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Is it just my lead foot, or is there an increasing number of

very slow drivers on the road?

It seems I'm constantly getting stuck behind people driving at or below the speed limit. Frequently, they drive two abreast oblivious to the line of traffic stacking up behind them. Has anyone else noticed this? It could be that I haven't driven much during the day for the last 35 years. These people really drive me nuts!

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Must be your lead foot if

In reply to: Is it just my lead foot, or is there an increasing number of

you're complaining about the ones driving AT the speed limit. LOL

>>>>It seems I'm constantly getting stuck behind people driving at or below the speed limit.>>>>

TONI

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In this area, traffic usually moves at 5-10 miles over the

In reply to: Must be your lead foot if

limit. It always has done that. That's why traffic can build up behind these vehicles.

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I'm reminded of George Carlin's line

"those who drive slower than me are idiots; those who drive faster than me are maniacs!"

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Increasing # of slow drivers

In reply to: Is it just my lead foot, or is there an increasing number of

Two abreast,one in the left lane one in the middle.
I really love it when I'm behind a driver on an entrance ramp going 35 mph and trying to merge onto the beltway where they're flying at 60 - 70 mph.
What a rush!!

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Entering a Highway

In reply to: Increasing # of slow drivers

In Maryland there is a law that specifically prohibits traveling side by side for a certain number of miles. Once when they were ticketing so many drivers on Highway 50 between Annapolis and Washington DC, I entertained the idea of showing them how foolish it was to try and maintain a 55 mph limit on that road. My plan was to mount billboards on the backs of UHaul rental trucks that said, "55 mph, it's the Law!" and then drive them all the way from Annapolis to Washington DC, side by side during rush hour and watch the traffic pile up behind. After getting to DC, turn around and do it going all the way back for those driving that direction. In the afternoon rush hours do it all over again. I'd considered having a bunch of volunteers renting a truck for the day and leaving every 30 minutes for the 2-3 hour of rush traffic. I figured that would PROVE all the tickets given to drivers on Highway 50 during that time were bogus when required to the necessity for a faster flow of traffic. Now they have a law to prevent that.

As for entering a highway, if I realize I'm behind someone who won't or whose vehicle can't accelerate fast enough to easily merge with traffic, I stop and wait till they've entered the acceleration lane and have merged and then take off down the lane to build up the proper speed for entry without having to worry about cutting the person off or having them cause us both to end up with no room left and having to risk a dangerous merge (as many in this area are!) or some of them coming to a complete stop. I also keep a lookout for tags from rural areas and less densely populated states since they are the ones that do this the most around here. Sometimes I will wait till the person's taken off, give them some space then gun my own vehicle and get into the traffic flow behind them, slow down and let them enter so they don't get themselves run off the road. Unfortunately there are still some that just never seem to have the nerve to merge on these heavily trafficked roads here and end up stranded at the end of the acceleration lane as everyone behind them impatiently start their run down the lane and cut over into traffic more expertly.

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55 in aU-Haul!

In reply to: Entering a Highway

I would love to see that...from a news chopper!!
The Troopers love that span of 50.And now ,being summer time with all the beach traffic--they're in heaven!
Anyway,I was speaking of the Baltimore beltway,not the Capital beltway,but except for the hair pin turns on the Capital beltway,they're very similar.

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I wish we had a law like that. You sound like a very

In reply to: Entering a Highway

considerate driver.

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"if I realize I'm behind someone who won't ...

In reply to: Entering a Highway

... or whose vehicle can't accelerate fast enough to easily merge with traffic,

Putting aside for the moment those idiots that decellerate on the entrance ramps ...

It seems to me that most of the entrance ramps were designed during the long era of the 55 mph speed limit when cars had more umph of the line. So now you have 65 mph which means most traffic is going 70 and the same length ramp and merge lane and a lot of cars that simply can't get up to speed in that time/distance.

My 323 had a peppy little engine (although I don't know how good it would have been with the automatic transmission) and when we still had that and when we had the 626, we had cars we could count on to get up to speed. When my rental replacement insurance kicked in for the totalled 323 I got a Ford Tempo -- man was that a crappy car to get used to cuz it didn't have anywhere near the pickup of the 323.

