Archive for the ‘Highway’ Category

The Mystery Lane Changer

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

How many times has this happened to you? You’re driving on a highway (with at least 3 or 4 lanes) late at night when traffic is extremely light. There you are, cruising down the middle lane with nobody in sight except one car up ahead in the lane to your right. Once you get close to the other car and about to overtake them, they change lanes so they’re directly in front of you. No car in the emergency lane or anything. In fact, NOTHING on the road at all except them and you.

It just chaps my ass! Seriously, what is that person thinking? Sometimes I think it’s some grand conspiracy against me when that sort of thing happens. Are they just oblivious, or truly trying to be evil? If you’re one of those people, please let me know so at least I could have some insight as to what makes you tick.

I don’t know why it burns me up so badly. After all, it’s easy enough to just go around them since the road is otherwise empty. I guess it’s just the thought that people in the world are truly evil and do stuff like that purposefully just to get their jollies. Back in my youth, these people would have gotten a good old fashioned smoke screen from the emergency break as I passed by them. Now I realize they’re not worth the investment – tires are expensive! Instead I make sure they know I’m on the road, too. A little close passing sends a good message in my book, and windshield washer fluid is relatively cheap! :-)

Clear Left Lane

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

The single biggest motivation for putting this site together is my incredible frustration from people hanging out in the left lane on the highway. Each year it has gotten worse. The past few road trips I’ve taken I passed far more cars on the right than on the left.

It seems to have become almost an epidemic. I don’t know if it’s from increased traffic volume, ignorance, or just complete lack of respect for fellow drivers. My guess is that it’s a little bit of everything.

Well, traffic volume is certainly higher than it was 20 years ago, but the roads have gotten wider, too. I’m not convinced this is a huge factor because it’s not like volume is so great that all lanes need to be packed at all times. My sense is that the opportunity for people to move right hasn’t gotten worse, just more people choosing not to.

It would appear that just about anybody can get a license these days. Heck, I’ve only had one driving test in my entire life, and the picture on my current license is a joke I was so young (and that doesn’t expire for many more years). Maybe it’s similar to what’s happened in the school system where we can’t hurt anybody’s feelings so we’ll just coddle everybody. Some of the things I see on the road are so incredibly poor that they should be grounds for immediate license revocation on the spot. So there’s one vote for ignorance.

I definitely think that in general people have become more concerned about themselves rather than the greater good. And I think that’s compounded by the anonymity of being in a car. I get the vibe from a lot of left-laners that they couldn’t care less about the right thing to do, or that they should show any consideration for their fellow human at all. So I guess there’s one vote for lack of respect.

Another group of left-laners might be those who believe they’re making the world a better and safer place by slowing down those foolish speeders. While it’s nice and all to take an interest and helping out the greater good, they’d be better served sticking with neighborhood watch instead. I would argue that these people actually make the road MORE dangerous than less.

Regardless of why people do it, I don’t think they’ve really thought it out all that well. Make sure to view the Top 10 Reasons You Should NOT Hang Out in the Left Lane. There may be a couple of reasons you hadn’t considered before.

I’d really be curious to hear what your thoughts are about why people hang out in the left lane. If you’re one of them, please enlighten me.

Top 10 Reasons You Should NOT Hang Out in the Left Lane

Sunday, November 25th, 2007
  1. You want people to pass you on the left because it’s safer. You have a much better view of what’s going on. If the overtaking vehicle swerves unexpectedly (think blown tire or squirrel), you’ll see it much faster and have a better chance of saving your hide. The right side of the car is the most difficult to monitor and you don’t want to be put in a blind position as an enraged driver passes you on that side.
  2. Sitting in the left lane opens you up to a much higher chance of a head-on collision. If a car in the opposite lane loses control and heads across the median (if there is one), you’ll have much less reaction time and space to avoid tragic results.
  3. If you’re the one losing control, you’re that much closer to on-coming traffic and have less options to deal with the emergency.
  4. You may think it’s saving the planet lots of fuel by making people drive slower, but the reality is, as people jocky for position trying to get around the clutter you caused, they’re accelerating and decelerating very inefficiently.
  5. If you get a flat tire or your car dies suddenly, there’s often nowhere to go in the left lane. If you were in the right lane where you belonged, it’d be much easier to make your way safely over to the emergency lane.
  6. There may be a legitimate reason for somebody speeding past you. What if a loved one was sitting next to you dying, while a left lane swatter prevents you from getting to the hospital more quickly – when seconds matter. What if the only person in the world capable of stopping an immanent nuclear explosion got caught up in your wake and missed defusing it by only seconds – way to go, jackass.
  7. The world is filled with people crazier than you! Road rage escalates to lethal levels far more often than it should. Do you want to be on the receiving end of that just to make a point? Putting yourself and your family at risk makes you no better than the people you’re trying to “contain.” Rage is a very dangerous emotion that breeds irrational thought. Don’t be foolish and think somebody wouldn’t be stupid enough to do something crazy. Enraged people are not necessarily stupid, just enraged. Some people control that better than others.
  8. People are going to speed regardless of your best efforts to thwart them. Becoming a barrier only puts lives at stake when you force them to take unnecessary actions to maneuver around you. Is your personal pride really worth somebody dying, or worse, an innocent bystander who is driving responsibly, dying from the now enraged driver’s actions? Sure, you can take the hard-line and say you didn’t “force” anybody to do something stupid, but if you weren’t there as a barrier it wouldn’t be an issue. Take some responsibility.)
  9. Clogging up the highway adds to the difficulty of emergency response vehicles from getting to their destination in a timely manner. What if that ambulance was coming to save you? Again, seconds often matter.
  10. Cars in the left lane get more scrutiny from law enforcement, as that’s where the speeders should be, theoretically at least. And if you’re doing the speed limit or less and you’re in the left lane, then you’re pretty much the definition of jackass.

For a fair and balanced argument, please view the Top 10 Reasons You Should Hang Out in the Left Lane.

Top 10 Reasons You Should Hang Out in the Left Lane

Sunday, November 25th, 2007
  1. You never actually learned how to drive.
  2. You just don’t get it.
  3. You were dropped on your head as a child.
  4. You have a death wish.
  5. Angering people is a favorite pastime.
  6. You have no regard for your fellow human.
  7. You’re depressed and want to share the love.
  8. You forgot to take your meds for that mental disorder.
  9. You’re just plain ignorant or stubborn and most likely both.
  10. You took stupid is as stupid does to heart.

For a fair and balanced argument, please view the Top 10 Reasons You Should NOT Hang Out in the Left Lane.