Thursday, March 15, 2012

Slower Traffic Keep Right

My mind seems to be on traffic pet peeves these days so here's one more.

When you're on a multi-lane highway or freeway, with at least 3 lanes in each direction, it used to be common knowledge that slower traffic should stay to the right lane, and as cars wanted to drive faster, they would move to lanes to the left.

There were signs that said "Slower Traffic Keep Right" but I don't see those much anymore. So I wonder if people still know or follow that basic premise, that as you want to drive faster, you move a lane to the left.

You often see people zipping up the right lane, going fast, passing everyone. And in the far left lane, also known as the fast lane, or passing lane, you see people there, driving too slow, compared to how traffic is moving. This forces other drivers to go around them on the right.

Is it true that some drivers get into that left lane, and purposely drive exactly the speed limit, just to teach other drivers a lesson, that they shouldn't be speeding? I've heard some do and that seems silly. And dangerous. If people want to speed, they're going to do it. Blocking the flow of traffic in the fast lane doesn't teach anything, it just annoys other drivers and could encourage them to try more dangerous maneuvers, as they weave through traffic.

We're all in such a hurry, it's easy to lose our temper while driving. What they used to teach as "Defensive driving" I like to call "Driving as if every driver around you may be about to do something really dumb." It's hard to stay calm sometimes, and other drivers will occasionally do something really dumb.

While some traffic rules seem silly, most are designed to keep traffic moving safely. So, take a deep breath, stay calm and if you don't want to speed, stay to the right and let the speedsters fight it out in the fast lane.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cars No Longer Equipped With Turn Signals

... or so it seems.

Okay, it's not true, but doesn't it seem like it sometimes? Turn signals, indicators, blinkers... call them what you will, but they're a very simple and fairly clever way to give other drivers a little advance warning, so they know what you're about to do, before you do it.  "Yes, I am slowing down, but you see, it's because I'll be turning up ahead."

They're so easy to use, why do so many people choose not to use them?
A simple form of communication, a safety device, and at the very least, a common courtesy to other drivers.

So, unless you're assuming that all the rest of the drivers on the road have ESP and can predict ahead of time every move you're about to make, next time you're about to make a turn or change lanes, just take that one finger and flip on your blinker. Everyone else on the road will be glad you did.