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Whew, it’s been awhile since I posted here, so I thought I’d drop by and say hello.

Why the long absence?

Well, I’ve been busy working on a new Internet security e-book that should be available by the end of summer, so my fingers have, shall we say, been otherwise engaged?

However, I’ve also been doing some traveling for my photography. In fact, I tend to spend about 30K worth a miles every year behind the wheel of the ‘ol Ford criss-crossing the country. So, while I don’t rack up the miles of a professional truck driver each year, I think it’s safe to say I’m at least an enthusiastic amateur, right?

So, with that in mind, I’m going to go ahead and dole out the top things that I wish everyone knew when they were driving down the interstate. I’m sure I’ll miss a few, so feel free to toss in your suggestions in the comment area. And, while I’m sure our collective tirade isn’t going to change the course of interstate traffic patterns in any meaningful way, it’ll make us feel better, right?

So, here’s my suggestions for the bad highway driver:

1. Use your cruise control. Please. I’m on my knees beggin’ you. Pretty much any car made in the last decade or two has a cruise control feature and it’s really not that hard to use and, despite what you may think, it’s not even all that scary.

I’ve actually come to the conclusion that the people who don’t use cruise control must believe that by pushing the button they relinquish total control of their vehicle and are subject to the whims of some mysterious computer lurking under their hood. Look, I promise if you activate your cruise no rogue software malfunction is going to posses your car and send you careening end over end down a steep mountain cliff.

However, you will save some gas without the constant acceleration and deceleration.

Also, you’ll avoid boiling the blood of your fellow interstate road warriors with your “left-lane leap frog” game. You know, the one that involves you speeding up, passing me, then slowing down, getting passed by me, then speeding up, passing me, then slowing down, getting passed by me – see it’s even irritating to read about it. Cruise control is your friend.

2. Learn to merge. Psst – I’m going to share a little secret that only about half the drivers out there seem privy to. If you’re merging onto the highway, you can actually USE that skinny pedal on the right to speed up or slow down so you can land your car in front of or behind other traffic! In fact, turns out you can actually vary your acceleration in order to merge! WOW! It’s really not that hard either, so go ahead and give it a try next time you’re merging onto a crowded interstate.

In fact, if you want to take it to the next level, you could even, I don’t know, actually LOOK at the traffic on the highway as you’re first getting on the ramp. I know, sounds crazy, but turns out if you toss a quick glance at the highway traffic, you can actually judge how fast you need to accelerate in order to merge! Trust me, beats the old “drive-down-the-ramp-and-hope-for-a-hole” method.

Yeah, yeah, I know you think that everyone should move over for little ‘ol you, but sometimes there’s a semi in the next lane that seems to think otherwise.

3. Stow the cell phone. Please. I know you think you can drive and talk on it at the same time, but I’ve been behind you when you had that thing plastered to your ear, and trust me, you really can’t. I’ve seen plates of spaghetti run straighter lines. At any rate, your attention is probably better spent elsewhere. You know, like keeping your speed constant, staying the heck outta of my lane, that kind of thing.

I know, I know, sometimes you have to make an important call, but come on on. Just between us, those calls to your mom about your new pudding recipe really aren’t all that pressing, are they?

OK, so what are you supposed to do if you desperately need to tell your aunt about that new quilt you just picked up a the tourist trap down the road? Well, believe it or not the highway commission has this figured out! They made these nifty little places call “rest areas” you can actually pull into, park your car, and make your call without endangering everyone else! You should try ‘em – they even have bathrooms! I hear you can even send text messages from these “rest area” places, but I haven’t tried it yet. You’ll have to let me know if it works.

I feel like I should rant a little about sending text messages and driving, but I think those folks are going to take themselves out of the gene pool soon enough anyway…

4. Stay right unless you’re passing. There’s even little signs scattered throughout the interstate system that advise as much. But, alas, there you are, tooling along in the left lane. I know, sometimes the view from there can be better (ohh, aren’t the mountains pretty!), but see that line of traffic behind you? Yeah, they aren’t going to be sending you any Christmas cards this year. Let ‘em pass.

How can you tell if you’ve lingered too long in the left lane? Cars will start buzzing by you on the right, and their drivers won’t be wearing their happy faces. In fact, you may even get a nasty glare or two.

Just remember – Getting passed on the right is God’s way of telling you to get back over.

5. Are you on a little 2 lane? Mind going the speed limit? Please? Look, I’m not asking you to break any laws here, but when I’m following you down a busy 55MPH 2 lane and you’re mindlessly bouncing along at 40MPH it gets under my skin a bit. And under the collective skin of the 50 or so drivers behind me you’ve been holding up for the last 20 miles.