Then we got the Protege which seemed peppy enough for the first several months. Then came summer, and AC. Even if you are test driving cars in the middle of winter, folks, do a test drive with the AC on and go up a hill! Needless to say if we were ever trying to get up to speed fast or make a quick turn we would shut the AC off in that car! For the longest time after we got the new cars we would both find ourselves second guessing making turns into traffic. "Oh crap I could have gone easily" happened for several months before we adjusted to having cars with power again!

Probably at least 1/3rd of the cars on the roads simply can't accelerate fast enough on most ramps to merge with traffic. I think this is why some people lag back to see if they can catch a gap in the traffic to make the merge easier and give them more time to get up to speed.

They really need to redesign ramps for today's speed limits and today's cars. Unfortunately that just isn't practical or even possible for the entrance ramps most in need of the re-design.

Evie Happy
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High gas prices?

Back in the days when long lines formed at the pumps at which non-regular customers were turned away, and there was a national 55mph sped limit on the interstates, there was a significant savings in oil.

Now with the high prices, driving at the speed limit will save gas.

My state has a 5mph over the limit window.

I only drive in daylight, and I do go the speed limit. I do not get on the interests any more. What bugs me is somebody tailgating me to go faster. My main street has 2 lanes going each way and a turn lane. Let that tailgater move to the outside lane to pass me.

But I've seen people making a left turn from the outside lane, so they either don't know or don't care what that turn lane is for.

And some who are in the outside lane, but make a quick right turn right in front of me at the ramp to a parkway. No- they are not strangers to the area, but just in a hurry.

I learned to drive after I had 2 small children, so I usually had them in the car. I reckon that is why I formed my habits.

Or maybe another reason why there are more slower drivers....

The Boomer generation is getting older.Happy

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email
semods4@yahoo.com

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If those driving slowly would stay in the right lane where

In reply to: High gas prices?

slower traffic is supposed to drive, I would have no complaint. It is those who 'park' in the higher speed left lane (on a 4 lane road), who REALLY bug me.

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KP, all states have laws...

In reply to: If those driving slowly would stay in the right lane where

...that make that sort of thing illegal - and I've yet to hear of anyone EVER ticketed for it.

Those whom one automotive journalist once called "left lane bandits" are not only doing something illegal - they're dangerous. Alas, proper lane discipline is something that's nonexistent in the U.S.

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The difference?

In reply to: KP, all states have laws...

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The main difference is that those who block the lanes

In reply to: The difference?

induce high levels of frustration in other drivers. That leads to some dangerous situations. Moving with traffic, even if above the limit, does not do that.

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Back when traffic laws were rational, Roger,...

In reply to: The difference?

...we set speed limits based on something called the "85th percentile rule". What we did was set the speed limit at the speed at or below which 85 percent of the drivers on a given stretch of road felt comfortable driving. This allowed the police to concentrate on the truly dangerously fast drivers and encouraged travel without the alarming speed differentials between vehicles - which are the real problem on the open road - that we see today.

However, in the name of "fuel saving", and if the truth be known in the name of revenue-oriented law enforcement, the speed limit structure guarantees that almost everyone speeds to one degree or another, since the artifically low limits now imposed on most roads are such that the average driver feels uncomfortable driving at them.

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And causes MORE accidents :-(

In reply to: Back when traffic laws were rational, Roger,...

I don't know how many times everyone is moving along smoothly at about 10 mph over the limit when all of a sudden the brake lights flare and folks merge right so as not to be in the fast lane. All because of a cop sitting on the grass or whatever. Really ticks me off.

Evie Happy

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Maybe so in terms of interstates, freeways

In reply to: Back when traffic laws were rational, Roger,...

but I live in a more rural area. I see people treating a unlimited access road like an interstate, presumably just because it's 4 lanes (two each direction).

That's a road with crossroads, home driveways, farming field entrances, etc, anywhere and everwhere. And with farm equipment liable to be on the road. And the fools still think 65 to 75 is a reasonable speed.

And many on two lane, bidirectional roads with house as thick as on a city block feel 65 is normal and proper. These roads are winding, narrow, and have heavy on and off traffic, as well as pedistrains with no sidewalk and little shoulder, bicycles, farm equipment, people mowing the ditch banks, etc.

And this is besides a huge deer population crossing the road regularly at night as well as bear, and then the smaller animals.

Shrug, I hear too many bitching about slow drivers or tickets when I've see how they drive on roads that are not nearly straight, gradually banked, and limited merging to consider it nothing.


