Sunday, November 18, 2018

Is it a pattern?

I’m a big fan of slow traffic keeping to the right, even when I’m the slow traffic.

I’m also a big fan of long following distances, especially since it takes a while to haul down the Rolling Steel Tent, even with fresh brakes.

I don’t like squeezing between vehicles in order to make lane changes. Give me a nice big gap in case the guy ahead hits the brakes or someone behind does something stupid. And especially if traffic in the left lane is going a lot faster.

So, there I was, cruising south on I-5, keeping at or below the 70 MPH speed limit most of the time, keeping in the right lane as much as possible but gradually closing on slower traffic. When there was plenty of empty right lane ahead—a quarter mile, a half mile—and I didn’t need to pass anyone, traffic on the left was usually light.

Lots of following space, light left lane traffic

But when I’d use up my following distance and would want to pass, the left lane would suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, be filled with a long line of tightly packed traffic, usually driving about ten miles per hour over the speed limit. And vehicles behind me in the right lane would be merging into the gaps in the left, making the line even longer. I would need to slow way down until the left lane cleared, which always seemed… to..… take…… for………. ever.

Needing to pass, lots of left lane traffic

I started planning my passes sooner, but it still meant fast traffic way back there would be on my ass before I could make it around a couple of semis, an RV and someone in a small truck with a big trailer. And another semi. So I would wait. And wait.

But perhaps the most frustrating and infuriating situation is when a lone vehicle, going just a fraction of a sliver of a hair faster then me is hugging my flank as I get closer and closer to the slow traffic. PASS ME, DAMMIT! Nope.

This jerk

Oh well. I don’t need to drive that type of highway very often.


  1. My guardian angel saved me from a traffic accident; my mind was in the zone as I changed lanes thinking the lane was clear. I happily accepted the angry finger of the man vs crunched metal etc.!

  2. Excellent diagramming of the traffic. We get the guy hugging the flank a lot. We're a big RV, towing a pickup, and people will do ANYTHING to keep us from getting in front of them, even if it means driving slower than we would.

  3. I "accidentally" drift uncomfortably close to their lane. Works 90% of the time.