I already posted an observation today, but this postaday was just too apropos for me to ignore it. If you want to see the few responses already, head over to The Daily Post and laugh or agree or wince along with me.
My biggest frustration while driving is probably one of the things that is a sure indicator that yes, I am an aggressive driver. I drive a minimum of 60 miles every day, 30 miles to work, 30 miles back, with an optional 5-15 miles in the middle depending upon how much office hopping I am doing that day. Nearly all of that driving is on the highways. Some would say that’s really good, some would say that’s got to be annoying. It depends upon the time of day and all that, but usually it’s tolerable. What makes it intolerable is when all lanes in the road are going the same speed, which is usually some variation of the exact speed limit and perhaps a few miles below.
I’m impatient. I’m running late, I have many things I need to do, and there is a line of 50+ cars between three lanes with over a mile (and growing) between the leaders and the next huddle of cars. This tells me that the people near the front are not following the most basic courtesy of driving on a highway. Slower traffic to the right. Yes, you may technically be passing the car next to you by a foot or so every mile, but that is not the definition of passing. You are holding up people, bunching up cars, and much as I would love to say we’re all going to follow the 6 second rule, or hell, even the 3 second rule, I know that no one is. If any of the lead cars slow down just by half a mile an hour there is the possibility of one of those distracted drivers in the middle not realizing the change and not hitting their breaks in time, and oops, now we have an accident.
If the lanes are all going different speeds, usually with a difference of 5-10 miles an hour between them, the flow of traffic is much smoother and there is nearly always more distance between cars, an additional bumper of time and space in case anything funky does happen. So, if you are going to move to the left lane to pass a vehicle, don’t be afraid to increase your speed for a minute, pass the other vehicle, give yourself extra clearance and then move over and go back to your original speed. It keeps you from getting annoyed at the “slow poke” you just passed and still gives all the other drivers the opportunity to continue at something resembling their original speeds. Want to know something else pretty cool about that?
You won’t get pulled over for that maneuver.
Cops get it, especially if they see you move back over and reduce speed again. They like traffic moving smoothly and without incident. They actually aren’t all assholes just out to get your hard earned money. They are watching for blatant disregard for the safety of people on the road. If you can go 5 miles over the speed limit, pass someone and return to your original lane without incident, congratulations, you are able to vary your driving based on conditions and could actually help prevent an accident by being such a nimble driver. The asshole who waits for you get back in your lane before zooming ahead at 20 miles over the speed limit is not considered a safe driver and yes, s/he will likely get pulled over for that stunt. I know I should have been pulled over several times for doing crap like that. I will admit though that I’m usually one of about a dozen vehicles that can be observed doing that when finally, finally there is a break and I can *gasp* finally reach the speed limit and try to make up for some lost time.
Now, I know this seems rather petty of me to complain about people only following the law, but I would like to point out again that people who do so in all lanes are actually hazards in traffic and are decreasing the overall safety of that road at that time. That is actually violating the law more so than my speeding by 5-10 miles an hour since I am usually quite able to give more space and have greater maneuverability when given the opportunity to do so. Going the speed limit = a hazard. Having several lanes going at different average speeds is safer.
So, for the love of all that is holy in this world, please think before moving over and learn how to drive in a manner that will NOT have all the drivers behind you pulling out their hair. It’d be even better if you made sure to signal before moving over, but honestly, I’m not going to be that picky or ask that much right now. Let’s just work on getting the feet to work. We can add the hands in later./rant