During my trip yesterday, I certainly encountered a number of candidates. So without further ado, let’s see how you measure up with the competition!
- You are driving a Winnebago in the right lane of I77 in Virginia (2 lanes), with requisite pickup truck in tow (a bit of overkill, but whatever), in a fairly intense drizzle. A blue sportscar (me) passes you on the left.
(A) Remain in the right lane, going c. 5-10 MPH under the speed limit, since, after all, you are driving a top-heavy motorhome while towing another vehicle (a combination which isn’t exactly manueverable even in the best of circumstances), it is raining pretty heavily, and there’s no reason to risk you and your family’s lives in pointless quien es mas macho stunts, is there?
(B) Floor the accelerator, pass the blue sportscar yourself after he has safely merged back into the right lane, cut him off, and then slow down from 70 to 50 MPH right in front of him, while two large semi trucks prepare to blow on past the two of you.
- Same highway, same weather conditions. You are in a pickup hauling a trailer, and come along a vehicle in the left lane who is passing another even slower vehicle which is in the right lane. The pass should be completed in no more than 15-20 seconds or so, and then he likely will merge right and let you go on by in turn.
(A) Give him the requisite 3-4 second buffer, which is courteous and prudent, given the hydroplaning danger involved. 15 seconds is nothing-soon he’ll be out of your way forever, and then you can go on your merry way.
(B) Charge on up to his rear bumper, slam on your brakes 3 feet from said rear bumper, and continue riding him like that until the pass has been completed and he merges out of your way.
- NC I-77 south, heading towards Charlotte. You are in a white pickup, and are driving c. maybe 1-5 MPH faster than the 70 MPH limit. You continually come across slower vehicles on the right, followed by some occasional gaps.
(A) Use the gaps to merge over to the right, giving any vehicles behind you which are faster than you are a chance to pass you; you can then move back to the left as needed to complete your own passes. Traffic flow becomes infinitely improved, and there are thus no dangerous ‘conga lines’ snaking across the North Carolina landscape.
(B) Remain camped in the left lane for more than 50 miles (not exaggerating), refusing to yield to a single faster vehicle, while they all pile up behind you (before I took 485, I counted more than a dozen stuck behind this bozo). Sometimes someone will attempt to pass you on the right, only to get boxed in by the slower cars in this lane, making the situation even more dire.
- You are a trucker leaving a weigh station in Georgia during a Biblical downpour (much heavier than it was in Virginia). Almost all vehicles on the highway have slowed down to 40-45 MPH with their emergency blinkers turned on-because, after all, visibility is less than a football field and you would have scant warning of an approaching snarl or wreck.
(A) Merge out of the weigh station slowly and carefully, being sure to match the flow of traffic in your multiton missile of potential death, and giving those in front of you plenty of a buffer just in case.
(B) Come charging out of the weigh station at full bore, hitting 60+ MPH by the merge, and then proceed to drive up on the tail of a blue sportscar, forcing him to either let you remain there like a Klingon on his arsehole, or speed up faster than he is comfortable with in said conditions just to get away from your insane-as-fuck ass.
- Extra bonus question (this happened 3 blocks from my home, after like I said 600 miles). You are in the left lane of a multi-lane signaled highway, and wish to turn off into the shopping center on the left; there is an ample deceleration lane available. No rain, tho it is cloudy and at dusk, so visibility isn’t great.
(A) Signal early, pull over into the deceleration lane early, and only then slow down once you are out of the flow of traffic.
(B) Don’t signal at all, and jam your brakes on while still in the left lane of the highway, causing the blue sportscar behind you to have to take evasive measures to avoid your worthless carcass, only then initiating your turn.
If you answered (A) to most or all of the above questions-congratulations! You fully grasp that driving on a highway in fair-to-abysmal conditions is not a task you take on lightly, requiring fine judgement, courtesy, and common sense so as to help ensure that everybody arrives alive.
If however you answered (B) to most or all of the questions, you are indeed the lowest form of life on earth. You lack the wisdom and discernment that God gave a baboon, and Lord help those who encounter you and your blithering, thoughtless and utterly moronic driving style. Consider yourself lucky that the requirements in this country to earn a driver’s license are indeed very low, and that even if Fate does attempt to teach you a lesson at some point, you undoubtedly won’t learn a fucking thing. Extra demerits if you had a child in your vehicle at the time, or if you have loved ones waiting for you at home.