Besides, anyone 'comfortable' at 85 mph or higher, even in interstate, is either living to fast or an rush junkie. Just a few seconds at that speed puts you way further than most people have comtemplated looking ahead. And hitting almost anything on the road at that speed is highly likely to cause a loss of control.

Driving 75 to 85 in with about 30 feet in front and back of you isn't suppose to be comfortable to any sane thinking person, IMO, even on good highways.

I drive faster than I use to, just to try to not impede flow, but that doesn't means it's any safer overall. Going along with the flow, think of how many other situations other than traffic people use that excuse for something happening.

Shrug, it's pick and choose what laws, rules, and regulations we'll obey. Just because their traffic laws, doesn't make them not legal standards does it?

Oh well, use to everyone thinking I'm weird because I consider such.

JMO

Roger

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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That's not usually where I'm driving. I'm driving in urban

In reply to: Maybe so in terms of interstates, freeways

traffic, and usually not on an interstate. Around here, if the speed limit is 40, most drivers will want to do 45-50. If a driver wants to do 40, and stays in the right lane, he/she does not bother me. It's the folks who park in the left lane doing 35-40, and no way to get around them that drive me nuts.

If that country road has a 55 limit, most folks will be doing 60-65. I can't see a problem there. I rarely go 10 mph or more above the limit unless the prevailing traffic flow is faster.

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My day.

I was coming back to the house near 4:30pm in off and on rainy weather on RT 100 and had to fight my way onto the highway, driving on the right shoulder just to get far enough ahead to cut in before jerks could close ranks to cut me off, since the traffic was flowing at the high speed rate of 25 mph near the new mall, and they weren't willingly letting anyone in from the entrance ramps. Eventually it got back around 45 just before my exit. The speed limit is 55. Thank God I have a van that scares the crap outa little cars.

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I have to disagree about country roads

In reply to: That's not usually where I'm driving. I'm driving in urban

If that country road has a 55 limit, most folks will be doing 60-65. I can't see a problem there.

Many of the country roads I've seen are two twisted to see far enough even for 65mph. And the real problem is local semi traffic around here, they're flying with huge loads, and the roads are twisted enough so you come around a curve and are on top of someone waiting to make a left turn, or just pulling out. And the roads are narrow enough that even normal semi's and large private vehicles are really crowding the center, again making speed more dangerous.

Sorry, private hangup I guess, but two lane roads with unlimited access are not made for over 55 mph.

And IMO, even interstates aren't safe at 80+ mph, espcially in heavy traffic. Heck, I say that even if I have been guilty of 80 in the past myself. I told myself it was ok since I was moving with (some) of the traffic. Stopping distances are just too great at those speeds for one reason they're dangerous.

Shrug, just a personal disagreement with the prevailing view the only reasonable speed limit is the floorboard. And that it's ok to ignore traffic laws if we don't like them, until it's someone interferring with us, then the screaming starts about the unconsiderate and careless driver. It's always about the unsafe or illegal acts of the other driver isn't it?

People, including many I know personally, seem to lose all politeness, consideration, and prudence once they get behind a wheel. You'd think they were all 16 year males, to use a stereotype.

A lot of the rude, selfish driving is damn near as dangerous as the drinking driver (not drunk yet) everyone is so self-rightous about getting off the road.

(Before anyone wonders, yes I occasionally drink, but seldom out of the house anymore. No, I've never been ticketed or arrested for DWI, so it's not that personal beef.)

JMO

Roger

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com
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I generally don't go 80 either. I'm not really interested in

In reply to: I have to disagree about country roads

going that fast even when the speed limit allows it (I think one or more of the states we traverse going to Colorado has a 75+ speed limit). However, I also think that speed limits are set well below the capacity of a given road. The highway engineers undoubtedly are conservative to anticipate some over the limit speeds, and variations in driver ability. I've seen this many times with the yellow signs which suggest maximum speeds on curves. These are unfailing VERY conservative. Thus, I think the real limits of highways posted at 55 are well above that speed. That said, you've also got to be able to traverse the road safely, and not overextend your vehicle.

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What ticks me off ...

In reply to: KP, all states have laws...

... is that most states have laws against passing in the right lane. THAT law they'll enforce even if the person is passing someone breaking the law being in the left lane!

