crazy climber dude
No sarcasm here.....I mean this sincerely. I'm going to lay down a challenge for all of you who typically want to go fast. Try being me once (I know that means you might have to change your cool ways and be an asshat for awhile, but humor me). Drive on the freeway when it's busy......not rush hour necessarily.....but busy enough to where there's a degree of congestion. Go the speed limit. Move over to the right whenever someone wants to go much faster than you. Resist the temptation to revert back to your original tact of wanting to go as fast as you want in the left lane. Then, when you're all done.....come back and tell me how many times you got frustrated because you were trying to do everything right, but couldn't actually go the speed limit because the left lane was too fast and the right lane was too slow. Go.
Dude, I swear to god (and my ewife, who yells at me "why are you changing lanes all the time!!" ) as my witness. I just finished a work tour where I was driving about 500 miles a week (up on Sunday, back on Friday), mostly on the interstate. I did that fo3 to 4 weeks a month for 13 months, give or take. I didn't get one ticket for speeding, though I rarely traveled the 65 posted limit (meaning I was not slave to sign, but not careless or reckless either). And if someone came up behind me, I moved the f--- over. Was it "optimally convenient" for me? No. But I'm one person out of the thousands of people that use that freeway (I-80 in PA). The "law" part of it is a red herring, because I am not limiting this to instances where I am only traveling over the speed limt, and I would counter that given the choice of being safer or slavishly following a street sign, safety will win every time (trying driving the exact speed limit in a blizzard and see if you still get cited if there is an accident. You will). I encounter selfish arrogant people in the left lane doing BELOW the limit who still give attitude and/or the finger when respectfully asked to move over. And it is respectful; my brother is a traffic cop and I hear all the road rage stories I need to to undersatnd that I can't act however I want on the roadway anymore. So I try to give warning in advance, I try not to tailgate, and try not to intimidate or scare other drivers into doing something stupid or rash. I'm no more perfect than the next person, stuff happens, but it sounds like I am a shit-load more respectful of others on the road.
Your behavior is limiting my behavior, but my behavior isn't limiting yours (there might be other factors limiting you, but it isn't me). It's that simple. And whenever I encounter someone who is willing (and actually actively endeavoring) to exert their will over mine when there is an alternative that accomodates both of us reasonably, I have a problem with that. It IS arrogance, and it IS selfishness. You are putting your comfort over mine, at the risk of both of our safety, and where an alternative exists that we can BOTH be satisfied. It is a documented fact (again, I point to the book "Traffic" as a source, I can find the author if you need it) that shows SPEED doesn't kill as often as VARIANCE in speed kills. In other words, the lone driver going in excess of the speed limit is safer than the driver going in excess of the speed limit in and among slower drivers (even if neither are truly "safe").
Well, I think you're wrong. So we have an irreconcilable difference. But in the hopes of a better understanding to perhaps alleviate the impasse, I want to make a distinction here where I understand exactly what the conditions are:
We are referring to a 4 lane highway with two lanes going opposite directions, right? And I at least am referring to high volume traffic (which is usually the case) where there is little space between each car to begin with......but that the cars are at least moving. That is a very typical scenario, but I think it's important to clarify WHEN exactly I am talking about the times where I do what you think is selfish and arrogant. If there is a middle lane.....or the traffic is not that congested I COMPLETELY agree with your assessment.
