Maintaining speed on the highway is a lost art

True dat. Change all the Speed Limit signs to DTTH. :smiley:

I know a guy who does the “refuse to pass” maneuver. Hauls ass, gets right up on them, then slows down and follows for miles. I’m like, “Dude! There’s another lane over there, ya know?” People are idiots.

Death to the Hun? Diddle that Tranny Ho? Dachshunds Thick Treacherous Heart? :confused:

Devil Take The Hindmost.

This is driving me crazy lately too. I swear this has happened almost daily for a couple of weeks. What the hell is wrong with people?

My son has a VW on lease. Maybe 2-3 years old. No cruise control. He hates it.

I don’t really see the problem. Tailgating, sure… you shouldn’t do that, though I think people differ on what constitutes tailgating vs. a safe distance. But following someone even when there’s a lane free? Sometimes I don’t care much about my exact speed, and will just follow someone if they’re going about the speed limit.

Also, lots of cars have adaptive cruise control which will maintain a safe following distance automatically.

Turn off your cruise control, learn to control your own speed, pay attention to the prevailing traffic circumstances. Apparently, “maintaining speed on a highway is a lost art” for you, who through your reliance on cruise control, never learned the art in the first place.

I believe the owner’s manual even advised against using the cruise control when driving on undivided highways where traffic may be operating at variable speeds and there is no dedicated safe passing lane. There appears to be a contradiction in the OP – Is it mostly 2-lane, or is there a “right lane” for crusing?

It looks like there are quite a few people who will be buying adaptive cruise control with their next vehicle. It senses the car ahead has slowed down and matches the speed.

:roll eyes:

It’s an interstate divided highway (2 lanes going same direction).

And no, it’s not me who has lost the art. It’s the typical idiot driver in America who can’t do something simple like maintain their speed, instead disrupting my progress.

You are angry that you are behind me. Very, very angry. So much that you swerve out from behind me into the next lane and pull up next to me, matching my speed. But you are not in enough of a hurry to pass me. Now we are side by side, traveling at exactly the same speed, and apparently all is now right with the world.

The drive beside me people are only slightly annoying. If they don’t move I stare at them until they do or ignore them. The speed up as I pass people piss me off. I like to set my cruise and cruise but now I have to floor it because how dare I pass someone going slower. I don’t want to break the limit so much I get a ticket but I don’t want to block traffic either.

Once I had a patrol right behind me as I was going around and the big rig I was passing sped up. I was stuck. Over six of the limit and it’s a ticket. I had to slow down and get into the right lane to keep from blocking him. The HP had already followed me off the other highway so I figured he had picked me out for a ticket if he could get one on me. Just as I start over he flips on his lights. I pull over and he bitches me out royal. I tried to explain all I just said and he would have none of it. Best I can figure he had picked me out for a ticket and it angered him that he couldn’t give me one. That or steroids. Claimed he might be going to an emergency. I asked did I not pull right over when the lights came on and he said that wasn’t the point. There is no use in arguing with crazy so I let him call me names and then drive off. All I could do. Sometimes you can’t win.

That was not at all clear. Where I come from, a 2-lane road has two lanes – one each way.
Again, I’m just going by “where I come from”, but other traffic sometimes disrupts ones progress.

I’ve noticed something of a herd mentality with some drivers - they are not really focused on their own driving so much as feeling unconsciously compelled to act like everyone else around them. This would explain the speed-matching thing, as well as the tendency of traffic to travel in clumps.

That’s the best I’ve ever been able to come up with. One of the first basic driving rules I remember being taught thousands of moons ago was to keep a cushion of safety around me. On any multi-lane highway one of my main strategies is keeping away from the clumps of traffic and wayward drivers. In moderate-to-heavy freeway traffic that’s also moving at highway speeds, this means I’m often adjusting my speed up and down to accomodate what’s going on. My preference would be: pick a lane, pick a speed, and maintain that for the duration of the drive. But it often doesn’t work like that in real life.

First, let me get this out of the way. I found your previous post to be a bit condescending. Just because a person uses cruise control doesn’t mean he has ‘lost the art’ of maintaining speed manually. I’m quite capable of maintaining a constant speed with my foot on the pedal, and often do. But when you have a 110 mile commute, why not use cruise control?

As to where you come from and terminology, I think the ‘official rule’ throughout the country is to count all of the lanes in both directions. So a two-lane road has one lane in each direction, a road with two lanes in each direction is a four-lane road, and a freeway with six lanes in each direction is a 12-lane freeway. (This, of course, is as you say.) But I think that drivers, if they think of the number of lanes at all, tend only to count the lanes in their direction.

Now the numbering of lanes… That seems to change. In California, lanes were numbered left-to-right. So if I was in the ‘fast lane’, I was in #1 lane. If I was in the lane to the right of that, I was in the #2 lane, and so on. When I moved to Washington I had occasion to indicate a lane to the State Patrol. (I don’t remember when, where, or why. Maybe I was reporting an accident or something.) It turns out that up here lanes are numbered right-to-left. So the slow lane is #1 and the fast lane (actually, it was years before I heard anyone refer to a ‘fast lane’ up here) is #3 or whatever.

I had Driver’s Training in high school, but I think it was a class called The Student and the Law where the ex-cop teacher called these people ‘packet drivers’ because they clumped together in ‘packets’. He warned us to be wary of ‘packet drivers’ and told us we shouldn’t drive that way.

That idiot sounds a lot like how I usually drive home from work. After 9 hours of staring at a computer monitor all day, I find I drive better on highways if there’s someone pretty much right in front of me - not necessarily on his bumper, but the proverbial 2-3 seconds behind. Yes, I do 65 to catch up to cars in front of me and then slow down to match. That’s one of the reasons the slow lane exists.

For whatever reason, I very rarely use cruise control.

Doesn’t always work like that though. All too frequently you get a huge number of people going well under the limit (75 mph on I-45 in Texas) in the right lane, and a bunch of speed demons in the left lane going 85-90.

So what are your choices? Go 50 in the right lane with the elderly, the turnip farmers and the school buses, or go 85 in the left with the sports car people, douchebags in Escalades, and crazy people? Or do you weave in and out of both lanes trying to maintain a decent speed and not obstruct the speeders?

I usually end up being an ass and going my preferred speed in the left lane and to hell with the speeders. If I could apply spurs to the asses of the slowpokes, I would.

And in the meantime, you have all the middle lanes with people going every which way and speed, which makes it less of a binary decision. When I was younger and drove fast cars, I was pretty much a left lane/pass everyone driver. Now I’m older and usually am driving stodgy work vans so I just do my best to stay out of others’ way in the righter lanes, while trying to maintain a sensible and brisk speed. It can be a juggling act!


This sounds to me like the correct answer.

Then there is the steep hill thing… driving along the flat and they are overtaking and getting in front… steep hill , down to 40 mph and its like they’ve jumped on the brakes right in front of me… in the overtaking lane… yes its a hill, it takes fuel to get up there !
You might even anticipate the hill …

  1. If you are going to go slow, move to the slow lane
  2. If you ordinarily power up hills at the speed limit, make a gear change to help avoid lag …not possible in all vehicles,
    For 4 speed or more Automatics with “overdrive off” button …use it… (I am guessing 99% don’t know what its for.)