I'll never forget one excruciatingly long drive home from NY. This was a long stretch of I-95 that remained at 55mph even after most other stretches and interstates in CT had gone 65mph. There were a medium amount of cars on the highway that evening -- not enough for a traffic slowdown -- when all of a sudden I see brake lights ahead and every one slowed down. After a couple of miles of going exactly 55 mph there was a bend in the road so I could see what caused the problem. It was a cop going 55 in the left lane. This went on for a long time. At least 20 exits. During that time I guess some cars between me and the cop had exited so that I got up to only a few cars behind the cop and could watch the "action". The cop just kept going 55mph. Cops won't ticket anyone going under about 65mph in these zones unless their bored or need to up their quota. Finally some none-too-bright guy decided he would pass the cop on the right. He couldn't have been going over 60 mph doing it as he just slowly passed. But no sooner had he cleared the cop's front bumper but the lights went on and cop pulled him over. Man I felt bad for that guy!

Evie Happy

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That's the first time I've ever heard that passing in the

In reply to: What ticks me off ...

right lane might be illegal. I'm sure it isn't in Illinois. Passing on the shoulder; yes, but never in a perfectly good lane. I pass on the right in a heartbeat if it is open. I can't imagine not being able to do that.

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Left lane, Right Lane

In reply to: That's the first time I've ever heard that passing in the

Georgia and Arkansas both have laws requiring you to move to the right lane if you are obstructing traffic. Passing on the right is discouraged because it means going through a driver's most dangerous blindspot. A trooper in Arkansas told me one time that if people are passing you on the right it means that you are in the wrong lane.

Laws on this are all over the place though. Here's a chart at MIT that shows some of them. It shows the mentality behind states that holding up traffic in the left lane, "Governor Bush vetoed SB732, which would have reserved the left lane for passing, saying that drivers blocking the left lane are "cautious and careful." Truth of the matter is that people passing these people on the right cause more accidents.

Illinois requires you to keep right except to pass but doesn't seem to explicitly outlaw passing on the right. Not that it matters much, we have a 'move to the right' law here in Georgia and I've literally been trapped behind a trooper that was trapped behind a slow motorist in the passing lane. The law just isn't enforced Sad

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Good one.

In reply to: High gas prices?

I do not get on the interests any more.

That's funny. Has it been that long really? Wink

Curious if you follow the 10am to 4pm road schedule many older drivers here do in order to avoid the morning and evening rush hours?

Another thing I and wife do is try and take any time out eating during the week on some evening other than Friday and Saturday. Traffic on those nights are heavier, the speed freaks from high school are racing each other down the highways, and most decent restaurants have waiting lists and lines on those nights. It's become more of a burden than a pleasure to go anywhere on those nights, when instead we can be out any night between Sunday and Thursday, have a more pleasant drive to and from, get waited on quicker, and avoid the more noisy which seem to congregate in the restaurants on Fridays and Saturdays.

I won't go to a movie on weekends (fri to early sun night) in order to avoid all the noisemakers that seem to be in abundance at those times, or on the rare occasion we do, it's a movie starting about 10pm. Movies on the weekends are filled with too many spilled cokes, spilled popcorn, nacho cheese chip munchers, screaming brats, noisy teens, and the one who's already seen it telling his friends to watch what's coming up next!, at any popular flick to make it enjoyable for me. It's also a fight for any space in the latrines if need be. As the sound levels of the crowds in movies has increased, it seems out of necessity they sound levels of the movies themselves have grown to match. When I remember I grab a cotton ball from the bathroom to take pieces from for my ears, just in case the only seats are too near speakers.

My wife still likes to shop on Saturdays, I can't stand it due to the crowded aisles. We used to do the shopping together, but as the girls got older they took my place there. I got tired of being jostled, having continually to squeeze to the side over and over (I'm not a small person) and then the interminably long waits in lines at the checkout. I do my own personal shopping when I think the least amount of people will be in the stores, which is usually on a Monday or Tuesday.
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My routine

In reply to: Good one.

I haven't driven on the interstate since 1995. I wait for movies to come on cable. Happy

People who work "downtown" are better off taking a parkway or major street to come to my side of town. The interstate is a longer route, and is often at a standstill.

My "drive" time is after school starts, and before it ends.

Traffic did not and does not bother me. I've made on trip in rush hour traffic this year. The roadway is so congested that speed is not the issue- it's watching out for people coming out from store parking lots, etc.