So if we can agree on those specific conditions, I would ask that you please read this carefully (I know it's long, but the devil is in the details as it were) and try to refrain from an emotional reaction if you can. I can't absolutely promise I won't write something that might invoke that reaction regardless.....but I will try my best:
You want to go faster than I am going and I'm going the speed limit, right? You feel like regardless of speeds the principal of moving over (or "etiquette" as it has been referred) is universal. I want to go the speed limit so I am in the left lane so I can stay as close to that as possible. I don't want to keep going around people that keep going way below the speed limit every time you get in the right lane because then I can't be as you stated "satisfied". This might not happen where you live, but it must be regional because it happens here all the time.....invariably you WILL get stuck behind someone who is going too slow.....just as invariably it seems you happen upon drivers who are going too slow for you. Now, if the left lane wasn't just as loaded with drivers wanting to go well over the speed limit OR there was enough of a gap to anticipate the slower car ahead and go around and back into the right lane before the cars in the left lane are an issue, I could do that. I would
do that. But as it is because of the conditions we described, there is virtually no chance of that. I don't have a souped up car that has mega horsepower......I have a six cylinder Jeep. Follow? Now, if I put the blinker on and hope that someone that is speeding will slow down enough to let me in the left lane, I might be waiting a LONG time because
those who are flying by in the left lane don't want someone pulling in front of them to slow down all that momentum they have gained. Right?
Now, of course you
think it's reasonable because you get to do what you want if I get over. But then I am stuck behind the slow guy again and I just want to go the speed limit. That's not reasonable to me
. And I think
I should be able to go the speed limit more than you should be able to go over it.....and I think
that "principal" overrides your etiquette issue of getting over. It's not about "sticking it to the man" or arrogance per se (at least not any more than the arrogance of expecting someone to move over)......it's about wanting to go the legal speed limit unencumbered. Now, if I am NOT going the speed limit.....then you have a rock solid point. That's the determining factor for me......whether you agree or not. So then, the once again....overriding....question is: Why should your time be more valuable than mine? Let me ask that again with all respect.....why, in that scenario, should your time be more valuable than mine? I want to get somewhere in what I consider a reasonable amount of time and the only way I feel I can get there is to take the left lane IN THAT SCENARIO. You want to get somewhere in what you
feel is a reasonable amount of time. Why is that any different? How can we BOTH be "satisfied" if I have to get over for you, but in the process I have to get stuck behind someone who is going way under the speed limit? To me, part of the difference is that I am abiding the speed limit. You can disagree with the reasoning and cite all the viewpoints about whether speeding is dangerous, but someone in a higher position of authority over such matters than us thinks it is and that's why it exists.
Conversely, the get over to the right lane law was intended to allow drivers who want to go past slower drivers who are going UNDER the speed limit......and it presumes that the driver that does pass is STILL going the speed limit. You may not agree with that or think that's not practical....okay. I agree. But theoretically at least, you wouldn't pass a law to help facilitate breaking another one.....AND here's why even if not practical it's still important:
- There is going to be variances in speed regardless of who is the left lane. Not everyone is going to go 80 (presuming a 75 mph limit). Or not everyone is going to go 90. So, the consequence of that variability is precisely what was suggested.....if someone pulls out in front of someone in the left lane from the right lane (doing what he's supposed to do by staying in the right lane except to pass) then the guy going 90 (who may have been very far back when the guy in right lane pulls out) is going to slow down to the slower speed as soon as the guy passing pulls into the left lane or they will run right into them. So what going 90 guy might perceive as someone not getting over
is actually someone trying to pass correctly. That starts a domino effect of braking that actually triggers traffic jams.....and creates this constant state of flux where changing speeds are actually more
the order of the day. So where is this delusion espoused here in this thread that everyone who is merrily cruising down the left lane is going to go the same speed if everyone just gets out of their way? But in this case the speed differences are even more dangerous because you have someone going faster than they be able (or their car may be able) to react.
- Car spacing. Very few people do it correctly.....hardly anyone actually gives a full car length for every 10mph. And the faster you go the more it's relevant. And the more traffic there is the more difficult it becomes. The freeway is then relegated to a NASCAR like mass of vehicles with not enough time to brake if there is something happens in front of them. And the more people change lanes to get around someone the problem is exacerbated.
Actually, I was wrong. There is a solution. You can go to Montana (they don't call it Big Sky for nothing) and not experience anything like what we're talking about while driving....OR.....you can just sell your vehicle up there and buy a ranch and ride a horse. Horses can be asshats, but it's rare.