A real Minnesota drivers license test, for passive-aggressive perfection

When passing people on the I-35W freeway, Minnesotans should contemplate their fellow man.

When passing people on the I-35W freeway, Minnesotans should contemplate their fellow man. Leila Navidi, Star Tribune

A recent story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune informed readers, “Minnesota has nation’s best drivers.” The paper’s subscribers were unable to read the full piece: Seeing that headline caused them to spit out so much coffee the rest of the story was rendered illegible.

What the researchers at had actually found was that, with comparatively few instances of drunken driving, highway collisions, and driving without a seatbelt, Minnesotans are America’s safest drivers. Not the best.

Minnesotans have a number of — what’s a nice, Minnesota way to put this? — interesting quirks on the roadways. In light of this fact, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) should consider switching out the generic written test they make prospective drivers take, and start giving a more Minnesota-specific version.

Here are a few multiple-choice questions that will prepare teens and transplants to drive... well, Minnesotan.

1.) The appropriate distance to follow another vehicle is

a.) 100 feet behind

b.) “Three seconds” behind

c.) Just far enough so you can finish reading this text and still hit the brakes

d.) Depends. Did he cut me off?

2.) Two cars arrive at a four-way stop at the same moment. The driver who goes first is

a.) The driver to the right

b.) The driver to the left

c.) An asshole

d.) The third driver, who arrives four minutes later and wonders why drivers one and two are locked in a staring contest

3.) When executing a turn, a driver should turn on the car’s blinker signal

a.) 100 feet before the intersection

b.) Every third time the driver makes a turn

c.) Surprise us!

4.) The correct way to signal you intend to change lanes is

a.) Put on the corresponding turn signal

b.) Pump the brakes inexplicably

c.) Look around plaintively, searching the faces of the people around you like a lost kitten in a snowstorm

d.) Hover right on the dividing line between lanes as if threatening to take everyone with you in a fiery blaze

e.) All of the above

5.) A driver in the lane next to you has signaled that he or she wants to change into your lane. The proper response is to

a.) Allow the vehicle to merge into your lane

b.) Determine the other driver’s exact rate of speed and match it precisely, staring unblinkingly at the horizon ahead, so the two cars travel side-by-side for miles

c.) Accelerate rapidly while screaming, “NOT ON MY WATCH, PAL!” a phrase that should, for safety, be repeated for the next several minutes if there are children in the car

6.) The safe distance to pass a bicyclist on a city street is

a.) Just far enough so he can’t sweat on your passenger side door

b.) Three inches

c.) Three millimeters

d.) There are bicyclists on city streets?

7.) On the highway, the left lane is for:

a.) Passing

b.) “These crazy people!”

c.) Swerving to avoid deer or stuff that looks like deer, you swear you saw a pair of eyes looking at you from down in that ditch

d.) Driving exactly 2.6 mph over the speed limit

8. Minnesota does not require vehicle inspections, but drivers should still have their vehicles checked by a licensed auto mechanic

a.) Every 10,000 miles

b.) Every 36 years

c.) When you notice there’s a little more black smoke coming from the exhaust than usual

d.) When warming the car up on a winter day kills the neighbor’s dog

9. Parallel parking should be completed to place the car

a.) Within one foot of the curb

b.) With only one tire on the curb

c.) On Lyndale Avenue South right in the middle of goddamn rush hour

10.) The zipper merge is

a.) A safe and efficient way to utilize the road before two lanes of traffic become one lane

b.) Just so rude!

c.) [Faints]

d.) A gay bar?

11. Which of the following are examples of “distracted driving”?

a.) Smiling and making eye contact with every single driver on the road just in case you know them or are somehow related

b.) Using the Tinder app while driving, but only if you’re looking before swiping right

c.) Eating leftover hot dish

d.) Closing your eyes for a couple seconds to hit the high notes on Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones”

12.) When entering a stretch of 35W, a driver must cross several lanes of traffic in a short distance. He or she should

a.) Drive 22 mph

b.) Drive 122 mph

c.) Pray

d.) Curse the miserable bastards who thought you wanted to start every weekday of your adult life hating everyone in town.

More from Mike Mullen: