Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Drivers That Annoy Me, Part One of a series.

I have written this post in my head on every road trip I've taken, and never got around to writing it, so now I am...

When I am driving for distance I will generally, unless prohibited by law, roll in the left lane. With my cruise control set at ten over the limit out on the open highway, it's a comfortable 80mph lope; not enough to draw the ire of Johnny Law unless it's a particularly slow day at the Krispy Kreme, and fast enough to feel like I'm making progress. It's also easier to juggle time/speed/distance calculations in my head at 80 than it is at 75.

The long stretches in the left lane are necessitated by the fact that at this speed I am passing, albeit slowly, about ninety percent of traffic. When my scan occasionally detects someone coming behind, I'll signal, tuck over right, wait for them to pass, signal again, and resume my travels in the left lane. Sometimes, however, if the road is fairly empty, the person in the rear-view is not someone who wants to pass, but rather someone who wants to be the bane of my existence for a while...

Apparently, there are some people who: A) Cannot judge their own speed except in relation to the vehicle directly in front of them, and B) Cannot hold a steady pedal for love nor money. So there we'll be, in the agrarian hinterlands of Indiana or Kentucky; me rolling along in the left lane and passing the occasional car on the right when I notice Mr. Wobbly Throttle a'creepin' up in my mirrors. When he gets close enough I'll signal right and let him pass, which he does, after a fashion, but sort of bogs down once he's just off the port bow. We'll roll in formation like that, me starting to fume, until we come upon a car in the right lane that forces me to turn off the cruise and tuck in behind Wobbly.

As we pass the slower traffic, Mr. Wobbly Throttle, now bereft of vehicles to overtake, starts to slow down. He notices me in his mirror and sometimes darts right, sometimes slows down further and gets passed on the right (traffic gods, forgive me!) I'll hit "Resume" on the cruise control in the left lane, but a mile down the road, sure as God made little green apples, here comes Wobbly again, as though drawn to a magnet in my back bumper. This dance can go on for over a hundred miles, and is pretty well guaranteed to have me chewing the steering wheel in frustration in only a fraction of that distance. For Vishnu's sake, man, pick a speed and hold it!

61 comments:

og said...

I have a co-worker who does the "throttle/brake" thing to keep his car at speed. At some speed between 65 and 80. He has cruise but will not use it. He talks, phones, and texts while driving, sometimes even typing mail on his computer. When he's in town he drives at a speed that causes the transmission to be continually upshifting and downshifting, when all he has to do is go two miles an hour faster or slower. he has blown engines ignoring the idiot lights. He is the only person I know who has utterly destroyed a Toyota LE V6. Everyone who has ever driven with him is alternately terrified and pissed beyond belief. All the cars around him are in the same boat. Never before has anyone needed to lose their driving priveleges so badly, and he drives nearly as much as I do.

WV: Endefeds. Yes, I'd love to.

Jay G said...

Holy crap, Tam, this post spoke to me.

I do pretty much the same thing - I'll limit it to 8 over the speed limit just because I'm cautious. I'll kick the cruise on and stay in the middle lane unless pokey-slows demand I move left and go around.

INEVITABLY, some MORON will fly on my tail and STAY THERE, regardless of the empty lane immediately to their left...

There are days where I *understand* the prohibition on rocket-propelled grenades and other grenade launchers...

reflectoscope said...

Been there, seen that. Horse-whipping such drivers with fan belts should be a national pass-time.

Jim

Joseph said...

So you're one of "those" people. Sorry, I just can't stand those folks who cruise in the passing lane. It's wrong and you're a bad person for doing it!

Not that Wobbly is better, just different.

Tam said...

"I do pretty much the same thing - I'll limit it to 8 over the speed limit just because I'm cautious."

Due to speedo error, I have reason to believe that my 80 indicated is actually 78 or 79.

"So you're one of "those" people. Sorry, I just can't stand those folks who cruise in the passing lane."

No, Joseph. In places where it is posted "Keep right except to pass", I stay out of the left lane unless I am actively engaged in overtaking. Elsewhere, it's not actually a "passing" lane, merely the fast lane. Thank you for keeping right. :)

Sam said...

Those folks drive me nuts. Sometimes I pull into the right lane and slow to 50 (if this will not obstruct traffic) and cruise there for 5-10 minutes letting Wobbly get far enough ahead to reduce my homicidal thoughts to mere maiming. Then I resume my cruise.