Sure, you may not be in a hurry, but you’re not the only pebble on the beach. There’s a Star Trek marathon on the SciFi channel (sorry SyFy – go figure that one) and I don’t want to miss it. Gotta get my geek on.

If you really must motor along at a painfully slow pace, pull over occasionally and let the rest of the world pass.

6. Don’t pull out in right front of me, then do a # 5. Seems to happen on little country roads all the time. If you’re going to putz along, the least you could do is wait till I pass since there’s no one behind me. But NOOOOOOOOOOO – you wait till the last second to pull out, I slam on the breaks, and you cruise along at 10 MPH under the speed limit.

Oh, and of course, achieving your cruising speed is done at a rate that would embarrass even the slowest of semis.

OK, that’s about it for now. That pretty much covers my advice for would-be highway drivers. Did I miss your pet peeves? Toss ‘em into the comments section, get ‘em off your chest, and tell the world!

~Steve

71 Responses to “Driving Me Nuts”

  1. Richard says:

    Agree.

  2. Shirley says:

    Your never going to see an end to this. Surely you know this. Deal with it in the safest way you know how. Don’t expect miracles. It is not worth all the energy you use up. Save it for something more meaningful. Like geting home safe and sound even if your late for what ever.

    • Evelyn says:

      Thumbs up on this Shirley. Might as well take things as they come because no one can correct them…..not even the law. lol These drivers are kind of like the weather….one can talk about it….get angry about it….but nothing can be done about it. ^5

  3. Hook says:

    I agree wih you whole heartally except with one litttle exception,and that is driving at a lower speed in the right lane than what is posted. Some people, especially older folks may think driving at the posted speed is too fast for safety.I don’t think 40 0r 45 miles/hr. in a 55 zone is inappropriate. The left lane is for passing on most roads ,so that is appropriate if another driver is in a hurry and the big problem is going too fast with drivers not really being alert and having the driving skills to avoid a potential problem cropping up unexpected.

    • Sunny says:

      Sorry Hook….I don’t agree. I drive a 2-lane highway everyday and the posted speed limit is 55 mph. I have had drivers pull out in front of me and go 40-45 mph. It is enough to make me want to scream. I mean here I am cruising along at 55 and someone pulls out and goes 40-45. It’s very frustrating. Sometimes I can pass them and sometimes I can’t. If you know you are not going to do the speed limit let the ones who are pass before turning onto the highway.

      • Genie says:

        Agreed!

        Where I live, there are only 2-lane roads & because they’re really twisty-turny, there’s only 4 passing zones in the more than 20-mile stretch passing through the area & there’s usually oncoming traffic so you can’t pass there anyway.

        I just moved here a few years ago, so I *understand* if someone is not comfortable going as fast as everyone else – I sure wasn’t when I first moved here – but for goodness sake, PULL OVER and let people pass from time to time!

  4. Eric says:

    Good advice and, really, common sense. A few words of warning, about cruise control: DO NOT use it when the road is wet or slippery! I speak from experience, when I say that, in these conditions, your vehicle will accelerate uncontrollably when the tires lose traction.

    • Steve says:

      100% correct. Been there, slid around, got the T-shirt.

    • Bo says:

      “I speak from experience, when I say that, in these conditions, your vehicle will accelerate uncontrollably when the tires lose traction.”

      I must beg to differ with this statement. I have been there and did that but the only things that speeds up is the speedometer and a scared mind. When tires lose traction they have no grip on the highway and can cause a car to spin but not speed up. It takes traction to cause a car to speed up and stop.

  5. sherry says:

    the cell phone is the worst.yet the young kids still have the phone in their ear or text message.

  6. Zelda says:

    My boyfriend and I just got back from a week’s vacation on a motorcycle. Everything you mentioned happened, and of course the fact that people don’t look in their mirrors when they check them, which makes us practically invisible.
    Of course we didn’t need to vacation like that to notice these errors….just going to the store or work is enough to see all this happening. That’s how many bad drivers there are out there. I’m hoping your post will wake at least a few of them up…..doh!

