bakapyrite (bakapyrite) wrote,

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Ruminations on Driving

I'd like to spend today's entry on some thoughts on driving. Let's see... First some rules I follow and wish other people would. (In no particular order..)

1) Don't brake so much.
2) If you need to slow down, you should be far enough away from the next car that letting off on the gas works.
3) Don't brake so much.
4) Don't flutter the breaks.
5) Break lights do not constitute a turn signal. If you're exiting a highway, use your turn signal.
6) If a crash happened on the other side of the road, glance at it from a proper distance if you must, but then keep driving. If it's on your side of the road but not serious, the same applies.
7) If a cop has pulled someone over, it does not constitute anything to even think about, nevermind slowing down to look at.
8) Don't brake so much.
9) Don't tailgate. Don't expect that a person is going to get out of your way if you do tailgate.
10) Never, ever, ever flash your beams at someone to get out of your way. Ever. No really. Never.
11) If you're going to talk on a cell phone, at least use a low speed or travelling lane, not a passing lane.
12) Driving a minivan doesn't entitle you to break any of these rules.
13) Ditto, in fact with emphasis, if you're driving a tractor trailer. Fuckheads that tailgate or drive poorly in a monsterous vehicle deserve to get infected by genetalia rot or worse.
14) Changing lanes should be reserved for when you need to change lanes. Choose a lane which is appropriate for your purposes and stick with it until such time as lane changing is called for.
15) When you do need to change lanes, think ahead. Four lanes in four feet is not good driving.
16) When changing lanes, for god's sakes, use your blinker. The average commuter isn't a mind reader.
17) Sometimes people might pass you on the right. This is usually an indication that you're not in the right lane, and you should change lanes.
18) If someone is attempting to pass you at a reasonable rate of speed, please don't change lanes to stop them. Road rage is understandable if someone is tailgating/high-beaming/honking at you, but I still can't fathom people that get in front of me when I'm trying to turn right and then they turn left when the road has two lanes.
19) Understand that, at each time of the day, for each lane, there is a speed at which traffic should be moving. This is similar to rule 17, but takes a longer view. If you understand the right speed for each lane, you won't have to think about rule 17.
20) If people are braking in other lanes, say because they have to exit, but the lane in front of you is clear (or traffic is flowing smoothly), don't brake. Lemming.

I'm sure there might be rules which I've forgotten, but I definitely remember when someone is breaking them in front of me. If everyone would basically just drive using common sense, driving could be a pleasant, enjoyable experience for all, rather than the blood pressure raising fiasco it turns in to on most days.

Next I'd like to speak about something I call "speed cap". Usually the term refers to a car which is going too slow for the lane that it is in, and that doesn't ever change to a more appropriate lane. The key to identifying a speed cap is a large gap of space (10 car lengths or more) between the front car of a line of cars, and this gap tends to get wider as the column moves further along.

The term stems from the fact that a given obstacle (the slow-ass car) is "capping" the speed at which you can drive. Under normal conditions, the speed limit (+10 to 15 mph or so depending on lane) is what cars should be going. Most highway speed limits are 65. If you plan on travelling in the passing lane, 75mph is a reasonable target speed. A speed cap in the passing lane tends to go anywhere from 60 to 70mph, or granny to "one cup of coffee short". While speed caps may exist in the travelling or especially exit lanes, the phenomenon mostly occurs in the passing lane. This is mainly because if someone is being slow in a travelling lane, you can usually enter the passing lane to pass them. If someone's going slow in the passing lane, you're more or less screwed (unless they're being really stubborn and ignoring a clear travelling lane).

There is a variation on a speed cap, which I do not have a clear title for. Essentially, some times a driver will be going at a reasonable speed on straight ways, but slows down 5 to 10 mph while going up or down a hill or around a turn. It is not clear if such a driver really should be in the passing or travelling lane. On the one hand, they exhibit the propensity for a lead foot neccesary to be in the passing lane. On the other hand, they are a little too wishy washy to be in that lane. Personally, I'd prefer to see them just keep speed and call them in the right lane, but since they tend to exhibit speed cap qualities, I sometimes need to give them that title.

That's pretty much what I've had on my mind as far as driving goes. I bet there are one or two things that I'm not remembering, but if I ever do, it'll be material for another post, on another day.


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