Joseph said...

"No, Joseph. In places where it is posted "Keep right except to pass", I stay out of the left lane unless I am actively engaged in overtaking. Elsewhere, it's not actually a "passing" lane, merely the fast lane. Thank you for keeping right. :)"

That would be everywhere there is a passing lane. Sure, it isn't posted, but it is proper driving etiquette.

I'm not trying to give you too hard a time, at least you acknowledge the person coming from behind. It's just that most interstate congestion comes from people who are in the passing lane and for whatever reason, don't move over to be passed. Perhaps they're going just fast enough to pass the traffic on the right, but then the twelve cars behind who're going 10mph faster are stuck.

Mr.Wolf said...

You forgot the chap who won't overtake, but won't let anyone else do it either.
You know the one:- you are behind him, and he is behind a truck. If he would just steer nearer the kerb, the 87 people behind him could all overtake him and the truck, because there is enough room to drive a house past the truck.
But he won't. He drives diagonally behind the truck, his nearside front wheel almost nudging the truck offside rear wheel, just waiting for that magic moment when there is no traffic coming the other way nearer than the horizon.
Until then, nothing on earth will make him pull over, because he KNOWS there is no point. No sane person would try to pass while there is another vehicle on the road, and he is determined to save all the crazy people behind him from themselves.

End of rant. Yes, I do feel better, how did you know?

RevolverRob said...

I give Mr. Wobbly Pedals a single chance. If they pass and then slow down and mirror my exact movements, that's it, no more!

I will then execute a pass which tends to result in the burying of the skinny right pedal and the needle of the speedo jumping from 80 to around 90-95 mark. I have found that 99% of the time, Mr. Wobbly pedal will NOT follow you. I run at this extended speed for maybe a 1/2 mile and put that distance between us. My experience has shown that once I do this, I can slow down, hit resume on the cruise and go on about my life, while Wobbly never seems to catch up.

Yes, you run that risk of being busted driving 90 in the 70, but frankly, road trips that are in excess of 100 miles are just too long, to sit behind someone fuming and pissed off. Hell, life is short and I'd rather eat a ticket and take defensive driving, then sit behind some asshole who can't figure out which pedal he needs to push.

-Rob

Stranger said...

A lot of experienced drivers find someone driving faster than they are and will follow at a distance. The lead vehicle then becomes "bear bait."

Since most of those are more familiar with the local cops favorite hiding places than I am, I generally drop back to five over until I lose the tail.

While I have only six "safe driving awards," those were garnered in over two million miles. Just under 400K/ticket is not a bad average for a notorious leadfoot.

Stranger

Blackwing1 said...

I've put something over 300,000 miles on my GoldWings, traveling interstates to get to interesting places for the two-lanes. The last two bikes have had gen-you-wine cruise control, which is a blessing beyond words if you've ever held a bike throttle open for 10 hours at a time (throttle locks work okay for the 30 seconds you need to beat life back into your right hand, but for more than that they're worthless even in the Dakotas).

It never fails to astonish me that SO MANY people cannot find the cruise control in their vehicles. We'll come up from behind somebody holding a steady 73 while we're doing 78...and two minutes later they're passing us by at least 10 MPH. 10 minutes later, we'll creep up on them again, with them having slowed back down, and repeat the whole process.

I want that pintle-mounted Ma Deuce on the back end of the bike so my wife could rake their radiator after about the fourth time of that.

OA said...

Mr. Wobbly Throttle has a close cousin: The Herd Driver. Drive like hell to catch up to a pack or even a single car just to tuck behind, or worse, into the blindspot of some poor sap.

Flight-ER-Doc said...

Thank goodness we have the final arbiter of driving etiquette, Joseph...

And I hear you, Tam: There are times I REALLY miss the M61 20mm cannon I used to have on my ride

Sherm63 said...

I hear ya Tam. Every now and then I travel from Iowa to Colorado to visit relatives and as you might imagine, crossing Nebraska is rather dull on the superslab (assuming minimum construction) and thus the need to engage the hyperdrive in the left lane.

As an aside, an additional reason for traveling in the left lane is the deplorable condition of the right lane in some areas--I29 south of Omaha/Council Bluffs as one example where the right lane is trashed/grooved from the heavy truck traffic.

back to the point-when cruising in the old ass-engined Nazi slot-car I prefer the left lane, around 20 over (give or take with speedo error) and the use of a Valentine V1 for electronic counter measures. It has saved me more than once. Oh, and it helps that the car is not "arrest-me" red but "ignore me" ivory!!

