Monday, January 23, 2012

Driving Tip #2 - Maintaining Speed

I doubt I will be posting these driving tips daily, but I just started yesterday and I have a few stored up due to recent encounters with bad drivers.  When I say bad drivers, I'd like to be clear about what that means.  It doesn't mean a bad person is driving the car, it means they are a bad driver


People are bad drivers for a variety of reasons.  They're either not paying attention to what they're doing (distracted drivers yelling at kids, about to fall asleep, applying make up, reading (!), talking on the phone, texting, etc.), or they're scared (the elderly, those who are inexperienced or who literally don't know how to drive, or those who are easily intimidated), or perhaps they're drunk or physically impaired in some other way.  The specific reason for bad driving really doesn't matter.  The only thing that matters is that you've got to survive maneuvering about them.


Today I'd like to discuss maintaining proper speed in normal driving conditions.  (Please note I said NORMAL driving conditions.  Obviously, it's difficult to maintain speed on the highway during rush hour when cars are jammed on the freeway, bumper to bumper.)


You are not the only one on the road.  That sounds easy enough, but evidently, many people have forgotten that.  In order for other drivers to lead, follow or get out of your way, they need to have some clue as to what it is you're doing.  For example, if you're in the passing lane (you know, that far left lane of the freeway that is FOR PASSING ONLY, NOT DRIVING SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE CAR NEXT TO YOU), other drivers expect you to pass the other cars so they can then have their turn to pass.


If you want to drive slower than the rest of traffic, that is fine, but you are supposed to keep to the far right lanes of the road.  This lets other drivers know they need to pass you on the left to get where they need to go.


When you pull out of a driveway or side street into traffic, you should pull out and GO!  Press your gas pedal and bring yourself up to the speed of the traffic you are pulling into, otherwise, wait a few more seconds and pull out when you feel comfortable.


You should also be aware of speed limits and try to drive around those speeds when the roads are dry and conditions are NORMAL.  I'm always baffled by drivers who do 35mph in a 55mph zone, then turn onto a 35mph street and proceed to take off, obviously going more than 35mph.  It's so frustrating that when it was safe to speed up, they hold me and everyone else back, but now that we're on a residential street, for example, it's Indy 500 time!


Under normal driving conditions, maintaining a proper speed not only helps traffic flow, but helps other drivers know how to behave around you.  So do us a favor and help us, help you!


karyn gray said...

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Ed Irkitated said...

Through many years of driving, I have managed to categorise bad drivers into three distinct groups. There is the 'stupid bad driver', the 'selfish bad driver', 'and the 'douchebag bad driver'.

Read my full rant about bad drivers here

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