Top Ten Lists

Top Ten Things Not to do When Commuting to Work by Car

Here is the Eighteenth installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.


10.  When commuting to work by car, do not apply mascara while driving or use an electric razor. The former situation will have you likely wind up with a mascara brush sticking out of your eye as you slam on the brake to avoid hitting the car in front of you which decided to stop for the red light.  The latter situation could cause you to shave up the side of your head, giving you a “hair style” unacceptable to your boss or to several urban gangs.

9.  When commuting to work by car, refrain from driving like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.  At best, you’ll just wind up stopped at the next intersection while everyone behind you throws daggers at you with their eyes or maybe even for real.  At worst, you’ll wind up alongside the road being attended to by a traffic officer eager to make his quota early, with everyone passing you  with smiles of glee as they know you are getting your just desserts.

8.  When commuting to work by car, refrain from listening to state or national news on your radio.  Screaming expletives at the top of your lungs might make your fellow commuters worry that you are having a meltdown, at which point they will call the local police, who will only add to your near blood-boiling frustration by pulling you over and making you late for work, not to mention the possibility of you failing the “walk the line test” even though you haven’t been drinking.

7.  When commuting to work by car, do not think you are encouraging the driver ahead of you to go faster by following them so closely that you can see yourself in their rearview mirror.  Chances are they will suddenly step on the brake and cause you to read-end them which will result in (1) serious damage to your nice car that you will have to pay for because the accident was your fault (really, it was) and/or (2) serious damage to their nice car that you will have to pay for because the accident was your fault (really, it was).

6.  When commuting to work by car, do not try to eat your breakfast and drive at the same time.  At best, you’ll just gross people out when they see you stuff a double-Egg McMuffin in your mouth.  At worst, the coffee you start to sip in order to wash down the Egg McMuffin will wind up covering your nice white shirt or blouse when you suddenly have to step on the brake to avoid hitting someone pulling out of a McDonald’s in front of you.

5.  When commuting to work by car, avoid the temptation to pick your nose, pop a pimple, or check your teeth while waiting for a green light.  With your luck, the other commuters viewing your activities will likely be attending the same business meeting that you have scheduled that morning, only their role will be as a grossed out customer.

4.  When commuting to work by car, do not try to read The Wall Street Journal or finish that last chapter of Prodigy of Rainbow Tower while driving.  With the former, you may wind up with a face full of newsprint when you rear-end the person in front of you and your airbag engages.  At worst, you’ll never get to finish Prodigy because the traffic cop saw you reading, pulled you over, and then confiscated your book (because, of course, it had been on his to-read list).

3.  When commuting to work by car, do not expect to have a smooth commute when you’re running 15 minutes late for a meeting with the CEO of your company.  Do expect that the city utility vehicles will be out in full force, trimming trees and picking up yard waste on every street that is normally part of your commute, making your commute time double and your chances of being fired triple.

2.  When commuting to work by car, do not expect that your fellow commuters will be understanding if you alternate between speeding and slowing down because you are trying to check your text messages before you get to your office.  At best, you’ll have some near-misses as commuters try to get around you and put distance between your bad driving and theirs.  At worst, the same traffic cop that pulled you over in #4 and #9 will be more than happy to pull you over again since you are single-handedly helping the officer meet a quota.

1.  When commuting to work by car, do not treat your driving as a right, but rather as a privilege which can be taken away at any moment for bad behavior.  At best, you’ll rack up more fines and fees in a month than you pay in car insurance in a year. At worst, well, bad driving can lead to bad things happening to other people or to you.  Be mindful.  Be aware.  Drive safely.

20 thoughts on “Top Ten Things Not to do When Commuting to Work by Car

  1. My worst is the folk following too closely. They aren’t going to get past the next red light any faster than me. It just makes me want to slow down.


    1. Heh heh … I will often slow down when I’m being tailgated, if for no other reason than to minimize the impact when I have to stop and they bump my rear-end 🙂


  2. Well done Marie. The one I like is the tailgate. I usually go 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. We have a ferry system that we need to take from one town to another. I can’t tell you how many times I have been tailgated and then have the pleasure of sharing a ferry ride with the idiot in such a hurry. Thanks for the tips.


    1. Thanks, John! Yes, it always cracks me up how the people in such a hurry usually wind up sitting at the same red light as I do. And they never, ever make eye contact if you pull up alongside them 🙂


  3. Such good advice. I see people here texting/talking on the phone while driving all the time. One student even said that she puts her study materials on the wheel and reads them when she’s on country roads. Sigh.


    1. Thanks, Linda. Yes, the texting/talking while driving is bad enough but I’ve also seen people who are reading the newspaper or even a book while driving. I suppose the student thinks it’s safer on country roads to do that? Do you all happen to have deer or other large animals out in the country? I hope the student doesn’t run into one while studying.


      1. There are a couple of bears I think! But it’s more other people I’m worried about – namely me 😉 I nearly get run over 4 or 5 times a day. And I’m on the pavement.


  4. Very well written. It´s all true. I like the one with mascara the best. The joke is some women really do that. Silly as it sounds things like that could happen.


    1. I’ve poked my eye with my mascara brush while just standing still in my bathroom! So it truly amazes me that anyone would try to apply it while driving, but I’ve seen that, too.


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