Sherm63

Stuart_the_Viking said...

Blackwing1: An old friend of mine used to ride a beat up old Harley on the freeways around LA and Anaheim years ago, and always kept some large ball bearings in his jacket pocket and a large wrench tucked down in his pipes where he could reach it (he wore gloves because it would get really hot). The ball bearings would (rarely) be used to drop in front of a car that was dangerously tailgating, usually on purpose honking like a mad idiot. He said the ball bearing would usually go right through their radiator and put a quick stop to those antics. The wrench was used to knock mirrors off of cars that decided to change lanes into his already occupied lane to let the driver know that he was there. Then one day a guy decided that he wanted to play bumper tag with the little motorbike, that guy got a hot wrench tossed into his lap right through his windshield. Luckily, nobody died that day, but my friend soon stopped riding his bike on the freeway. California had way too many angry, violent drivers back then. I don't know what it is like now because I left as soon as I could.

s

wv: emebrine, when it's an emergency and you just HAVE to brine a turkey.

RobertM said...

I had wobbly. I really, really hate him.

Joanna said...

Right now, my pet peeve is "doesn't reach highway speed before merging." Sure, he's got a spot to get in -- put the four cars behind him have to dawdle in the rapidly diminishing far right lane while the next block of traffic passes. Grawr rawr rawr rawr.

Joanna said...

Stuart: Go to YouTube and search for "Foamy the Squirrel hammers and floodlights". Seems that Foamy and your friend come from the same school of defensive driving.

Tam said...

Stuart,

As a longtime rider, I have to say that those kinds of tactics are a losing game, because when all is said and done, you're on a bike and they're in a car. I've got a steel rod in my shin to remind me of how those two vehicle types interface...

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Great. Now the theme from CHiPs is an earworm in my head.

Nathan said...

I don't necessarily disagree with Tam, but on the other hand, I've found in 15 years of making the trip from Indy to Washington DC and back that driving the speed limit and staying in the right lane as much as possible is the best way to maintain my sanity.

YMMV, and probably does :)

Laughingdog said...

So you're one of "those" people. Sorry, I just can't stand those folks who cruise in the passing lane. It's wrong and you're a bad person for doing it!

You're not one of "those" people unless you stay in the left lane, regardless of anything that is going on around you. Otherwise, you're just making it easier for cars to get on the road from the acceleration lanes by not being in the right lane.

As for Mr. Wobbly, I'm with RevolverRob on the "one chance" theory. However, I don't go for the 90-95mph to shake him tactic.

As for Stuart, I personally wouldn't brag about having a friend that committed felony assault as a regular practice while riding a motorcycle. I'm sorry, but if someone put a wrench through my windshield while at speed, he's going to meet my fender at speed. Try to kill me, and I'm prone to return the favor.

Laughingdog said...

Due to speedo error, I have reason to believe that my 80 indicated is actually 78 or 79.

That's actually by design. All vehicles come out of the factory with a speedometer that reads 2-3% high.

perlhaqr said...

Amen.

Argie said...

Oh how I feel this. Mr Wobbly Throttle did this to me and it cost me. Tag for 82mph as I got feed up with it and left him. Seems that the megabuck radar detector doesn't pick up Cessena waves from directly overhead. Oh well

Marja said...

Hear, hear.

Personal hate: I'm a fat middle-aged woman who drives an old Russian car. But I like to drive at the speed limit, and I know exactly how much the mistake of the speedometer in my car is (the first thing I usually do with a new car is to measure that), which means I tend to drive a bit faster than most people. The driver I hate most is that guy in a newer better car who can't stand to be passed by an older fat chick in a lousy older car. Sometimes they hit the accelerator when I'm passing them (most times I don't start racing, I just slow down a bit and get behind them), sometimes they overtake me a few minutes after I have gotten back on the right lane. And half the time after they have passed me after a few kilometers I find them in front of me again, again driving just a bit under the speed limit. Gr.

Don Meaker said...

I have the same problems. These folks remind me of Tam's previous post.

Mulligan said...

omg I'm not the only one that hates symbiotic drivers!

