Monday, July 27, 2009

The death of common courtesy on the road

In spending about 15 hours on the road this weekend I realized that as a society, we no longer exercise the long held courtesy of slower traffic keeping right.

On the way to Atlanta, on the 4 lane section of I-85, I had a silver Hyundai SUV in front of me in the left lane for over 30-minutes. This SUV was obviously not going as fast as me, but was going slightly faster than the traffic in the right-hand lane. We passed numerous gaps in the right lane, which were plenty big for said SUV to get over, let me by, then get back over in the left lane, without missing a beat. But the SUV refused. Before I had any gaps big enough for me to pass in the right lane, a nice line of traffic had formed behind me and the gaps got shorter. If I moved, I'd be back at the end of a very long line.

So we continued like this for another 30 minutes. Time and time again, cars would come flying up on the right and to try to pass, but they never could. Eventually, a Corolla behind me whipped into the right lane and passed me, trying to get around both me and the SUV. Of course he could not and I had to to slam on brakes to keep from running into him when he whipped in front of me. Undeterred at almost causing one pile up, the Corolla went after the SUV about 5 minutes later. He rode the car in the right hand lane's ass and tried to wedge his car over in front of said SUV. As he did this, the traffic in the left hand lane hit their brakes. The Corolla straddling the left and the right lanes when he had to hit the brakes. The SUV had to slam on his brakes and almost went into the median to avoid a wreck. this point, I has seen how ridiculous these guys were being and had dropped a good distance back. There is probably 30 cars lined up behind me and a tractor trailer to the right. The SUV guy rolls his window down and is now all over the Corolla's ass, doing about 85mph and he keeps swinging right to pass the Corolla but keeps having to get back over b/c of traffic. This goes on for at least 10 minutes. SUV finally gets a gap to pass the Corolla and does so, but only after speeding up considerably. When he gets beside the Corolla, he hangs there for a good 30-seconds, flipping the Corolla off and gesturing so wildly that his car is all over his own lane. Then he proceeds to go past the Corolla and throw his car back into the left lane right in front of the Corolla. Not content with his "revenge," said asshole proceeds to slow down and let the aforementioned 18-wheeler in the right lane get beside him, then he parallels that guys speed. So now, he has blocked that entire side of I-85 to get revenge on this Corolla. And that lasted about 25 minutes until we hit three lanes.

That was the trip TO ATLANTA.

On the way home, same story without the ridiculous hothead game of chicken as one minivan ahead of me eventually built up a mile long length of traffic, just because they refused to move over and let faster traffic through.

Listen, it's one thing to not get over because while the car behind you may be going a little faster, you both are obviously about to pass the traffic in the right. In those cases, the car or two behind you can slow down a little and wait until you pass the really slow right-lane traffic. But if you look in your rear-view mirror and see five or six cars all bumpered-up behind you, common courtesy demands you do one of two things:

1) Speed Up

2) Move Over to the right hand lane.

It amazes me how often I will be behind someone in the left lane and have to slow down. And I will follow that car waiting on them to get over, yet they never do. Hey...jackass, SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT! It's not just about courtesy, it's about safety. Take that example above with the SUV and the Corolla. Yes the Corolla was an irresponsible ass. But you know what...that never happens if the jackass in the SUV would have exercised the common courtesy of moving the f*ck over for faster traffic. They both wound up putting themselves and many others at risk by being jagoffs.

So cut it out. Be courteous and observe the common rules of proper driving. That is all.


Mike Reino said...

Hope the concert was good. I would have gotten on stage, grabbed the mic, and told that story. I'm sure Chris Isaak would have enjoyed it, and probably agreed..

pluvlaw said...

No shit...the minivan, had another one in front of it. That van would keep moving over into the right lane, constantly. But the other minivan would just stay steady in the left. That made it even worse, because they were both running the same, therefore when that one minivan got over, there was no passing gap. It was so ridiculous that Von was cussing them out. She had passenger rage...

Cheesefrog said...

This one always pisses me off. They have to know what they're doing, they just have to.

Of course, here in Atlanta there's a twist to how this game works. On I-285, the left lane car goes slow until you finally get a shot at getting around them on the right. That's when they speed up...