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Old 07-30-2013, 11:14 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Slow freeway traffic is caused by accidents, construction, or idiots. Mostly idiots. Most drivers just press on the gas and hit the brake only when they are going to hit something. For most people it's GO GO GO until they reach the destination. Most drivers don't care about truly "flowing" with traffic or conserving momentum. If they did, traffic jams would probably not exist.

If you want to learn how to drive, watch semi trucks. They hate stopping, they hate slowing down (losing momentum). If you ever get a chance, watch one in bumper to bumper traffic. They take off slowly, giving ample room ahead. They react before they actually need to, maintaining lots of space ahead. They use the engine as a break and control the throttle to avoid the stop and go that most people do in traffic. This is to even out the ripple effect of traffic jams. It is much better to maintain a slow, steady speed, than speed up and then slam on your brakes when traffic jams up again. Semi's do exactly that. If everyone learned to give everyone lots of room on the highway, instead of being as close as possible, you would see a major reduction in traffic on the roadways.

When people drive bumper to bumper without buffering and anticipating the traffic flow, minor slow downs are amplified. I have seen a traffic jam form. It was one guy, who needed to exit. He slams on his brakes in the middle of the freeway trying to merge over. The car behind him (too close) also brakes. This causes a chain reaction because everyone is following too close and needs to hit the brakes. The effect is amplified so that everyone almost comes to a dead stop, even though the road ahead is clear and flowing nicely.

Slow drivers in the right lane won't cause this effect. The idiot in my previous example made an unexpected move. Slow drivers like me go at a constant, predictable speed. Other drivers can easily react to a constant speed. It is the people coming up behind them, not looking ahead, not calculating, not anticipating, and not preparing before they actually reach your car. As I mentioned earlier, they are GO GO GO until you are in their way and then they slam the brakes. If they would leave a buffer zone open they could have gradually decelerated and merged over before reaching the slower car. If they can't merge, they can match the slower speed (gradually, not slamming the brakes) and everyone else behind should follow until they can merge. There is no reason that speed should go well below the slow drivers speed. If it does, it is because of an over reaction or late reaction that causes one car to decelerate rapidly, starting a ripple. Given a large buffer zone the ripple can be minimal with planning and calculating a gradual deceleration or merge.

It's a state law here that slower moving traffic needs to stay in the right lane except to pass. I always follow this rule. Drivers should expect this, and they should anticipate having to pass the slower traffic if they chose to drive near or over the limit. What happens to me on a daily basis is that someone is barreling in the right lane, not paying attention to me ahead. They wait until the last minute and usually they are blocked due to another car in the left passing lane. Then they have to slam on the brakes and wait. It's complete stupidity. And completely avoidable.

I'll stand by my opinion, slow drivers don't cause traffic jams or accidents. It's the faster drivers who are not paying attention to others on the road!

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Old 07-30-2013, 11:26 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cbaber View Post
1. Driving below the speed limit is not imposing my will upon others.
It CAN be. It depends upon the situation.

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2. Driving slow is not dangerous.
It CAN be dangerous. It depends upon the situation.

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3. Everyone has a right to the road, providing they are following the law. You need to respect someones choice to go 55, just as I need to respect people that feel the need to go the speed limit. There shouldn't be an attitude of spite towards people who chose to drive economically.
Just don't do it in the left lane, invoking citation of the written law as an invitation to slow traffic by being a wannabe, unofficial, traffic patrol officer. Those who seek to impose their will upon others by deliberately forcing them to drive as slowly as they want to can also be acting as spitefully as those who drive faster than the posted limit.

Those who go looking for trouble by imposing their will upon others through force or imposition often incite trouble, and bring it upon themselves.

Again, observing common sense and common courtesy will keep you out of trouble more than any laws or written rules of the road might.

Depending on the situation...

Last edited by XYZ; 07-30-2013 at 11:42 PM..
 