I drive for the solitude.. If I wanted strangers to keep me company on the open road I'd pick up hitchhikers. People driving reincarnated boat trailers with an unsatisfied need to attach to my bumper drive me crazy.

theirritablearchitect said...

"... For Vishnu's sake, man, pick a speed and hold it!"

Pissing into the wind, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

There is a school of the thought that 'drafting' is the l33t! way to drive. Since geese fly in a V to save energy, it must make sense to drive in a V. Somehow hugging somebody's bumper one lane over will improve gas mileage and save Gaia.

Anonymous said...

Everyone who drives faster than I do is a maniac.

Everyone who drives slower than I do is an idiot.

And everyone who drives differently than I do is a fool.

There, that just about sums up the comments here...

Tam said...

Anon 12:29,

"Everyone who drives faster than I do is a maniac.

Everyone who drives slower than I do is an idiot.
"

Actually, I don't care a whit about what speed other people choose to drive.

"And everyone who drives differently than I do is a fool."

I drive courteously, signalling my intentions to other drivers and not tailgating. Those who drive differently than that are indeed fools.

Crucis said...

You've hit my pet driving peev. When I'm on the road for more than a few minutes, I use cruise control. Mainly because my leg and heel will start hurting if I don't.

Inevitably, there's be someone who wants to pass. Not a problem, come on by. They'll pass and then duck in front of me AND SLOW DOWN! I tap the brakes, get off cruise and they still slow down.

So, I'll speed up to pass them and then when I'm parallel to them, they'll speed up. If I slow down, so will they. It appears to be some game for them. It's enough for me to get a beater pickup and when they try that trick again, it's bumper car time!

ToddG said...

The number of times I've considered starting a blog just to complain about idiots in the left lane defies modern mathematics' ability to calculate.

The "variable throttle" guy is probably just trying to ghost you so you can play picket for the radar traps. I've done it before and had it done to me. The mistake he's making is getting too close, which makes it appear he's trying to pass you.

I only do that when the guy I'm ghosting isn't going fast enough. The key is all in helping to motivate the folks in front of you into maintaining near or at a triple-digit velocity. Thankfully, enough people are ego-tied to their cars that they hate getting overtaken.

Blackwing1 said...

Here in the ultra-urban areas of Minnesnowta (Mpls. and St. Paul) we're driving on freeways designed in the 1950's for the anticipated traffic levels of the 60's. The result is bumper-to-bumper traffic at almost all times. The result of THAT is that Minnesnowtans have a "learned" behavior that driving in the left lane is just fine and dandy. In fact, to do anything OTHER than formation-flying is quite dangerous in town, since the traffic will relentlessly cut you off.

Problem is that they carry this behavior over into areas where it doesn't apply. I've ridden all over these United States and major chunks of the UK and Europe. I can easily say the Minnesnowtans have the worst lane discipline of any group of drivers I've observed.

Jim said...

Tam,

Here you go, from December 2003, when I was still a new blogger. (as opposed to a stagnant blogger these days.)

http://smokeonthewater.typepad.com/smokeonthewater/2003/12/the_holidays_ar.html#more

Please forgive that I've forgotten my HTML to have encoded the link, and DO please feel free to edit accordingly.

If you read that post, you'll find that certain areodynamics play no small part in quite a few wobbly offenses. I give them that, but just plain stupidity, obliviousness and obstinance comprise the remainder.

Having just returned from another Orlando trip (this one a sad one, as my 78 y/o Dad passed on Jan 14th.), I'm all to fresh from the insipidity of the Interstates.

Hope you enjoy my years-old take on the subject.


Jim
Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

LabRat said...

Wobbly is a close cousin of my own personal demon, Blue Angel. He's the one that wants to be opposite you EXACTLY in the other lane, making passing essentially impossible for anybody.

If you're going the same speed as me, you should be in the same lane as me. And NOT ON MY DAMN BUMPER WE'RE AT HIGHWAY SPEED LEARN PHYSICS ARRRGH.

Robert said...

LabRat: That's the exact term that I use for them! "Blue Angel wannabes".

Only place I found acceptable for cruising in the left lane was I-10 in louisiana, where the right lane had ruts in it from all of the years worth of 18 wheeler damage.

BUFF_dragon said...

