections. Don’t ask why.

15) If asking directions in Arlington, Langley Park, Wheaton or Adams Morgan, you must know how to speak Spanish. If in PG County, Ebonics will be your best bet. In Annandale, a Cambodian or Vietnamese dialect will come in handy. If on
Dupont Circle, Capital Hill or U Street, a gay dialect helps.

16) If you stop to ask directions in Southeast… well, just don’t.

17) A taxi ride across town will cost you $12.50. A taxi ride two blocks will cost you $16.75.   (It’s a zone thing, you wouldn’t understand).  Oh, and if you are in DC and want to go to MD, don’t tell them until you get in the car…they won’t take you otherwise.

18) Traveling south out of DC on Interstate 395/95 is the scariest thing you will ever do and when you hit it, you will wonder why a section is called the Mixing Bowl.” After all there is no mixing there, heck, there is no movement at all.

19) There is nothing more comforting than seven lanes of traffic cruising along at 85 mph, bumper to bumper.

20) The minimum  acceptable speed on the Beltway is 85. Anything less is considered downright sissy.

21) The open lane for passing on all Maryland interstates is the far right lane because no self-respecting­ Marylander would ever be caught driving in the “slow” lane. Unofficially, both shoulders are fair game also.

22) The far left lanes on all Maryland interstates are official
“chat” lanes reserved for drivers who wish to talk on their cell phones. Note:
All mini-vans have priority clearance to use the far left at whatever speed the driver feels most comfortable multi-tasking in.

23) If it’s 10 degrees, it’s Orioles’ opening day. If it’s 110 degrees, it’s the Skins opening day.

24) If the humidity is 90+ and the temperature is 90+, then it’s May, June, July, August and sometimes September.

Drive Safely!


  1. Good one! The Beltway around DC is very similar to the beltway around Atlanta. If you’re not running over 75 you better be in the farthest right lane and even then you’ll be an obstruction to navigation for everyone else. LOL!


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