Old 07-30-2013, 11:36 PM   #33 (permalink)
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It is the people coming up behind them, not looking ahead, not calculating, not anticipating, and not preparing before they actually reach your car.
^This. I always marvel at the morons that come blasting up behind then slam on the brakes and/or whip that steering wheel at the last possible moment to swerve into the passing lane. Hello? You've been behind me for how many miles now? For how many minutes? Did you not notice me getting bigger and bigger in front of you? Did I surprise you? Do you have a brain?
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:40 PM   #34 (permalink)
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^This. I always marvel at the morons that come blasting up behind then slam on the brakes and/or whip that steering wheel at the last possible moment to swerve into the passing lane. Hello? You've been behind me for how many miles now? For how many minutes? Did you not notice me getting bigger and bigger in front of you? Did I surprise you? Do you have a brain?
Unfortunately, the morons aren't reading your complaints.

As long as there are public highways we will forever be sharing our road space with morons.

That's life.
Get used to it.
 
Old 07-30-2013, 11:42 PM   #35 (permalink)
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^This. I always marvel at the morons that come blasting up behind then slam on the brakes and/or whip that steering wheel at the last possible moment to swerve into the passing lane. Hello? You've been behind me for how many miles now? For how many minutes? Did you not notice me getting bigger and bigger in front of you? Did I surprise you? Do you have a brain?
Yep, it happens to me all the time. Again, if you want to teach someone how to drive, watch the truckers. I have seen semi drivers merge to the left lane a couple hundred yards behind me, just to get into the passing line. They have calculated that their current speed and distance from me is not going to allow them to merge if they wait any longer (because of faster cars behind them). They hate slowing down and getting blocked in behind a slower car, so they plan the pass well before most other drivers even see me!

And still people don't understand what they are doing. I see people already in the left passing line actually merge back into the right lane because a semi moved over, only to be blocked in by me as they try to pass the semi on the right. I just sit back and chuckle as they have to wait for the entire line of cars to pass on the left before getting over again.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:01 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Yeah, the best is when they get momentarily boxed in behind me, when they had eons to prepare and get in the passing lane.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:05 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Unfortunately, the morons aren't reading your complaints.
Exactly. Many times when I've been tempted to write a Letter To The Editor of the local paper about something, I realize that the morons that need to see it probably can't or don't read.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:10 AM   #38 (permalink)
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You can cancel out traffic waves by not being a moving roadblock. Sometimes going faster than your optimum speed is best overall.
Back during the gas shortages of the 1970's some police forces came up with the brilliant idea of having three police cars drive side by side along a three lane interstate highway at 55 MPH, to impede the flow of traffic and enforce the then national 55 MPH AKA "double nickles" speed limit.

They had to abandon the idea of doing a moving roadblock. Why? Because they discovered that it was causing too many accidents.
 
Old 07-31-2013, 08:21 AM   #39 (permalink)
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The reason the did the "Rolling Roadblocks" was the Federal govt had threatened to withhold their highway maintenance and improvement funds unless they got people to obey the then new 55 MPH national speed limit. I remember especially in Maryland they did them quite a lot. Funny how they had trouble getting the DC crowd to obey their own laws.

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Old 07-31-2013, 08:28 AM   #40 (permalink)
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A freind of mine told me that his father was so blind he drove by looking at the taillights of the car in front of him. He could not see the traffic lights. When you understand that circumstance you will also understand why defensive driving is so important.

While 30 years ago I was much less the defensive driver, I still managed to avoid collisions by using extreme situational awareness. Today after driving since 1966 I have refined my situational awareness to include the assumption that many drivers are simply incapable of contemplating the concept of situational awareness or defensive driving. Watching one idiot weaving through bumper to bumper traffic, on the Interstate at 65 MPH, missing a hundred cars by only a couple of feet is one example of supreme stupidity.

Maybe that's why I try to NOT stand out as the exception when on an Interstate, but more likely it's the sum of decades of cumulative memories.

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