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Monday, October 24, 2005

Bad Drivers

There are many varieties of bad drivers on the road, but on my morning commute, one is particularly prevalent: the pushy fast-lane driver. At some point in California history, the fast-lane became the rules be damned lane. I'm not sure when this was, as it was well before I got my license. I accept this to a large degree, so long as people aren't being total pricks. On 280 in the mornings, traffic usually maintains a certain level of sanity until about Foothill Boulevard, and then inexplicably, those in the fast lane get really pushy. This involves roaring up on a driver travelling above the speed limit and tailgating him or her with less than a car length of space until that driver moves out of the lane. Sometimes this takes on even more insidious forms, like today when there was enough traffic that the driver being pushed couldn't just move into the next lane because there was another car travelling there, yet the pushy driver kept up the pressure and started flashing his lights. I thought, "Geez man, try some decaf." But he wasn't the only one. After that little scenario broke apart with the pushy driver swerving across two lanes and then squeaking back into the fast lane in front of the original driver, narrowly missing another car in the next lane, and making me cringe and hover with my foot over the brake, just waiting to avoid the almost certain accident. Finally, the original driver managed to get out of the fast lane, but the fun didn't stop there. He managed to get out of the fast lane just in time to get in front of someone else who was trying to bust a move around another pair of drivers in the fast lane behind him. One of those drivers was doing a mere 70, and one person was already tailgating, so the third pushy driver decided the best policy was just to speed around them both, only to be forced to slam on his brakes when faced with the other guy trying to get out of the fast-lane maniacs' way. What's worse, all of this was taking place between Lawrence and Foothill, miles before the usual insanity started.

I have no qualms with the far left lane being the fast lane. I have no qualms with people in it doing more than the speed limit (at their own risk of being ticketed). But being beligerant to other drivers who are doing over the speed limit and are going faster than the traffic to their right is really unacceptable. And risking the lives of those around them just because they want to break the law even more than those they're following is absurd. Sure, let the car in front of you know you exist, and would like to pass. Then BACK OFF and let them deal with the scenario. I for one don't feel comfortable doing the checking and looking necessary to change lanes when someone is following me with less than a car length of distance at 70+ miles an hour. I'm funny like that. And for Pete's sake, just chill out in the morning. How can you possibly be that agro that early? I'm still wiping sleep from my eyes, and other folks look like they've just come off of playing an hour of Rush.

As for me, I've just learned to stay in the second or third lane on my way to work. Those people are crazy and they scare me. A lot.


  • That's the beauty of driving a big truck. I do react when the agro idiots roar up to my bumper...I slow down. I don't hit the brakes, I just lift off the gas. Once they back off I go back to my original speed and move over when I would normally do so. It usually puts a smile on my face for the next few hours.

    Of course up here I don't have much call for that since there are few fast drivers. LOTS of slow drivers, but few fast.

    By Blogger Flonkbob, at 7:28 AM  

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