I agree with almost everything you guys have said.... I can say though, I enjoy when I'm in the truck (even when pulling a heavy trailer) and someone pulled the 'blue angel' crap on me.... diesel trucks are FUN to punish those idiots... reach down, turn the box to 'turn the day to night', then put the skinny pedal to the pavement and let the 'goodtimes' roll.... its even better when they have windows or tops down..



I do reserve that setting to the drag strip and for those idiots only, some diesel drivers apparently dont know how to tune their vehicles and just smoke everywhere they go which is STUPID as you're wasting fuel and sooting your vehicle for no purpose, not to mention just asking the cops to give you a ticket for illegal exhaust

leBolide said...

You've inspired me to dig out and re-post my Driver Classification Project.

Thank goodness for internet archives!

Anonymous said...

"The "variable throttle" guy is probably just trying to ghost you so you can play picket for the radar traps."

If that were the case, Wobbly wouldn't pass you. He'd keep a respectful distance behind you and stay there.

Tam; I think you need an LED reader board on the back of your car, with a few standard phrases that can be displayed to the driver behind you at the press of a button. "Pick a speed and keep it" would be one, for sure. -- Lyle

David said...

All the highways into and out of my little town are 2 lane state highways. But they are heavily traveled so there is little opportunity to pass. There are several areas where the highway is expanded out to four lanes to allow us to pass safely.

These areas usually only last for about a mile, and are spaced about 10-15 miles apart.

The only thing I hate worse than your wobbly drivers is the ones on the road who are driving 55 in the 65 mph zone, with traffic stacking up behind them sometimes 50-60 cars deep. But when we get to a passing zone they speed up so that as they enter the zone they are going 90 or more. If you are lucky you might be one of the 1-2 cars that has the pickup will to drive fast enough to get around this fool.

Then when the passing lane ends, they are back to 55 mph again. I have tried to think a reason for this behavior besides just pure asshattedness. But have never come up with one.

The frightening thing is the sheer number of these morons out on the road.

Crucis said...

David, be glad you don't live in Amish territory. We have several areas in Missouri. Usually, the Amish will travel along the side of the highway if possible. They don't want to be rear-ended as much as we don't want to rear-end them, but some places there just isn't room for them to get off the road.

There nothing so exciting as driving at night, coming over a hill and finding a horse 'n buggy in your headlights. Many buggies have battery powered tail lights but that no help when cresting a hill.

Larry Ashcraft said...

Cruising in the left lane will get you a ticket in Colorado, but not because of drivers like Tam. It's for the two little old ladies from Idaho who thought the 55 MPH speed limit was a good idea, who are cruising along in teh left lane and visiting about their upcoming visit with cousin Elmer in Colorado.

I agree, Tam. My wife drives 45 miles one way every day to work, mostly freeway. She says "The people who need cruise control, won't use it".

jeff said...

Ah, mister wobbly. I find that 20psi of boost or a firm twist of the throttle takes care of that issue quickly.

As far as right/left lane etiquette, my time in Europe left it's mark on me. Stay on the right except when passing, or to allow vehicles to merge on to the interstate. Oh, or when passing stopped/broken down cars on the side of the road as well. My biggest problem is that the triple digit cruising speeds followed me home as well. . .

Hat Trick said...

Just so you know if you ever venture over to Illinois. Illinois has a "left lane lingering" law that's not posted. It requires you to use the left lane only if you're making progress in passing. Don't know how well it's enforced but thought you oughta know.

Will said...

When I questioned a friend as to why he constantly backed off and then pushed the throttle as he ran down the highway, his answer was: to try to maintain a speed, as engines could not remain at a set speed, but could only accelerate.
I know he can't be the only driver out there with this bit of misinformation.
Joanna, here in CA, the merging problem is very popular with Asians for some reason, who will go so far as to STOP as the merge lane approaches the freeway lane. They sit and wait until a clear spot appears, and then head DIRECTLY for the left lane. The concept of merging appears to be non-existent for quite a few.

Knew a guy back east who used a cable with a D-ring and a steel ball on a cable to lock his bike. A few times he use it to break a window on cars that caused him grief. He would follow until they would stop for an intersection. One time he blew out every piece of glass in a big station wagon that deliberately ran him off the road. I thought he was exaggerating, until I started riding. Nothing like having some little old lady in a Buick pull up along side, look me in the eye, and then whip the wheel toward me. I ended up in a field. Not the last time someone tried to kill me on a bike. Wasn't the first time, either. First was riding a bicycle.
Some real brain dead people out there.

