A crash course for drivers ed.

aka- how not to drive like an A-Hole!

Today, we have an anatomy lesson. Anatomy of the road that is. This WILL be fun! Let’s start with the basics. In this photo we have your standard interstate layout with a few different lane options. You will also notice a few vehicles. All of then could be you but one of them is who you are trying to avoid mimicking. Now let’s get down to it.

Photo Credit: My 1st grade artistic skills

Lane 1 is the “fast” lane aka “passing” lane. Lane 2 is the “drive as you please” lane. Lane 3 is the “entry/exit” lane and the “slow” lane. In the case that you only have two lanes to choose from, please adhere to Lane 1 and Lane 3 for rules of the road. Vehicle 1 is in a hurry. Vehicle 2 is the everyday driver who travels within 5 MPH of the speed limit. Vehicle 3 is the Sunday cruiser. Vehicle 4 is the a-hole. Keep all of these in mind and use this photo for reference later on. To start things out, we’ll discuss proper etiquette when looking at passing other vehicles.

When/How to pass:

Lane 1, as previously mentioned, is the fast lane and the passing lane. The term “passing” is well understood. It’s a lane used when you are going ahead of a slower moving vehicle. One common issue we run into here is how long can you be in the “passing lane” when making a move on the interstate.

Scenario:

The speed limit is 60 MPH and vehicle 3 is topping out at 60 MPH. You, vehicle 2 are looking to pass vehicle 3 at a blistering 62 MPH. It’s decision time. Is now a good time to get into the passing lane? If so, how long should you stick round? Here’s what I can tell you, if you get into the fast lane it would, in fact, make you an A-Hole driver. Therefore, in this scenario, you have two viable options to explore that would allow you to maintain non-A-Hole status. Option 1: speed up (dare I say, travel at 67 MPH) until you pass vehicle 3 at which point you return to lane 2/3 and decrease your speed. Option 2: don’t pass vehicle 3 until there is nobody in lane 1 who you would inconvenience by driving slow in the fast lane.

Although this lesson is fairly basic, numerous people forget it every single day. Seriously. Every. Single. Day. If this is you, please do us all a favor and don’t forget how/when to pass. Simply, stated, don’t be an A-Hole driver. Got it? Good! Let’s move to life in the fast lane.

When/IF you should drive in the fast lane:

I like to think of the fast lane like professional athletes: everyone thinks they have what it takes to compete at the highest level but in reality, only a small percentage of people actually do. The biggest difference is there are many steps to becoming a professional athlete which eliminates 99.9% of us along the way. This only leaves those who qualify standing at the end. The fast lane, on the other hand, has no such weeding out process. In fact, all you have to do is angle your front tires to the left ever so slightly and, boom, you’re in the fast lane. Hell, you don’t even have to use your turn signal! Just crank that steering wheel and head on over. I guess the biggest question here is who qualifies and what does it mean to go fast? Ricky Bobby did it pretty well but are you Ricky Bobby status? We’ll start with a definition.

Merriam-Webster has the following definition for fast:

: characterized by quick motion, operation, or effect: (1) : moving or able to move rapidly: swift (2) : taking a comparatively short time (3) : imparting quickness of motion <a fastbowler> (4) : accomplished quickly (5) : agile of mind

Thanks for the help M-W! Now let’s combine what we learned from the dictionary with my in depth, scientific research.

After spending many hours on the road and observing thousands of cars in all lanes of traffic, science tells me the average speed of vehicles that travel in the fast lane without obstructing other drivers is 9–14 MPH over the speed limit. Therefore in order to be a non-A-Hole driver you must be traveling 9–14 MPH above the speed limit when in the fast lane. If you are not willing to travel at those speeds, then don’t worry, there is at least one other lane for you. In some cases there are 2–4 other lanes for you to choose from. Simple enough right? Either drive 9–14 MPH above the posted limit or, as Ludacris says, “Move bitch, get out the way!” Choose wisely, don’t be an A-Hole driver.

Now before leaving this topic completely, I do want to touch on those who believe they are going fast. These are the people who drive 5 MPH above the speed limit in the fast lane and do not move over for other vehicles. You, sir or madam, are an A-Hole. I understand you may think nobody should be driving faster than your speed as it is dangerous or you simply disapprove but guess what, it’s not your decision on how others live their lives. Not only that but consider these three things:

  1. There are people who have training in operating motor vehicles. Some are race car drivers, some drive rally sport, others just drive for fun. In any case, they can safely operate a vehicle better than you or me. They are the professional athletes of driving.
  2. You are not the czar of the road and we live in a mostly free society. If people want to drive fast and risk their lives, please, let them pass you as quickly as possible so as not to piss them off and turn their speed issue into a road rage + speed issue.
  3. Keep in mind you are most likely speeding too, perhaps to a lesser degree but you’re still breaking the law! Get off your high horse and move your ass to the other lane.

Ok, that’s enough for the speed of travel in the fast lane, and other lanes for that matter. Let’s shift our focus to proper etiquette during high volume travel times.

Rush Hour

Everyday in cities where populations are dense and commuters are high, you are sure to find cars closer to being parked on the interstate than those challenging the speed limit. Despite this being an absolute fact, you will still see those A-Hole’s trying to push the pace. These are the people who don’t believe in reaction time and would rather try to draft while putzing along at 5 MPH. Let’s turn to science to teach these A-Holes a lesson!

After spending many hours on the road and observing thousands of cars in all lanes of traffic, science tells me the average speed of vehicles during rush hour is f****** slow. It also shows that no matter which lane you’re in, all lanes are traveling slow. It also, also shows that each lane of traffic will have its moment where the cars speed up to 12 MPH before hitting the brakes. It also, also, also shows that if you’re a jackass and jump back and forth between lanes, you will not get to the end any faster than those who stay put in one lane. In fact, you are more likely to cause more slowdowns for everyone else as you weave back and forth trying to gain an inch. Therefore, you need to stop being a selfish dick and stay in your lane.

Driver 4 is an A-Hole: Don’t be driver 4.

You are not special and don’t deserve to get through traffic any faster than the person in front of you. With that, please don’t be the A-Hole who rides someone’s bumper when they aren’t within 5 feet of the car in front of them. Also, don’t be the A-Hole who is cutting into any opening large enough to fit a skate board. There is no reason to be sucking the exhaust fumes from the tailpipes of the cars. Nor is there reason to try and hurry through traffic that any intelligent human being would come to see as being expected traffic during certain times and in certain areas. Lastly, you driving like a jackass doesn't help those cars miles ahead of you get on or off the road any faster.

This concludes today’s crash course in driver’s ed. If you enjoyed what you’ve learned, be sure to show your love by clicking the green heart below. If you know someone who is driver 4, be sure to recommend this article so he/she will be able to learn too!

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