  7. Eddie says:

    My dad, who was a big rig truck driver, taught me about all the things you brought up, except for the cell phone and texting. There were no cell phones back then. I’m 67 and I learned to drive a looong time ago. Now that there are cell phones, the comments about them are also right on target. Great suggestions. By the way, those little signs along the interstate about driving in the right lane aren’t just suggestions. They are the law. My wife’s grandmother once got a ticket for drioving too slow on the expressway (35). she told the officer the speed limit said 45 but that hqappened to be the minimum speed. ;}>

  8. Donna says:

    At least if there is enough people griping about it, they might, just might , at least, stop the use of cell phones when driving. Some people that shouldn’t even be driving, still have a license, and consider it the last vestige of independence that they have left, and are not going to give up driving until the law forces them to. So all the rest of us can do is hope they don’t cause someone totally innocent, to be hurt, maimed or killed,because of their stubbornness or inconsideration.

  9. Fran says:

    Ok now you’ve hit a sour subject with me!! Was just thinking this morning how discourteous some drivers are. People – if you are driving in the dark and see the taillights of the guy if front of you – believe me when I tell you this – he can darn (cleaned up for publication) sure see those BRIGHT LIGHTS!! Find the dimmer switch and think about the guy that shares the road with you!! Oh and on a side note, in the early morning hours and the last bit of light at dusk – we all know you have no trouble seeing the road, but the law says put your lights on 1 hour before and 1 hour after daylight (and in inclement weather) – it sure helps us to see you, and it could save our lives – cause obviously you do not care about yours. Climbing down from the soapbox now!

    • Sally says:

      A side note to the lights-on-at-dusk thingy….PARKING LIGHTS ARE NOT DRIVING LIGHTS. It is illegal to drive with parking lights on. They are for PARKING! JEEEESH!

      Ok, a little calmer, well, maybe not. Don’tcha just love the 40 m.p.h. guy in front of you on a winding two lane highway? You see the sign that ahead is a pull out lane for slow drivers to move it on over, so you think…”aha! I can finally take it out of second gear and get around Ollie when he pulls over into the REAL slow lane. Guess what? Ollie SPEEDS UP as soon as he pulls over into that lane (provided he pulls over there. Most Ollies just keep plugging along without caring that the sign referred to them.). Ollies keeps the pedal to the metal clear up to his re-entry at the front of that string of cars he has held up for 20 miles.

      • David says:

        Some information on parking lights. Parking lights are intended to serve as a indicating system in the event of a headlamp failure. They are rarely used for parking. As for being legal to drive with them on that would depend on what state you live in and is best to check your state laws. The parking light is not used as such in modern driving. They are more of a throwback to days gone buy when street lights and off the road parking areas were not common. Their main function is for safety. Any lights on a vehicle that’s on at any time helps to identify that vehicle.

        One of my peeves is when people accelerate to get in another lane right in front of you when their is barely enough space between you and the car in front of you. They cut you off and in the process risk causing an accident. Slow down and be patient enough to pull into that lane when their is space. If you can not get over go up to the next intersection and turn around to reach your destination. I have seen many accidents happen because of this. Please have some courtesy and patience.

  10. Cherie Fruge says:

    Steve, come visit Arizona with your camera… We have some spectacular scenery here… As to drivers, they’re the same all over!

  11. Bob says:

    When someone pulls onto a 4 lane road gets into the left lane, drives a block and and then turns right.

  12. Carol says:

    You are officially my new hero Steve. You put into words what I could only stutter (literally stutter) while driving. “Ggggeeggeet oooouuout ooof ttthhhe llllleft lllaaalllane.” Obviously, I stutter when I get frustrated.

    I am a woman and I hope other woman do not get really angry with me, but WE CAN’T DRIVE. The one in the left lane doing the speed limit and be damned if she will get over even if the traffic is backed up to the last city. After all, she is doing the speed limit. Look at the ones stopped on the entrance ramps before slowly accelerating to get on the highway, YEP, that’s one of us. However comma there are exceptions. As we get older, I’m 60 I know, we tend to slow down. There are many factors. Reaction time is slower, losing their eye sight, being with Grandma/Grandpa for 62 years, having to hear the same stories over and over and over, or It could be in self-defense; getting out of the way of the 16 year old who just got his license. Whatever the reasons; “Stay out of the left lane unless you are passing.”

    And ladies please, put your makeup on at home. It’s really gonna hurt when you rear-end someone and shove that mascara wand through your eye. Remember what Mama always said; “Don’t run with those scissors in your hand, you could put your eye out. Don’t poke your brother/sister with that french fry, it could poke their eye out. Don’t throw that knife at your brother/sister, I don’t care if you are just practicing.” It wasn’t my eye but the right ear that got the wand and my brother was lucky. He ducked right before the knife got him.

    Thank you Steve for giving an old girl the heartiest laugh I’ve had in a long time. Although I did have to change my depends after reading.

