Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Driving Advice: Free of Charge
So this past long weekend, we spent a lot of time on the road. Some of it moving fast and much more of it moving slowly. As I was driving and cursing in many languages at people for not knowing how to drive, it occurred to me that maybe they didn't know how. They had their license and knew what a stop sign was, but never learned highway driving. So may I present to you, my rules for highway driving.
Read the book Traffic
It's really good, and explains why traffic happens. How we bizarrely conflate our auto with ourselves, and thus view merges as attacks on our personal space. Also this book explains that late merging (when you see that the road goes to one lane in a mile, you stay in that lane until the merge point) actually is better for the flow of traffic. So read this book before you attempt the next long road trip.
Listen, this technology has been around since the 1950s. USE IT. I'm not talking about the fancy radar cruise control you see on TV, or the one that stops your car if a truck backs into your lane. I'm talking about the stick on your steering column that has the words Set, Accelerate, Resume and others written on it. Not only do you save gas by not speeding up and slowing down, but you also can maintain a constant speed which helps not get speeding tickets. Have you ever been in the left hand (high speed) lane and had the lane come to a complete stop and then speed up again like a rocket? Yeah, its because some dumbass ahead of you couldn't modulate their speed and floored it only to slam on their brakes as they almost hit the car in front of them. Also use this shit on hills where your foot naturally comes off the accelerator and you slow down by 10-15 mph. I know you don't mean to. You're simple. Of course its not your fault.
Listen, the idea behind the passing lane is that it's used to pass vehicles slower than you. This means you pass the car or truck and then pull in front of them. This does not mean that you want to go 71 when everyone else in the right lane is going 70 and so you slowly pass the cars on the right for 40 miles. Also, if you're in the passing lane and someone is behind you, then you are not passing fast enough. So pull over to the "slow" lane which I know hurts in your Toyota Sienna with three bicycles on the back because you're still a "man" and you're driving fast. But seriously, let people pass you.
If ever you're in the left lane and you're passed on the right, then that's the universal sign that you need to pull to the right. You're not that cool. Suck it up.
If you are being passed on the left, please don't think this is some macho game and start speeding up. If you want to go fast, and just noticed that you're not, let me pass you before you unleash your inner Dale Jr. I'm not attacking you as a person.
If you're passing a car and notice that a mile down the highway, there's a truck you'll probably pass later, don't stay in the left lane. Think of the passing lane as only existing in the present tense. Not the future (You will pass that car in awhile) or the past (You did pass a car and so you get to stay in the lane 4evah)
We have covered my issue with feet, but please don't air your tootsies on the dashboard or out the passenger window. First, no one needs to see this. And we all can. Second, in the event that your vehicle leaves the roadway unintentionally, you are going to lose those things like an umbrella in a taxi.