SewerDweller said...

LaughingDog, Crucis, please bear this in mind. A moment's carelessness between two cars is some fender trim damage. A moment's carelessness between a car and a bike is a closed casket. I have seen car drivers do frighteningly malicious and/or stupid things twords bikers. things that in my book count as attempted murder. no, I"m not exaggerating. When you block my lane intentionally, try to shove me off the road, and then chase me for 5 miles because you missed... you're not trying to give me a kiss.

As far as batons, wrenches, ball bearings, and miscellanious tools go, I"m all for them. If it was up to me, I'd advocate shooting at people who talk on the phone, text, put on thier makeup, or do anything other than -drive-. Sadly, the logistics of this desire are at best, problematic.

Anonymous said...

I offer only this comment:

People that stop at the top of on-ramps, not because they have to, but because they fail at gauging oncoming traffic speed. AARRHRHGHLGHGLHGHGL!!!!!!!!

Word verification: crusn. Apropos of the topic!

Anonymous said...

Will:

I spent 11 years dodging traffic in LA, and in all that time, only two people actually *tried* to get me, and they were so obvious, I spotted them about 5 or 6 car lengths before I caught up with them, and was able to plan evasive action for the pass.

And for all the rest of the doorslammer herders we have to watch out for doing stupid things?

I've thought long and hard about that, which caused me to post this some time back:

What Doesn't See You WILL Kill You - Part II

http://www.aeroaces.com/archmoto.htm#motorcycle2

It's long, but worth the read, if for nothing but the (admittedly limited) entertainment value.

BoxStockRacer

Diesel said...

Drive around Whidbey Island, Tam. You will recognize the drivers right off the bat.
I am going to patent and manufacture for profit a roof mounted paintball gun turret slaved to a head mounted sight, like the Apache, just for Mr. Wobbly Throttle.
God, the things I have had to do to get around people like that driving 2 lane highways in Washington...

staghounds said...

MY driving peeve is this. When I have missed an exit on the freeway, am off the shoulder onto the grass and backing up,

WHY DO YOU HONK YOUR HORNS?

Do you think I don't know there is a freeway there?

Do you figure the blast of sound will improve my concentration?

What?

David said...

Just last night, driving 70 miles on a divided highway, light rain falling, highway very empty so I'm moving along at a comfortable 70 +/- 1 mph in a 65 zone, windshield wipers are set on slow intermittent meaning they sweep about once every 10 seconds, cruise control is off (its sprinkling remember, but after putting over 250K miles on 7 different vehicles in my life, I have a pretty steady foot)

In my rear view mirror I see a set of headlights coming up on left - very fast. As he approaches me the clown slows down, settles into my blind spot, just behind my left rear quarterpanel. Right where I can't see the car in either side nor rearview mirror, but his headlights are reflecting perfectly into my eyes from from my side mirror.

My daughter looked and could see that while my windshield wipers were sweeping about every 10 seconds, his were on constant sweep trying to keep the road spray from my wheels off his windshield.

After about 10 miles of amazement at the asshattery on display behind me I started changing speeds. I slowed down to as slow as 50 and sped up to almost 90 and my shadow stayed right with me the whole time.

Finally I had enough and not willing to try and outrun a jerk on a wet road I started slowing down and pulling over onto the shoulder. When I was down to 35 and half off the highway and he was still with me, I sped back up, reached under the seat, unlocked the gun case, handed the 1911 to my daughter told her to load it, and kept driving until we hit a brightly lighted roadside gas station 2 miles away. When I pulled into the station with the 1911 in my lap. This clown followed me all the way into the station, but when I pulled up to the pumps he drove through the station and back on down the highway.

I immediately pulled back onto the highway and got back up to 70 but the asshat's tail lights were still pulling away from us and continued to do so until we changed highways 5 miles later.

This world is amazingly full of truly stupid people.

Justthisguy said...

Sometimes I think I am the only person in this particularly benighted part of Flourdough who signals his lane changes before, instead of after, doing them.

On merging onto the Superslab:
I was taught that one should use the acceleration lane to accelerate; to a somewhat faster speed than the guys on the road, and then use the brakes to adjust speed, the brakes having more acceleration in their direction than the throttle does in its direction.