  13. The Rebel says:

    You ever get out in California? I live half way between Fresno ‘n Yosemite. If you come this way, stop and visit for awhile.

    • Steve says:

      Far as I’ve been so far is death valley and alabama hills near Lone Pine. I’d like to be in your area in the next year or two :)

  14. TOM BOYLEN says:

    HI STEVERINO
    I ONLY WISH TO ADD ONE SUGGESTION ABOUT USING SPEED CONTROL. DO NOT………I REPEAT USE THIS LITTLE JEWEL WHEN IT IS POURING DOWN RAIN. WATER COLLECTS UP IN MANY PLACES AND WHEN YOUR VEHICLE HITS THESE WATER COLLECTION, YOUR REAR WHEELS CAN SPIN FASTER ON THE PAVEMENT AND EASILY CAUSE YOU TO LOSE CONTROL. USE THAT LITTLE “THINGY” UNDER YOUR RIGHT FOOT TILL YOU GET TO DRIER ROAD. THIS CAN SAVE MANY A SPIN OUT THANK S FOR LISTENING………SINCERELY……….TOMMY BOYLEN

    • Evelyn says:

      You know what, Tom? I am so spoiled with my car that I don’t have to worry about cruse control….it wont work if it is raining or snowing. But being from the South when I moved to SD the first thing I was told wan not to use the cruse control in snow and being from the South I knew not to use it when it was raining. Of course it never rains in the South it pours. Did real well driving in the snow and ice as I learned how from driving in flooded streets from the rain in the South.

  15. Nancy says:

    Totally agree with you Steve on all you wrote. To add to yours, another pet peeve I have is this right turn on red. You are suppose to come to a full stop before turning right on red, but some of these jerks just flow right through it. I use to like driving, but not anymore, it isn’t fun anymore with all the idiots with their cell phones while driving, which is illegal here in NYS along with texting. I have even been almost hit while walking in a parking lot because the driver is on the cell phone. I don’t own one of those, and for the life of me can’t figure out what is soooo important that you have to talk on the phone while driving. Why can’t it wait till you get home. Thanks for the steam outlet, and people wonder why there is road rage with all the nuts that drive? Hello!!!

    • LA Graham says:

      I’ll go you one better on the turning on a red light. Massachusetts is the ONLY place I’ve seen people dumb enough to be making a LEFT TURN on a red light from a 2-way street to a 2-way street (picture about it; it’s a recipe for disaster). And then they act offended if someone gives them the horn (or finger).

      • LA Graham says:

        Make that (picture it; …). Also, the fools who go speeding down the Expressway in the breakdown lane – another accident waiting to happen, usually with fatalities.

  16. The world believes we are wrong. Merge now means , come to a complete stop, creep out into traffic at 5 mph. Also if you get down around Miami you will see people pass you on the shoulder when traffic is completely stopped. I learned how to drive on the Schuylkill Expressway. I have learned to avoid these creeps! If you examine the cause of traffic stalls and accidents, you will find that these conditions are caused by these people in numbers.

  17. ellie says:

    I learned to drive after reading Tom McCahill articles in Popular Mechanics years ago. Today, my old lady friends think it is odd that
    I use my turn signals for changing lanes, entering flow of traffic and actually for right and left hand turns. It probably is odd using
    your signals that much here in Florida! Continue on.

    • Sue says:

      Using the turn signals for passing is a law in Indiana. You can get ticketed. The police in my town usually have a traffic offense of the month that they give tickets on, and that has been one of them at least once a year. But, doesn’t it make sense…letting others know what your intentions are?

      • Evelyn says:

        It doesn’t have to be a law (although in most states it is), Sue, it is highway politness to use the blinkers when one is going to pass a car. Also using the blinkers when you have passed and moving back into the traffic lane. Of course we have a lot of drivers that are so wrapped up in their music or cells that they could care less about being polite.

    • Genie says:

      I agree about the turn signals – I always use them & am the “wierdo” for doing so. However, nce got a fix-it ticket because I realized when driving a friend to the doctor in her car that her left turn signal was broken. Made a turn, using a hand signal & the cop pulled me over…the sad thing is he told me if I’d just totally neglected to signal at all, he wouldn’t even have noticed me because no-one ever signals so he wouldn’t have thought it odd. :(

  18. Arlyn says:

    Hope you didn’t forget about the guy who is out there when the weather is bad and kinda dark and no lights on to see him with. I know of someone coming around a curve and behind a dark car in the wet rainy evening and totaling out the car because they never even saw the car in front of them which was parked in the road and chatting with someone from the passenger window. The speed limit was 35 and my friend never even saw quick enough to apply the brakes. Totalled it out.