The last time I was at 'the mall" was in 1998 or '99, and did not drive there myself. I do my shopping on line, with occasional visits to Big Lots or K-Mart (both nearby). When I do drive, I do all of my errands on those trips, often on the day I take my dog each month for his grooming (also nearby).

As I was at home while the children were growing up and available to take them to school, ball practices, shopping, doctor appointments, and the myriad of other places they needed to go, I figure I have done my share of driving.! Happy

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email
semods4@yahoo.com

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Day Drivers Explains It All

Where I live most older people, retired people, won't venture onto the roads till after 9am because between 6-9am they face a greater danger, and they want a more relaxing drive. They seem to come out in force after 10am for sure, maybe they like sleeping in or having a very relaxed breakfast to make up for all those they missed while working years before. This lasts till about 3pm when they start filtering back home from the doctor's offices, department stores, or wherever they had a need to go. Almost all of them except the foolish have made it home by 4pm, or they've decided to hang out a bit longer where they are and eat someplace nearby and hit the roads later, after rush hour. Of course there are always those caught during the rush hours for whatever reason, and they get the finger, the horns blasting, the quick cut-in, the tailgaters and every other sort of nastiness trying to force or scare them off the roads, or to make them resolve to never be on the roads again while the working commuter is in transit.

Then there are the ones who seem to get some perverse pleasure out of driving slower and watching the interesting reactions of road rage drivers around them.

I usually drive with the flow of traffic, but leave enough following space which may at times seem I'm not moving fast as everyone else since, God Forbid!, there's empty space in front of me. Of course in order to maintain that following distance requires going a bit slower as numerous people the instant they are past you, cut in and race forward to the next car's bumper, where they remain in exasperation until they can find a new rear bumper requiring their close personal attention.

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I know exactly what you mean about cutting in. I've had

In reply to: Day Drivers Explains It All

people cut in when I could have sworn there was not enough room to do it.

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Ahh..'Lead Foot'..New 06 Vette does 0-60 in

In reply to: Is it just my lead foot, or is there an increasing number of

3.7 seconds in 1st gear of its 6 gear manual transmission, so you can get out of the way. To go on sale this fall for $65,800, a real bargain compared to the foreign imports. The other day I observed a Porche Turbo get out of the way of traffic where HP can come in handy to those who know how to control & handle. (I'm kinda off topic here) Wink

Texas passed a law (I believe a couple years ago), but is slow in putting up signs, ''Left Lane if for Passing Only''. Seems like 80% of the 'dead heads' don't know the law or just like to hang in the left lane. Course' in Louisiana, Mississippi, and some spots in Arkansas, where part of the highway still has Cement instead of Asphalt, the heat has buckled the Cement. The big 18 wheelers over the years has contributed to the right lane in those states being quite bumpy, so locals like to travel in the left lanes. The 18 wheelers sometimes get in the left lanes, but unlike some 4 wheelers, will move over when approached. I just drove through those states recently and not much has changed in driving habits, but they are working to improve the highways.

Since my outdated Radar Detector is not very good against modern equipment I usually drive 4MPH over the speed limit (don't normally get tickets at that speed) on the highways/interstates, although I observe many drive 6-12MPH over. On occasion I will get a certain distance behind a empty 18-wheeler who may be going over 5MPH of the speed limit and they always have a knack for getting the slow left lane holdup drivers to speed up and move over by creeping up fairly close behind them. Yeah, you ole PC drivers condemn as it is a dangerous practice, but what the H does it take.....

Some drivers just don't understand how to merge in traffic from a entrance ramp. Saw a very disturbing fatal accident in New Mexico some years ago on the Interstate where a 18 wheeler couldn't move over and a 4-wheeler just pulled onto the Interstate (merged) right into his two tandum right rear wheels.

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That 0-60 will only

In reply to: Ahh..'Lead Foot'..New 06 Vette does 0-60 in

work if the guy in front of you gets the hell out of the way, hon. LOL

TONI

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Hmmmm, $65,800? Does that include sales tax? I guess

In reply to: Ahh..'Lead Foot'..New 06 Vette does 0-60 in

I'm stuck with my 03 Mustang, but it does pretty well.

Getting close behind here is par for the course, and does not cause folks to move over. You have to keep close or someone will decide they REALLY NEED to get in that space between you and the car in front of you.

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