When I try to apply this around here, I am generally thwarted. I'll get onto the on-ramp and see people slowing to a stop in front of me. Therefore, I hang back, to give me room to accelerate and merge after they are gone. At least once, a doodah behind me went around me when I was being prudent like that and then slowed nearly to a stop to merge.

WV: shuju. The real reason wimmenz buy all those shoes.

Justthisguy said...

P.s. Sorry about the extraneous semicolon.

More on the merging: They were working on I-75 around here a while back and the temporary arrangements did not have actual acceleration lanes, just dumped you onto the interstate with no notice. I found out about this the hard way, and might have had trouble had not a guy on a bike slowed down, risking his life, and waved me on ahead of him.

WV: subdu. Yah, I'd like to subdue some of those folks of which we speak, maybe even subjugate.

Will said...

Justthisguy:
I did that when I drove my little diesel pickup, and yeah, idiots would drive around me on the ramp and then do that slow routine. AAARRRGGGGHHHHH!!!

Anonymous said...

staghounds: tell me this is a joke.

Having read some of your thoughts here, I know you're not stupid.

But if you actually stop and back up on the shoulder of interstate highways to access an exit you've missed instead of doing the inconvenient but intelligent, safe, and legal thing which is to continue to the next one, then maybe I was wrong.

ToddG said...

>>"The "variable throttle" guy is probably just trying
>>to ghost you so you can play picket for the radar
>>traps."
>
>If that were the case, Wobbly wouldn't pass you.
>He'd keep a respectful distance behind you and
>stay there.

Negative. That works if the person you're trying to ghost is already pepping along at good speed. But quite often the threat of passing offends people in fast cars and they respond by adding another 5-10mph to their cruising speed. Providing adequate motivation to these people so they can provide a proper screen for your speeding is part of what makes long drives more interesting.

Justthisguy said...

Yup, Staghounds is definitely in the wrong. He does seem to have money, which will help him in court, but not in a high-speed collision.

Geodkyt said...

I do love the people who self righeously proclaim how illegal (and rude) it is to travel in the left lane, but ALSO proclaim how they habitually speed.

Personally, I don't mind speeding nearly as much as "driving beyond conditions", and I tend to plug the cruise for 9 over where conditions make it safe and feasible. AND I tend to travel in the left lane -- becuase I learned to drive in Hampton Roads, where if you don't go by I64, you pretty much don't go. . . so Grandma, semi trucks, and jackasses in ricers are merging on and off the intrestate every half mile or so. It's bloody UNSAFE to try and stay in the right lane "except while passing" there. In less ocngested areas, I fail to see why a person competant to drive cannot either:

A. Request me to change lanes by flashing his high beams at a reasonable distance

B. Just fade into the right lane for a stress free pass (yes, I am aware that some benighted places have an absolute ban on passing on the right -- of course ALL states have a ban on traveling faster than the posted limit, do they not?)

If I'm going ABOVE the posted limit, the road is clear, and you zoom up to my bumper and start frantically flashing your highbeams into my mirrors, I am going to do EXACTLY what teh State Police put out in the defensive driving course. I AM NOT CHANGING LANES, because you're the kind of fool that will change lanes with me and hit the gas out of your idiocy, impatience, and inattention. Ditto for zooming up and expecting me to change lanes where it is unsafe to do so, or whereheeh traffic on the left is significantly slower, and I'm already speeding.

Just becuase you want to drive at reckless speeds (20+ over is automatic reckless here) in congested areas does NOT mean that it is rude to ignore your demands for total road superiority. I'm just going to hold what I've got, maybe decreasing speed slowly to reduce teh total impact energy, whilst praying you'll finally pass me. . . and that you'll have your next accident far enough ahead of me that it doesn't impede my travel.

Crucis said...

For a long time, I-70 between KC and St. Louis was almost unusable in the right lane. Tractor-trailers had rutted that lane and left its surface as rough as a wash board. When it rained, the water would collect to a depth of a couple of inches in those ruts. My wife and I have relatives in Illinois, just across the river from St. Louis south of the Jefferson Barracks Bridge and most of the time I used the left lane. If someone came up behind me, I'd move over, if I could, to let them pass, but once they'd passed, I was back in that left lane. It was necessary if I wanted to keep my car in working order or it'd be shaken apart.

I-70 has been repair, mostly, now and its surface is much better. However, I've now the habit of driving in the left lane wherever I can. The road is much better there.