  19. Irenkè says:

    As much as most people get annoyed at the slow pokes holding up traffic in the right lane on a highway, the thing that gets me is when the speed limit is 55 mph and I’m moving along in the right lane about 65 mph or 70 mph keeping up with traffic, then someone comes zooming along in the left middle lane and passes me like I’m standing still. I also get annoyed at drivers who don’t put their lights on when it’s raining and they are using their wipers. Why do they do that? Years ago my motorcycle’s lights came on automatically and they finally started doing that for cars. My lights come on automatically in my car when I turn the key and it would be great if all vehicles would do that.. .

  20. Jan Phillips says:

    I guess I am the only one that doesn’t like tailgaters.I don’t like them at all and in some states it is agenst the law.

    • Gail S. says:

      No, Jan, you’re not the only one. I’ve been driving for 59 years, and have yet to find anything on the road more irritating than tail-gaters. Those who haven’t a clue how to merge run a pretty close second, but tail-gaters are just nasty people. Sometimes I flick my hazard light swtch on and off quick to make them think I’m braking. Makes most of them back off.

      • Diana R says:

        For the most part, I am total agreement with what is being said here. In Nancy’s comment about supposing to come to a complete stop before turning right on red. I’ve seen them fly through also, but a lot of times they will just sit there. You try to give a ‘little’ toot but for the most part, that doesn’t work. And today you have to really be careful, you could get shot. And to Gail’s comment about tailgaters. I can’t stand them either. I will either slow down so they will pass or like you said ‘hit your brakes’. Usually they will back off. Another pet peeve of mine is the jerk in the parking lot. You ride around looking for one (especially during holidays) when you see one, you have your turn signal on indicating where you are going to turn and the ‘nice person’ whips right in. Just like the song, Some beach, somewhere. Hope everyone has a safe drive wherever they go.

    • Janet says:

      Love tailgaters Jan, if I am moving at a reasonable pace (and I usually am) I slow down 5-10 mph, pump your brakes a few times…they will back off. then again I live in Jersey :)

      • Evelyn says:

        That is what I do also, Janet. Pump those breaks and usually they will back off. When every one had CB Radios in their trucks and cars you could just name the car and tell them to back off but now you have to signal with the breaks to get them to get off you bumper. :D

  21. robertpri says:

    I used to get volumes of reference books from the Gov’t Safety Offices, and was always amused that the #1 cause of wrecks is “following too close” OR “unsafe lane changes.” Those two go back and forth rated #1 and #2. Speed was almost NEVER the single cause of an accident. Speed “contributes” to accidents, but are rarely if ever the direct cause. Something else happened [following too close or unsafe passing] that caused the wreck, and speed made it worse. It’s far better to have a wreck at 25 MPH than 50 MPH. But stopping speeders is a cash cow, and almost impossible to beat in traffic court. When was the last time you saw a cop ticket someone for following too close? Unsafe lane changes? Ever?

  22. Kitty says:

    You must have never driven in the state of Florida. If you had, you would have noticed that nobody, and I mean nobody, signals down here. When you change lanes, please, please signal. Not all of us are mind readers. One of my favorite sayings is…”the only time, down here, when you will not be cut off, is if you have not yet left your driveway.”

    • Pauls says:

      Kitty -
      We wintered in Safety Harbor, Florida the past ten years, and what you said is so true! No one uses turn signals, everyone runs red lights (including the cops), and we did survive US-19. Nuff said!

  23. Sue says:

    One of my biggest peeves is when someone passes me up just to slow down or stop to make a left turn on a two lane highway.

    • Evelyn says:

      Thumbs up on this one Sue. I am an even tempered person even when driving but I must shake my head on the one that does this. It as if they cannot be the car behind….they must be first and will break the speed limit to get there, only to slow down once there. lol Takes all kinds, though.

  24. Ed says:

    If there is a turn lane and you are turning — GET IN IT. Don’t brake in the driving lane and slow everyone else down. You can change lanes without slowing down. Brake when you are in the turn lane. P.S. — Don’t forget your turn signal!

  25. Bill says:

    Eric and Tom have already said it but I will emphasize it also: DO NOT USE CRUISE CONTROL ON WET OR SLICK PAVEMENTS. I have seen cars go into tailspins in these conditions. I live in Michigan and during winter road conditions (snow and ice) I see many cars in the ditches, especially 4 wheel drive SUV’s that I am sure are there as a result of cruise control driving. Wet freeways during rain are just waiting to grab the unsuspecting driver cruising along in that slightly grooved truck lane with its channel of water. Perfect setup for hydroplaining and, in cruise control, acceleration of the planing drive wheel or wheels and loss of traction.

