Infuriating Interstate Situations and How To Deal With Them

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.

Yo-Yo Speeders

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.

Random Pacing

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.

Lane-Ending Bully

“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!

-tgriffith

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3 Comments

  1. I agree with all your above comments and could easily furnish you with plenty more examples but the last issue with drivers not merging early is one I don’t agree with. traffic planners will tell you that the line moves better that way and clears quicker than if everyone moved over early and did the “right thing”.

  2. Well Travis, several years ago, I actually went to my local NAPA and purchased a tire valve removal tool. My intention was to use it to let out the air of at least one tire of an offending driver that made a bonehead move. You know, passing on the right on a two lane road (between me and the curb), tailgating, not yielding at an uncontrolled intersection (not only not yielding, but actually accelerating through and not looking right or left). Have these people been poorly trained by the local drivers school, or is this a “screw you, I’ll do what I want” attitude?
    So, watch out you lousy drivers – I still have yet to use my handy dandy valve removal tool!!

  3. Driving on I-75 I think I encounter every single one of those in one 20-minute trip.

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