Why do people drive like this?

When I do a lot of driving on wide open, multi lane roads, people will be approaching me at a good speed, perhaps 10 mph faster then me and I am doing maybe 10 over the speed limit w/ the cruse control on. As they aproach they will slow down to maybe 1mph faster then me and just creep past.

I hate this, just get out of my blind spot and go.
Why do you do this? And don’t tell me you don’t it happens too often. so Why?

Are you sure it’s not just a perception issue on your part?

That was what I was thinking at first jjimn but it is not. It may be a perception issue on their part, perhaps they will look at their speedometer as then approach another car and see how fast they are really going. Perhpas they thing it’s safer to pass at a slower speed? Perhaps something else.

If you have CC and a wide open multi lane road you can see for yourself.

To be honest I’ve never really noticed it in Ireland, but then again we don’t have that many multi-lane roads (and CC would be useless, because most of the roads are really windy and small).

Maybe they get scared while overtaking and subconsciously slow down. It must be very irritating.

I hate this too. I think most people want the company of other people, even on the road. When people do this to me, I slow down. I don’t want people watching me sing, or picking my nose.

We just want to piss you off, that’s all. Thanks for confirming that it works. :smiley:

If your mirrors are adjusted properly, you won’t have a “blind spot”. Sit in the driver’s seat, turn the mirror slowly outward until you can just see the very tip of your rear bumper, then turn it outward just a tad more. Blind spot is now gone. As a car approaches you on the left, you will see him right up until the transition to your peripheral vision.

Now, this takes a little getting used to because most folks are used to seeing the back/side of their cars when they check the mirror. Don’t worry, it’s still there.

I’ve just returned from a drive to Washington and back. I used cruise control as much as possible. I noticed the same thing. I’ll be cruising at 65 or 70 mph and someone will pass me and then move into my lane (right lane). Then they would slow down. Still on cruise control, I would have to pass them. As I pull alongside, they would match my speed. Weird.

On these boards I have referred to “left seat passengers” or “left seat zombies”. These are people who are not driving the car, but are merely riding along and they happen to have a steering wheel in front of them. As a pilot, I was taught to “Fly the airplane!” (When I learned to fly, it was before everyone used headsets so the instructor would have to shout.) Because of this, it bothers me when I’m forced to be around people who will not “Drive the car!” Left seat passengers bug the hell out of me.

I think what’s happening is that they don’t use their speedometers as a reference, but depend on their positions in relation to other vehicles to gauge their speed. If someone is overtaking another vehicle, they suddenly say, “Oops! I’m speeding! I’d better slow down, lest I get a ticket!” Then after they’ve slowed down in front of you and you’re passing them (on cruise control) they say, “Hey! I just passed this guy! Let me look at my speedometer. Hm. I’d better speed up!”

In Driver’s Ed. in high school the instructor called some people “packet drivers” because they tended to gather together in packets. ParentalAdvisory suggests (perhaps in jest) that they “want the company of other people”. I think that they are just Left Seat Passengers who are just not paying attention until they have external reference points like other drivers (who are often also LSPs).

I’d have to go with jjimm on this one, at least from my experience. I know a couple of drivers with whom I travel occasionally that get the pure willies when passing someone in the next lane, particularly if it’s a big truck.

They’ll have a ten mph speed advantage approaching the vehicle but when it comes time to pass they freak out and can only manage 2 or 3 mph to overtake. I think it’s weird but then it takes all kinds.

And Johnny L.A., I understand your take. Of course everyone feels they’re an above average driver; even the LSP’s.

As for me I’m PIC when I’m behind the wheel!


Does your car in any way resemble a cop car?

I’ve noticed this a lot, usually when I’m trying to pass someone and some jerk is running door-to-door with the other jerk, who will not slow down, speed up, or do anything else to get the hell out of the way and stop impeding the normal flow of traffic. Damned old farts, most of them, shouldn’t be driving anyway.

I used to beleive this too but found that this only works on certain cars, other ones have unavoidable blind spots. Be careful when you drive a different car. Ands that is how I ajust my mirrors anyway.

THis is another thing that I’ve noticed but would be a pit rant, I am convinced these people think they are traveling at a certain speed, lets say 67mph, but are manually controlling it and not all that good. when you are in the area travelgn at 65mph they look at their speedometer and figure that they sould be ahead of you. They will normally watch their speed carefully during the pass, get back in the right lane then forget to continue checking their speed, and slow down to the point that you must pass them to keep up your 65mph. They see you doing this then check their speed and speed up again. On multilane low volumn roads (with nobody else but us 2 on the road) my solution is to drive in the left lane. This gives me the satifacting that they must constantly monitor their speed to stay ahead of me, also I have an unobstructed road ahead of me.

I do sometimes want other cars as reference points, but only on a VERY dark highway (and when I do, I always keep several car lengths BEHIND rather than ahead). I almost always prefer to be alone rather than in a pack.

I’ve noticed people doing this to me, too, and I think it’s like Johnny said, some sort of wetware autopilot in the seat rather than a driver.

I’m just the opposite, I guess. I’m fine with passing cars, but I get the willies when passing a big rig. So I stomp it to the floor! I just want to get around him!

I do that, too. I hang by the tail of the big rig until the car ahead of me in the passing lane is clear of it, then do the stomp.

I think the generic question here is why are people so often inconsistent with their highway driving speed?

jjimm, I live (and drive) in Ireland, and I’ve had people do this to me, there are several roads which have an “overtaking” lane (which can only be used in one direction ie eastbound, but not westbound traffic), and I’ve had quite a few people tailgate me, till we got to a place with an overtaking lane, they pull into the lane, and crawl pass you. I dirve a very small (peugeot 106) car and the offenders invariably are driving something much bigger and newer …

This happens to me too.

About 12 years ago, I was in upstate NY when someone did this to me repeatedly. About the fourth time I passed them, the two of them (young men) started flipping me off and swearing at me. I leaned back in the seat and put both my feet up on the dash, rolled down the window and said “Cruise Control!”.

To his credit (although with a little prompting from his passenger), the guy figured it out and stopped playing this game.

I noticed a psychological effect like this when I used to do the every-other-weekend Big Drive. The following driver thinks the car ahead is going slower than he wants to go. They speed up (without really thinking) to overtake the “slower” car. Once even with the lead car, the psychological effect goes away.

Next thing I know, I got someone in front of me who just passed me but is now going slower than me.

As near as I can tell, the majority of people don’t ever look at their speedometers. So you get other effects like slow uphill, fast downhill. Mrs. FtG is like this but completely denies she does it.