  26. Ernie White says:

    Hello Steve,
    Loved your blog here & agree 100% with it all… Even all the answer or replys to you.
    I have a class B CDL from Missouri & the company sent me all over driving a truck with a weight limit of 30,000 lb. I am now 67 years of age & no longer
    drive for a living but I believe I’ve seen it all as all has put it here. I have a friend who get’s mad if someone cut him off even if I am driving. I keep my cool
    because if I got mad as
    easy as he does I would be in an early grave or in a hospital one. I’ve learned early on not to get mad even when it’s hard not to do.
    My pet peeve is people driving with the radio up & I am hard of hearing can hear the car radio 4 or 5 car behind them or in front of them. I know they can not hear an emergency vechicle with their siren on…
    also we have a law where you can make a right turn on a RED light after comeing to a full stop. There is NO law about makeing a left turn on RED. I see it done a lot. another thing I hate is at parking meters you are suppose to be between them & not way up front of them… Here you can get a ticket for takeing up two spaces if you do… Most of the meter maids in downtown St. Louis, MO. I guess were not told this but it’s on the law books on how to park at a meter… I have seen people drive up to a merer to where they can not open the door or break off the side mirror on their car or pick up truck.
    Ernie

    • Diana R says:

      Ernie—there is no law about making a left turn on red, however, I have seen it done here in PA. I asked a policeman about it and he said it wasn’t a law but you can make a left turn on red as long as it’s a one-way street. Makes sense to me, but I’ll don’t do it.

  27. Evelyn says:

    Safe driving is always first on any list. One should not drive any faster than what they feel safe at. This is called defensive driving.

    There is one thing that irkes me though and that is the driver that rushes on the Interstate just to rush off at the next exit. I have lived in large cities and the time saved by doing this instead of going the local city streets is none at all. And remember when passing a Semi – if you cannot see the driver in his/her mirrow….he/she cannot see you. This goes double if you are on an exit ramp. By the way, this applies to RV drivers….if you can’t see them in their mirrow, they cannot see you. Get around a Semi’s and RV’s as fast as you can.

  28. Christopher Bleasdale says:

    Steve
    Couldn’t agree more!

    I am sure there are countless witless drivers out there who consider themselves great drivers, I would like to remind the racers in that crowd to slow down! Unless your name is Moses those cars in front of you at the red light are not going to part just because you will it! Yes, this is my biggest peeve in city driving. people who do not look ahead at the traffic flow! Although I do get a chuckle occasionally as I pass that driver that just wove around numerous vehicles changing lanes two or three times, only to get stuck in a lane that is backed up!

    As for cell phones in the car, the cellular signal should be blocked whilst the vehicle is moving, only when in Park should the signal be activated, just a thought, we’ve lived for many years without that capability, is it going to kill someone to pull over safely and make that call?

  29. Pauls says:

    It’s obvious most people have not driven in Europe. In Italy, you can be driving over 160KPH on an Autostrade, and the Italians WILL pass you, but you won’t see thier tail lights when they cut back in. They want you to know that they know exactly where the back end of thier car is. Scared the bejeebers out of my wife the first time!
    The Autobahns in Germany still have several KMs of road with unlimited speed. The Germans are the most considerate of all drivers I’ve driven amongst – they stay in thier lanes on the Autobahn unless they are going to pass. You see flashing headlights in the rear view mirror – you pull to a right lane immediately. The flashing lights are someone going 80 or more KPH faster than you – and you may be going 150 KPH. (rentals are governed at 160 – 180KPH now) They have cameras along the roads – they don’t need cops. They take your picture, then mail a summons.
    I don’t think the Germans are that considerate by nature – it’s forced on them by mandatory strict adherence to the laws!
    With three lanes of traffic on the Autobahn, the extreme right lane is mostly semi trucks hauling heavy loads. They may be from any E.U country. All equipment is not equal, so some are going real slow on grades. The center lane is for the guys like me – seldom pass, go with the flow, running at about 150KPH. The left lane is for the passers – the Masseratis, Beamers, Bentleys, Audis, Mercedes, and all other go-fast cars.
    And everyone uses thier turn signals!

    • Pauls says:

      Correction – the RIGHT lane is for the passers.

    • Al says:

      I spent a lot of time in Germany and I must say that the German people I’ve met ARE considerate by nature. But that aside, after spending time there, I find it hard to return to the US and drive on these roads with the dumb and/or inconsiderate people who have been documented in these posts.

