Go with the flow
Improved interstate driving? Learn the rules
Do you find interstate driving frustrating? You arenít alone. The only people not frustrated are the truck drivers whoíve seen just about everything, and have learned to just shake their heads.
The problem is, we get frustrated when people donít drive the way we think they should Ė i.e., like us. In Vietnam many years ago, an old hand explained the inexplicable driving patterns of the population to me. He said, ďItís simple, they were taught by the French. Drive the way they do, and youíll be alright.Ē He was correct, and Iíve never forgotten that. Every region of the country drives differently. In some cities, you run lights, in others you panic stop. Get it wrong and it can get you dead, so you have to learn the rules.
Since Iím such an expert, Iíll be happy to pass the interstate rules on to you. These may not make you less frustrated, but theyíll make meó uh, I mean many othersó happier on the highway, therefore making all of us safer.
If youíre in the left lane, go faster than the cars in the right lane. In many states itís a lawó you must be in the left lane to pass another vehicle. No act on the road is more anti-social or more likely to make people do dumb and dangerous things than hogging the left lane while lollygagging along.
Donít slow down when you pass trucks, and donít stay beside them in the next lane forever. Professional drivers change lanes often. Pass them quickly, and get back in the right lane.
Donít speed up when someoneís passing you. Since virtually every male canít help but do this (and some women do it, too, but not as many) this will be tough. But try not to. Itís not a race.
Let a faster car go past. Let them collect the cops. I immediately move over when someoneís coming up on me. You donít ever want to be the fastest car on the road. Let somebody else be about a quarter of a mile in front of you, then you can see what they do Ė presumably theyíll brake for cops. And you can enjoy watching them reach for their license and registration as you sail on by.
Drive roughly the same speed that everyone else is driving. On any interstate in America, there are two limits: the one thatís posted and the one that everyone actually drives. Usually thatís 10 mph or so over the posted number, but in some areas where speeding tickets are a revenue process for local municipalities, it may be tighter. If youíre really going the same speed as the rest of the cars, you wonít get a ticket.
Being self-righteous may feel good, but it causes more accidents than you might imagine. (ďBut he cut me off!Ē) As my spouse frequently said, itís not my job to teach the world how to drive. This is usually a guy thing, and anyone that does it isnít going to quit because of anything I say, so ladies, try to fix your man before he kills you or someone else.
If youíre stopped by the police, keep your hands on the steering wheel and have your passengers keep their hands in sight until the officer gets up to your vehicle and tells you what he wants you to do. The officers merely want to ensure theyíre going to be safe while they check things out, and being able to see that youíre not harboring a weapon is the courteous and wise thing to do. And isnít this one of those times when you want them in a good mood?
There are many more rules, but the idea is for highway traffic to flow smoothly. Do you know that traffic engineers study theories and principles of hydraulics and apply it to traffic flow? If you know someone who drives like a drip, tell them to get with the flow.
Check out videos from local cruise events!
Provided by The News Herald