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Old 02-02-2012, 02:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Other Drivers' Minds

Today, as I was coasting down my favorite hill after work, a thought suddenly occurred to me. This was inspired by the fact that I was being tailgated by a guy in a mid-90s family sedan. Now, I should start by saying I'm used to this behavior given the car I drive (every late teen to early 20s kid in a Civic tries to race me... well... whenever). This guy was no different, but my only concern was, if I needed to stop quickly, I'd have to hire someone to extract him from my tail pipe.

Now I know that I'm assuming that he was trying to "race" me, but I'm pretty sure I'm right about what was going on in his mind. The thing I'm curious about is whether he was aware of a few things:

First, we were on a 35 mph posted road that is frequented by pedestrians and bicyclists. Again, I was driving within a speed that I could stop if I needed to, but I'm convinced that he could not.

Second, even though they were curvy, windy roads, I only touched my brakes once.

Third, for the entire two-mile stretch, I never once touched the gas pedal.

I just wonder, sometimes, what is going through other drivers' heads. I'm guessing they are equally puzzled by other hypermiling techniques.

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Old 02-02-2012, 07:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I wonder the same thing a lot of times. Especially when they yank around me very quickly to stop at the stop light with me....
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Given the lack of quality shown by some of the drivers I have encountered driving around here my answer to your question "what is going through some drivers heads?" is:

Probably not much.
(evoke mental picture of lone tumbleweed blowing over a desert landscape)

Peter.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you saw what I have seen working on cars for a good part of my lifetime, you wouldn't worry so much about the drivers as the cars they are driving, especially now that they average 11 years old.

Rear brakes, no pads, with the caliper piston rubbing on the brake rotor. Front cross member completely separated on one side due to rust. Engine and transmission ready to fall out on the ground along with the steering rack. Pickup in front of you jackknifes when the front u joint lets go. A Subaru tire bouncing 40 feet in the air when it hits a car in front of you after falling off a car in oncoming traffic. A Rambler station wagon driving down the road with only 3 wheels.

These days when I have a tailgater and the left lane is clear I just toss it in neutral and see how slow they will drive before they get the idea. Seen them not pass until I got to 25 in a 45 zone.

The worst I ever heard of was a friends father who was so blind he couldn't see a red light. He could only see the brakes lights on the car in front of him so he kept driving depending on the car in front to let him know when to stop. I guess he didn't need street signs!

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Old 02-02-2012, 07:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter7307 View Post
Given the lack of quality shown by some of the drivers I have encountered driving around here my answer to your question "what is going through some drivers heads?" is:

Probably not much.
(evoke mental picture of lone tumbleweed blowing over a desert landscape)

Peter.
What's going on in their heads?
A perfect vacuum.

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Old 02-02-2012, 08:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've used slow down when someone is tailgating me technique before. It's certainly pissed off more than a few people.

When I was learning to drive, my dad hammered defensive driving and anticipating things ahead. I'm convinced the vast majority of drivers don't plan any further than the hood of their car.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
If you saw what I have seen working on cars for a good part of my lifetime, you wouldn't worry so much about the drivers as the cars they are driving, especially now that they average 11 years old.
It's funny that you mention that because a similar incident happened to me again today, but this time it was young driver in a newer Toyota RAV4. While I still think he was being a bit unsafe (I was probably driving that way too when I was also 17-19 years old), but at least ALL four of his tires kept contact with the pavement. It's amazing what 10+ years will do to a car (the other guy was in a '97 Honda Accord).
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladogaboy View Post
I just wonder, sometimes, what is going through other drivers' heads.
Probably something like this: " I wanna get to [insert destination here] RIGHT NOW, and some jackass is in my way!"

I have to deal with that mentality quite a lot. What's ironic is that I sometimes drive through the "historic downtown" part of my town. Speed bumps with 15 MPH speed limits were installed, after some jackwagon speeding through the historic downtown section ran over and killed a shopkeeper.

The "speed humps" are pretty substantial, and spaced less than 100 yards apart... about 4 or 5 of them in a row. Yet every time I drive through there, I see people try to drag race from speed hump to speed hump, while the pedestrians nervously await a break in traffic to cross the street.

One of those jackwagons KILLED somebody while driving like that. But do the rest of them take notice, and adjust their behavior? Nope! But they're more than willing to complain about the speed humps.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What's funny is the ones that will stay on your tail while you slow down, even if you drift towards the right to clue them in that, yes, you would like them to pass you, please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
What's going on in their heads?
A perfect vacuum.

regards
Mech
Nature abhors a vacuum.

Especially a perfect one.

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