      I would also add to the list people who get in front of you and slow down, wasting time, only to speed up and run a yellow light just as it turns red so you get stopped by the light.

  30. Pauls says:

    Nope – got it screwed up again. The LEFT lane is for the passers.

  31. Poolfarms1910 says:

    Driver described above is the reason I do not let my wife carry a gun because there would be fewer of them. I drived 100 miles round trip everyday to work and home. I see all of thesee drivers. I know I have my faults but I try to follow all of the rules describe.

  32. foxylady says:

    How about these big, tall pickup trucks that have their bright lights on and tailgate that small or midsize car. You can’t see anything behind or in front because of the light coming directly into your eyes from the rear view mirror.

  33. Russ says:

    Remember to use the signal lights. They were put on the steering column for a reason. USE THEM AT EVERY TURN!

  34. Washington says:

    I agree with all except your comments about cruise control. I have a 2005 car, 2006 car & 1987 jeep. None have cruise control. Don’t assume all newer cars have cruise.

  35. Sally says:

    Ok, all of you gripers LISTEN UP! IF YOU DON’T LIKE MY DRIVING….GET OFF THE SIDEWALK!

  36. Ray says:

    Have you ever driven down a country (rural) blacktop? Just a strip of asphalt barely wide enough for two cars to pass, no paint wasted here for a center line. Then around the harvest here in Nebraska, farmers are retrieving their crops and hauling them to the local Co-OP.
    Most of the trucks are or look like they have been leftover from a museum and some just barely run. Their drivers a collection of 98% of the time hard working farmers or their kin, the other 2% are city folk (kids with a license) earning some extra cash. These are the roads where the city folk come to look at the scenery, grasses, trees, wildlife and the farmers bringing in their crops.
    That same previously said city folk, dad, wife and kids are tooling along just enjoying themselves, ahead on a gravel side road or even straight out of a pasture comes flying a also pre mentioned truck. It may not be moving really fast but if there is a stop sigh on that gravel road you can bet a years worth of car insurance payments that it isn’t going to even attempt to stop as it pulls or turns onto that strip of asphalt.
    Having driven these types of roads or even just a plain old gravel road (another type of driving experience) for years, country folk know to watch for those trucks in the fall and the tractors etc. in the spring (yet another driving experience).
    That poor family from the city will have to change their pants when they get home, dad will take 20 minutes to pry his hands from the steering wheel and that is giving him credit for keeping the car out of the ditch (also called..a small canyon, brook, stream, habitat for small ‘?’ wildlife or what separates the road from the field). So if you are from a city, or even a metro, stay home in the fall and in the spring. There is only a small window when you can actually enjoy the country drive.

  37. Doniphan says:

    Another benefit of cruise control is ticket avoidance. I live in a senior area with 25 MPH limits on most 2 & 3 lane, each way, roads. It’s easy to creep up to 40+MPH and get stopped.
    So I kick on the cruise control at about 30 MPH, sit back and relax, and remain ticket free (after I got a ticket about 3 years ago at 47 MPH). It was an expensive lesson.

  38. Ed Smothers says:

    My pet peeve about highway drivers are those that poke along in the right lane and when you go to pass them on the left, they suddenly find the accereltor pedal and speed up and then as you pass them, the slow back down to their very poky rate as before

  39. Eric says:

    Two lanes turning right (no right on red clearly identified) and invariably the bonehead in the right lane swings wide & wants the left lane…that
    I’m currently in. Happens DAILY on my way home from work, night or day, week day or weekend. There’s even a traffic camera next to the
    NO TURN ON RED sign. Does no good at all. Folks don’t read road signs (like merge) as they’re probably too busy talking on cell phones or
    (God forbid) texting, doing their hair, etc. How about the morons that stay in the right lane while the left is open when they’re going by an entrance ramp. They could easily scoot over to the left and allow folks in to either speed ahead or drop behind, but just sit there and want to battle you for space. And that on ramp is an “ACCELERATION RAMP” where you can speed up to match (or exceed) flow traffic speed and then either pull in ahead or drop behind the flow. Not just a lack of common sense, it’s a downright lack of manners. Just like pulling up somewhere to pick someone up and sitting there honking your horn to get them to come out. If you had the manners of a toadstool you’d get off your lazy butt and go knock on the door, or at least turn off the car & call on your cell phone that you’ll wait quietly until they came out.

