Coming back recently from a cross-state road trip, I have to admit I was tempted at least four times to follow a car until it stopped and then remove its valve stems.
Some people just aren’t good enough drivers to traverse the Interstate system. I know it’s not my place to police America’s highways, but if a little vigilante justice results in a bad driver coming back to a car sitting on four flats, I can’t say I’d shed many tears of sympathy. Of course I’d never do such a thing and would never condone it, but the thought sure was entertaining for a few hundred miles of driver-induced torture.
As Labor Day Weekend descends upon us and drivers take to the highways, I present the most infuriating situations that happen on the road, and what to do about them. And no, there are no valve-core-removal tools involved.
Left Lane Drivers
I know it’s a near cliche, but on my recent drive I encountered two Left Lane Dwellers (LLDs). You know the situation: Your cruise is set at 74 mph. A car in the right lane is doing 65, so you change lanes to pass. Up ahead in the left lane is a car that you approach quickly. That car might be doing 66, and soon you find yourself boxed in and forced to tap on the brake to slow down. Trapped.
What’s even more infuriating, once you wait it out and pass the LLD on the right, you notice she never changes lanes to the right side, even when the highway is clear. (I say she because, in my situations, both drivers were young 20-something women. Does driver’s ed not cover highway travel anymore?)
Unfortunately, all you can do in this situation is tailgate and flash your lights furiously. No, no… that’ll only end in road rage. All you can really do is wait it out, pass the car, and then vent your frustrations later in a blog.
You settle back into your 74-mph bliss when you notice a car you passed earlier screaming up behind you. It passes you on the left at about 85 mph, then changes lanes in front of you only to slow back down to 65, requiring you to pass it again. This can go back and forth a dozen times. If you look closely as you pass, you might notice the other driver eating a sandwich.
My advice in this situation is to have fun with it. Laugh at the other driver’s sudden sandwich fixation, which every 5 minutes causes him to forget about speeding for a while.
Sometimes you’ll notice a car coming up quickly behind you, see it switch lanes, then wait for it to pass you. You wait. And you wait some more. But the car never passes you. What happened? Did it mysteriously vanish? Was it ever really there? You turn your head and see the car pacing you in your blind spot. Why the sudden desire to exactly match your speed? Nobody knows. This phenomenon is unexplainable, and your only course of action is to either accelerate or slow down so the offending car is no longer in your blind spot.
“Right Lane Closed Ahead.” It’s a dreaded sign of a slowdown on the Interstate, but also inevitable. What makes it infuriating is when a driver in the right lane slams the pedal to the metal in an effort to get toward the front of the merging traffic, instead of merging at a convenient time well ahead of the lane closure.
Your response to this arrogant guy who thinks he’s king of the road? Don’t let him in. Hopefully the driver behind you won’t, either.
Have you experienced one of these infuriating Interstate situations? Drive safely this weekend!