  40. Jack says:

    Steve, you sure did stir up a hornets nest! I’ve been driving for a few years (I’m 86) and probably have seen about everything that’s been talked about here. One of my most annoying peeves is merging. They just don’t seem to get it, that you get yourself going fast enough to slide right in there. Its scary to look over your shoulder and then look back to see that nut just about stopped at the end of the entrance lane. Have a good and safe day, all.

  41. Froxter.com says:

    This is what L looks like: UK’s most popular street for learner drivers…

    On a typical day, a bumper crop of learners stutter and jerk their way along the wide avenues, leaving near-misses and queues in their wake.Some 409 learners carefully eased into the Woodford estate in just 12 hours, according to one survey.The appeal?…

  42. Mot says:

    The word is brakes not breaks. Brakes are for slowing and stoping, breaks are for arms and legs etc.

  43. Lyn Buerger says:

    All very good observations. Items that particularly bother me

    1) If you are on the highway and someone is trying to enter, it is not your job to speed up or slow down. Just drive. Let the merging driver….merge. DON’T HELP. Merging is the merging drives job, not yours. I cannot read your mind. I slow down you slow down, so I speed up and so do you. Please just get out of my way

    2) There are rules for driving and rules for being polite. Sometimes they work together, but sometimes not. If you have the right of way, use it ,don’t sit there expect the female in the other car to know that you are being Sir Galahad. GO D…..IT. I CAN’T READ YOUR MIND.

    NOTE: And remember when driving in Texas the other driver is often armed, don’t piss us off, after 9:00 pm most of us have been drinking and after 11pm 90% of the oncoming traffic is legally drunk.

    • Carol says:

      LOL I’m a native Texan and Lyn your note was right-on. I needed that belly laugh today, thank you.

      Your comment on merging on the highway is so, so true. I drove 130 miles round trip daily for 5 years on I30. I have witnessed several accidents caused by someone trying to be friendly and slowing down to allow someone access onto the highway. If an eighteen wheeler is behind you when you suddenly decided to slow down, it is not a pretty sight. They can’t stop on a dime.

      Being a Transportation Manager for many years, I have witnessed more accidents caused by careless drivers and careless truck drivers. PLEASE, PLEASE do not drive on the highway and stay right next to the eighteen wheeler. GET AROUND HIM AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. If one of the tires blow out and hits your car, there is a good chance you won’t live to talk about it. I can’t emphasize this enough. Just a piece of the tread may come threw your windshield and do more damage than you can imagine. Please be aware of what is going on around you as you drive. Some, not all, truck drivers are not competent enough to be on the road. In my tenure, I’ve had one. He was enough to scare me straight.

  44. Randall says:

    Law of the Garbage Truck

    How often do you let other people’s nonsense
    change your mood?
    Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt
    Boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day?

    Unless you’re the Terminator, for an instant you’re
    probably set back on Your heels. However, the mark of
    a successful person is how quickly she can get back
    her focus on what’s important.

    Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it iIn the back of a
    New York City taxi cab.

    Here’s what happened.

    I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central
    Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all
    of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space
    right in front of us.

    My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and
    missed the other car’s back end by just inches!

    The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused
    A big accident, whipped his head around and he started
    yelling bad words at us.

    My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And
    I mean, he was friendly.

    So, I said, “Why did you just do that?

    This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the
    hospital!”
    And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call,
    “The Law of the garbage Truck.”

    Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around
    full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and
    full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they
    need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll
    dump it on you.

    When someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it
    personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and
    move on. You’ll be happy you did.

    So this was it: The “Law of the garbage Truck.” I
    started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks
    run right over me? And how often do I take their
    garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at
    home, on the streets?

    It was that day I said, “I’m not going to do it
    anymore.” I began to see garbage trucks.

    Like in the movie “The Sixth Sense,” the little boy
    said, “I see Dead People.” Well, now “I see garbage
    trucks.” I see the load they’re carrying. I see them
    coming to drop it off.

    And like my Taxi Driver, I don’t make it a personal
    thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I
    move on.

    One of my favorite football players of all time,
    Walter Payton, did this every day on the football
    field. He would jump up as quickly as he hit the
    ground after being tackled. He never dwelled on a
    hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best.

    The bottom line is that successful people do not let
    garbage trucks take over their day.

    What about you?

    What would happen in your life, starting today, if you
    let more garbage trucks pass you by?

    Here’s my bet.
    You’ll be happier.

    Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with

    Regrets, so..

    Love the people who treat you right.
    Forget about the ones who don’t.
    Believe that everything happens for a reason.
    If you get a chance, TAKE IT!
    If it changes your life, LET IT!
    Nobody said it would be easy . . .
    They just promised it would be worth it!

    A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

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